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Columbus City Council and Franklin County Commissioners each award Besa $300,000—$600,000 combined—to increase community volunteerism

July 11, 2024 |





Columbus City Council


community impact


Franklin County Board of Commissioners


Columbus, Ohio—Columbus City Council and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners have each voted to award Besa $300,000 to facilitate more community volunteerism in 2024—a $600,000 investment that will help thousands of people across Columbus and Franklin County.

Besa addresses critical community needs by connecting people to service opportunities. Its goal is to facilitate 2,300 volunteer experiences in 2024—up from 2,000 in 2023.

“These investments from the city and county will make it possible for us to support thousands more neighbors across the community,” Besa CEO Matthew Goldstein said. “We know that civic engagement—particularly volunteerism—is key to a successful region, and we’re here to make engaging with the community easy and impactful so that ultimately, we all win.”

During a time when the nation faces a volunteer shortage, Besa is now mobilizing volunteers to give back to the community at an average of five events and almost 100 hours every day, all 365 days of the year.

“Connection to community is central to creating supportive networks that foster resiliency and ensure no one faces hardship alone,” said Columbus City Council Member Melissa Green. “Columbus City Council is proud to support Besa, who through their mission of promoting civic engagement through volunteerism, is actively cultivating stronger, more compassionate neighborhoods, full of hope and possibility for all.”

Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services Director Michelle Lindeboom commended Besa’s strong volunteer network.

“They’re able to motivate and mobilize people in neighborhoods across the county to make a difference,” Lindeboom said. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors—and strengthening their communities.”

Vivian Turner, chief administrator for Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services, echoed her sentiment.

“There are communities in our county that have been overlooked and under-resourced for too long. That’s where our partnership with Besa comes in,” Turner said. “They help coordinate events, engage residents and connect communities with the resources they need.”

Besa supports the efforts of more than 170 nonprofits around Central Ohio. It mobilizes volunteers to give in many ways, from packaging diapers for new parents to doing urban gardening so that people living in food deserts have access to fresh produce.

Besa also provides crisis relief. For example, when Latitude Five25 was evacuated the week of Christmas, Besa mobilized volunteers to support the emergency shelter at Dodge Park. And when a heat wave caused power outages and threatened lives, Besa rallied dozens of volunteers to offer wellness checks to 4,000 senior citizens who lost power during the summer blackout.

Since launching in 2012, Besa has made significant community impact:

• 83,000 volunteers mobilized
• 199,000 hours volunteered
• 13,600 service projects completed
• 170+ nonprofits supported
• $97M in community impact made and facilitated


About Besa

Besa is a Columbus-based nonprofit dedicated to powering a wave of civic engagement that lifts us all. We fulfill critical needs by connecting people to community service. Every day, we make giving back easy—and transformative.