COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 25, 2007 -- The Columbus Foundation has surpassed $1 billion in managed assets, placing it among the top community foundations in the nation. The Foundation, a trusted philanthropic advisor to more than 1,600 individuals, families and businesses in Ohio, exceeded the $1 billion milestone thanks in part to the record $107 million in gifts it received from donors in 2006.

"It is a point of civic pride that our community has worked together to build one of the eight biggest community foundations in the world," said Doug Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. "We never forget that behind these numbers are the individual stories of people who have been inspired to share their generosity. It's not about the amount of assets, it's about working together to strengthen and improve our community for the benefit of all of its citizens."

The Columbus Foundation was officially established in 1943 with a $700 grant. The first unsolicited gift was given to The Columbus Foundation in 1946 by the first woman to be elected onto Columbus City Council, journalist Olga Ann Jones. That gift was for $25.

In 2006, the Columbus Foundation and its donors made more than $72.4 million in philanthropic grants to the community. That brought the total amount of grants made since the Foundation was created to more than $800 million.

The Foundation's assets are held in 1,559 charitable funds and 29 supporting foundations. Fifty years ago, the assets of the Foundation were $1 million.

Community foundations make up one of the fastest growing sectors of philanthropy in the United States today. Through a giving option called donor advised funds, Columbus Foundation donors support the causes and nonprofit organizations they choose. Over the past five years, gifts to create donor advised funds have more than doubled, and last year accounted for 45 percent of all new gifts. One of the Foundation's strategic goals for 2007 is to continue to increase philanthropy in central Ohio.

About the Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor to nearly 1,600 individuals, families, and businesses, who have created funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the central Ohio region for 63 years, The Columbus Foundation is a resource for philanthropic strategy and community knowledge and is a partner in improving central Ohio. The Columbus Foundation is one of the ten largest community foundations in the United States today. For more information about the Foundation, visit or call 614/251-4000.

Contact Information: Media contact: Carol Harmon The Columbus Foundation 614/251-4000, ext. 113