Columbus CEO's spotlight on nonprofits is recognized and awarded.
The Reeb Avenue Center is a fascinating place. As Columbus CEO contributor Laurie Allen documents in this issue (The Hub of Hope, P. 26), the upstart organization offers adult education, workforce development, early childhood education and other services. It features a unique collaborative operating model, and it serves as a focal point for Columbus’ struggling South Side.
Every month, you can read about organizations like the Reeb Center in Columbus CEO. Since launching our monthly nonprofit spotlight in January 2016, we’ve profiled 36 organizations more focused on community good than profit margin. The Reeb Center is the latest to appear in this space, and it’s a good example of what we hope to showcase: nonprofits with dynamic leadership, interesting origin stories, innovative practices and important civic missions.
To ignore nonprofits would be a disservice to our business-savvy readers. According to a May 2018 report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society, the nonprofit sector’s workforce ranks third in size among 18 major U.S. industries, behind only retail and manufacturing. “The story of nonprofit employment is a powerful one, demonstrating that this sector is every bit as crucial a component of the economic life in this country as it is of the social, cultural, health and educational life,” the Johns Hopkins report concludes.
That story is also powerful in central Ohio. The nonprofit scene in the Columbus area includes behemoths like OhioHealth, the region’s largest hospital system, and National Church Residences, the $332 million senior-living and affordable housing organization, as well as a vast array of smaller groups. The Columbus Foundation’s online Giving Store features more than 1,000 nonprofits in the 10-county region.
When my predecessor, Mary Yost, started our monthly nonprofit spotlight nearly three years ago, she recognized our readers—many of them executives and business owners—want to learn about nonprofits with good business practices. These readers also care about central Ohio and want to make a difference—perhaps through charitable giving and leadership on nonprofit boards.
Which leads to why I’m writing this column. In early November, Community Shares of Mid Ohio, an umbrella fundraising organization for 70 smaller nonprofits in the region, honored Columbus CEO for its commitment to reporting on the nonprofit sector. At a breakfast ceremony, I was happy to accept the Excellence in Nonprofit Media Coverage Award. Community Shares has given this award in the past to local journalists for exemplary individual articles, but Columbus CEO is the first publication to receive the honor for its sustained coverage.
During the ceremony, Community Shares projected photographs on a large screen of the nonprofit leaders featured in the magazine over the past year. Included were arts, education, transportation, social services and housing organizations. Though the sample was small, it still highlighted the breadth of the nonprofit sector in Columbus, and I pointed that out as I accepted the award.
In reality, our reporting has barely scratched the surface of Columbus’ vibrant nonprofit sector. And that’s good news. That means we should have no problem finding more interesting, illustrative and important organizations to write about in the future.
Dave Ghose is the editor.