HandsOn Central Ohio
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195 North Grant Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215
Mr. Brian Suiter
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CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Brian Suiter
President & CEO
Board Chair
Mr. E. Phillip Smith
The Wasserstrom Company

To align community resources and generate data insights that strengthen central Ohio.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We expanded our Foodline Mobile Scheduling Program to residents of the South Side, North Linden, Greater Hilltop, and Franklinton neighborhoods. Since launching this service, client access to emergency food and food system efficiency have improved.

  • We linked over 87,000 unique Franklin County residents with emergency food and made 61,575 referrals to critical community resources via telephone, in addition to the 107,209 searches conducted on our online database.

  • We partnered with Community Research Partners to create a visual representation of our data and the impact of our programs. Its release catalyzed a demand for more insights from HandsOn Central Ohio's community information system database.

2016 GOALS

  • We will strengthen our core businesses of general and specialty information and referral services, by using information and commercial technologies, broadband, and mobile devices to grow information accessibility for diverse customers.

  • We will leverage our data insights to contribute valuable backbone support to central Ohio's collective impact efforts.

  • We will develop our Neighborhood Ambassador Program, an initiative designed to equip and empower central Ohio neighborhoods and neighborhood leaders with neighborhood-specific resources and information.

Background Statement

In 1965, the Columbus Area Information Center was created by a coalition of the leading civic, social service, academic, and information technology organizations in the Columbus metropolitan area. Its purpose was twofold: 1) bring order to an increasingly large and complex network of community resources and 2) ensure easy access to these resources for a rapidly growing, more diverse population. With the Columbus Area Information Center, Columbus made a commitment that its neighborhoods--brimming with new Americans and migrants--would remain neighborhoods of opportunity, and that information and referral was the backbone of that commitment. Today, this commitment lives on as HandsOn Central Ohio (HandsOn).

HandsOn’s mission is to align community resources and generate data insights that strengthen central Ohio. Nearly 500,000 individuals and 3,000 programs and services rely on HandsOn as their vital first link in our community’s opportunity networks each year. At any point in time, in real time, HandsOn knows more about what is happening with metro Columbus’ opportunity landscape than anyone else. Whether in coordinating social service delivery, ensuring food security, centralizing homeless shelter access, making volunteer service connections, or a host of other vital services, HandsOn has been the essential community partner making human service solutions more efficient and effective for over 50 years.

Statement from Mr. Brian Suiter, President & CEO

Our primary goal at HandsOn will always be to offer assistance to those in need as quickly and efficiently as possible--but our new emphasis on gathering underlying data is of tremendous importance to this community as well. The promise and opportunity of using data for social good lies in having just-in-time data from a range of sources aligned and accessible in ways that yield deep, meaningful insights; allow us to build predictive models; improve the collective intelligence of our social system; and improve and sustain the impact of our most promising social innovations. In our vision, HandsOn uses its information technology tools to align community data assets and generate insights as the backbone of central Ohio’s social transformation, ensuring that the right people, neighborhoods, and issues have easy access to the right resources at the right time and place.



Mr. Brian Suiter, 
Term Start 7/2013 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

Ernest was named President & CEO of HandsOn Central Ohio on July 1, 2013. He is a strategic and entrepreneurial nonprofit leader, having served as chief executive or in the executive leadership team of several organizations, including Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, Junior Achievement of Greater Reading and Lehigh Valley, and Operation Respect in the greater Philadelphia/greater NY regions; as well as the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, KnowledgeWorks, and The Strive Partnership in greater Cincinnati. Ernest has also led The History Teaching Institute at The Ohio State University.

He is a proud alumnus of Miami University and The Ohio State University and has completed executive programs at Villanova University and Harvard Business School.

Ernest is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Columbus Rotary Club. He is a proud Buckeye and a native of Columbus, Ohio.

Ms. Tamela Collins, 
Biographical Statement

Prior to joining HandsOn Central Ohio, Tamela Collins had a distinguished career in the central Ohio nonprofit community, having most recently served as chief operations officer for Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland. There, she had leadership responsibility for a 30-county area serving more than 40,000 girls and volunteers. She is an active volunteer in many community initiatives, organizations, and advisories including The Women's Fund of Central Ohio, Columbus City Schools, The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, King Arts Complex, and YWCA.

Tamela is an alumnae of Denison University and Columbus State Community College's nonprofit management certificate program.  

Mr. Tom Brinsley, 
Biographical Statement

Tom Brinsley serves as senior director of community insights for HandsOn Central Ohio. He leads Ohio’s largest 2-1-1 Information and Referral operation and directs the organization’s data-driven work to support central Ohio’s efforts to eliminate hunger, homelessness, health disparities, and improve educational outcomes and economic stability for children and families.

Prior to joining HandsOn, Tom enjoyed a long career in customer service contact, data, and operations centers for Abbot Laboratories, where he developed new software and led master data initiatives to improve service for retail, healthcare, and governmental customers across the United States.

Tom earned a bachelors degree in finance from The Ohio State University.

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff: 33 
Number of Part-Time Staff:
Number of Volunteers:
Staff Retention Rate: 63% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fundraising Plan Yes
Management Succession/Training Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Years Plan Considers 4
Current Plan Adopted 1/2016
Additional Organization Information

Ohio 2-1-1, Ohio Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, Tax Time, Franklin County Children Services, and Community Shelter Board.

National Accreditations Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS) - Accreditation
National Affiliations Points of Light Institute/HandsOn Network


Local Governing Board
Board Chair Mr. E. Phillip Smith,
Board Chair Term 7/2015 -  6/2018  
Board Members
Ms. Melissa Blount-Garner,  
Ms. Candy Carr,  
Ms. Strauss Catherine,  
Mr. Larry Costello,  
Mr. Greg Filipkowski,  
Mr. Ryan Hecht,  
Mr. Chetan Kandhari,  
Ms. Michele Kothe,  
Mr. Aaron McClendon,  
Mr. Ervan Rodgers II,  
Ms. Amy Schultz Clubbs,  
Mr. Donald Wells,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 52% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 108%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 108%
Gender Female 36%
  Male 64%
Race African-American/Black 36%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 7%
  Caucasian 57%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


Homeless Hotline

In partnership with the Community Shelter Board, the Homeless Hotline Program provides emergency shelter diversion, triage, and intake services for single adults and families experiencing homelessness in Franklin County. Additionally, all families in need of overnight shelter meet with HandsOn's enhanced family diversion staff to further explore what brought them to homelessness, identify any personal resources available to them, and empower families in a final attempt to find an alternative to shelter.

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Corporate Volunteer Service Management

Corporate Volunteer Service Management provides start-to-finish volunteer service management and associate engagement experiences for employers. Corporate and business communities represent one of the most powerful forces for change in our nation, and when their employees invest their expertise and financial resources, corporations can strengthen communities and solve critical social problems. HandsOn Central Ohio works with corporations and organizations of all sizes to engage employees in volunteer community service and help them achieve their corporate social responsibility goals.

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Information and Referral Services

A comprehensive information and referral line provides information on thousands of social service, government, and community resources to help find a solution to any need. Free and confidential, 2-1-1 is available throughout Franklin County 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers can also tap into Foodline, where referral specialists assess callers’ needs—including distance from a food pantry, time of day, and pantry preference—and connect residents with a food pantry or soup kitchen. Additionally, HandsOn Central Ohio coordinates taxi transportation for Franklin County Children Services and schedules free tax preparation appointments during tax season.


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Community Engagement

HandsOn Central Ohio connects individuals, groups, and organizations with volunteer opportunities through the online project calendar, HandsOn Connect. The agency also coordinates National Days of Service, including Make A Difference Day; 9/11 Day of Service; MLK Day of Service; and National Volunteer Week.

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2016
Projected Revenue $2,985,931
Projected Expense $2,956,004
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? No

Revenues by Source

  2015   2014   2013  
Total Direct Support $154,503  $298,542  $262,034 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $154,503  $298,542  $262,034 
Government $2,105,222  $2,178,236  $1,470,689 
Indirect Public Support $354,799  $542,766  $327,619 
Earned Revenue $56,226  $184,475  $107,539 
Interest and Dividends
Membership Dues
Special Events
In-kind $18,538  $20,576  $28,412 
TOTAL REVENUE $2,689,288  $3,224,595  $2,196,293 

Expense by Type

  2015   2014   2013  
Programs $2,210,610  $2,180,726  $2,122,421 
Administration $370,045  $325,481  $161,138 
Fundraising $147,091  $15,658  $37,994 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $2,727,746  $2,521,865  $2,321,553 

Assets and Liabilities

  2015   2014   2013  
Total Assets $1,712,025  $1,741,745  $935,005 
Current Assets $1,035,349  $1,156,752  $440,890 
Total Liabilities $419,774  $368,280  $337,868 
Current Liabilities $360,210  $368,280  $337,868 
NET ASSETS $1,292,251  $1,373,465  $597,137 


TCF Staff:
Documents Form 990 2014 Form 990 2013

All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.