You’ve heard about it. You’ve read about it. But, have you experienced it?
In May 2015, the Harvard Business Review published a case study. The Columbus Way is a model of public-private partnership that drives planning and investment in Columbus. It’s not only unique — it’s become a part of our city’s DNA.
Former Mayor Coleman and current Mayor Ginther always ask — and the private sector responds — “how can we do this together?”
“Cooperation and collaboration is the Columbus way.” — Columbus Dispatch, 2012
This level of collegiality and collaboration is not only Midwest nice. It’s an economic engine.
We’ve seen it with the Scioto Mile re-development led by AEP, the Smart City award when a $50 million federal grant was matched by $90 million in local investment, and most recently with the Save the Crew efforts when the Mayor’s Office and Columbus Partnershipworked together for months to find a solution.
But, even more impressive, the Columbus Way isn’t only about economic development. It’s also nonprofit philanthropy.
Two years ago, Mayor Ginther asked the private sector to match the public investment in reducing infant mortality in Franklin County. And they did. CelebrateOne funding sources in 2017 included 38% from the city and county, 33% from private donors and foundations, 17% from the state, and 12% from the four hospital systems.
Three years ago, when Reeb Avenue Center opened its doors, the private support matched the public investment one to one in the $12+ million construction costs, which was then topped by more than $4 million in private donations for the endowment. The City owns the building, and nonprofits run the operations and programs.
Just a few months ago, the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department announced the launch of its foundation, which will inspire private support of the public mission to connect the people of our community through the power of nature, wellness, and creativity.
And, today, the majority of our clients are asking the question about leverage — how can we meet the deep needs of our community, together?
Each time we experience the Columbus Way, we are reminded that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and are filled with gratitude for the spirit of Columbus.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO