HandsOn Central Ohio
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195 North Grant Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215
Mr. Ernest Perry, PMP
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CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Ernest Perry, PMP
President & CEO
Board Chair
Mr. Anthony Sharett
Bricker & Eckler

To inspire, equip, and mobilize people to create meaningful change in their lives and in their community.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • HandsOn Central Ohio's board and and senior staff completed a collaborative leadership development and succession planning initiative with Catholic Social Services, Action for Children, and Center of Vocational Alternatives (COVA), supported by The Columbus Foundation. The initiative included establishment of competencies for the organization, board, and senior staff; emergency succession planning; and necessary training to implement the plan when necessary. We successfully implemented the lessons learned when on-boarding three new senior staff.

  • HandsOn Central Ohio successfully converted its 2-1-1 human service database to a new platform, REFER. This, combined with memorandums of understanding (MOU) with 2-1-1 providers in Toledo and Cleveland, allows us to assist these organizations in the event of a disaster, power failure, or excess call volume. We also have the capability to assist Akron, Dayton, and Cincinnati and to purchase specialized programs from the vendor at a lower cost. One example of this is the Earned Income Tax Credit appointment system, supported by the United Way of Central Ohio.

  • We were selected by the national HandsOn Network (Points of Light) to host two major trainings.

    • Ready Set Go! is a program designed to increase youth and family volunteer opportunities in central Ohio. Through a partnership with GenerationOn, the youth division of the national HandsOn network, we trained and engaged 35 nonprofit partners during seminars designed to explore issues, barriers, and trepidation related to creating youth and family volunteer opportunities. We also created a series of webinars that are being used around the country.
    • Disaster Boot Camp trained 25 HandsOn affiliates on the role of volunteer centers in disasters on topics that included preparing sites and having MOUs with organizations and faith-based facilities that could host volunteer reception centers for unaffiliated volunteers to be processed and assigned.
  • We successfully managed volunteer engagement at two major events.

    • Sixth Urban Area Security Initiative Conference: As a member of the Columbus Homeland Security Advisory Committee, we were identified as the subject matter expert for volunteer engagement in the preparedness community. In this role, we led the volunteer branch of the conference committee, attracting more than 100 volunteers to sign up through HandsOn Connect and actively participate in the conference.
    • International ECO Summit: Volunteers were given the opportunity to attend the conference on the day of their volunteer assignment.
  • We were awarded the contract to be the coordinated point of access for the adult, single, homeless system by the Community Shelter Board, providing efficiencies for clients and providers.

2013 GOALS

  • We will raise $120,000, in addition to the $40,000 already committed, to replace our outdated telephone system. The new system, through Windstream, will provide us with a web-based phone system with a call-back feature, eliminating long wait times for clients and allowing us to answer more calls. The switching station for the Windstream system will be located in our building, allowing for immediate redundancy in the event of weather or electrical issues.

  • Through funding from the Harry C. Morres Foundation, we will work with the software developer, RTM, to develop an upgrade to our Foodline appointment system for Athens, Franklin, and Scioto counties that enables staff to create efficiencies by having all programs on one computer. This will reduce wait times, allow us to service more clients, and enable us to provide referrals or appointments for any unmet need.

  • We will expand 2-1-1 services in counties that do not currently offer the service. By June 2013, Scioto County will have the servcies through a partnership with United Appeal of Scioto County. We will approach Hocking, Logan, Madison, Meigs, and Vinton counties to determine their interest and capacity to support these services. Additionally, we will seek re-accreditation through the Alliance for Information and Referral services.

  • We will offer a nonprofit certification program in partnership with Otterbein University, as the partnership with The Ohio State University comes to an end in 2013. Courses include grantwriting; branding, marketing, and public relations; accounting; strategic planning; building a business plan; starting a nonprofit; leadership ethics; volunteer project management; and fundraising. Teachers will include Otterbein professors, adjunct faculty members, HandsOn staff, and community volunteers.

  • We will increase our earned income through volunteer management at conferences through HandsOn Connect, web-banner sales, and training webinars and workshops that offer an alternative to in-person trainings.

Background Statement

HandsOn Central Ohio traces its roots to the early 1970s when the Volunteer Action Center (VAC) was formed by the Junior League of Columbus to match volunteers to boards, nonprofits, and other community service opportunities. Its purpose was to serve as a clearinghouse of activities to engage citizens in volunteer service in central Ohio. In 1975, another organization was formed that served primarily as an information and referral service for professionals to direct their clients to government and nonprofit agencies that would assist them in finding solutions to challenges they were facing in their lives. This group, known as CALL, became Columbus' first community information and referral provider.

After years of informal collaboration, the staffs and resources of the two agencies were consolidated to form CALLVAC. This marked the first time that central Ohio residents had access to a one-stop shop for information on both nonprofit and government programs and community volunteerism. CALLVAC continued to grow in complexity as it strived to meet the spectrum of community needs. To reflect its transformation into an organization that possessed a scope far greater than information and referral services, CALLVAC was renamed FIRSTLINK and launched a new brand identity in 1995.

The visibility of the agency was raised to the international level under the leadership of President & CEO Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher when she was elected to serve as the U.S. representative to the International Association of Volunteer Efforts. In April 2010, the agency re-branded itself to become HandsOn Central Ohio. HandsOn Central Ohio is a multifaceted organization with a diversity of programs connecting those in need to resources and matching available volunteers to the nonprofit sector. The organization has adapted to the needs of the community, reflecting the challenges facing individuals and families in our ever-changing region.

Statement from Mr. Ernest Perry, PMP, President & CEO

Change has always been a dynamic force in the evolution and advancement of our great nation. American entrepreneur Jim Rohn is credited with saying: Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change. This statement proved to be true in the past year for HandsOn Central Ohio as we embraced new technology, explored new partnerships, developed new programs, and improved and expanded the scope of our work in the central Ohio community. Change was at the center of our growth and enabled us to increase the positive impact we have on the lives of our neighbors. New strategies and opportunities bring new energy to our agency. The immediate future holds the promise of more change for HandsOn, as we continue the dynamic use of technology to improve and enhance our services, and as we expand the reach of our services into more communities. HandsOn is poised to accommodate this change and meet the needs of central Ohio and beyond.

Statement from Mr. Anthony Sharett , Bricker & Eckler

Serving as president of the HandsOn Central Ohio board of trustees enables me to witness first-hand how our community is shaped by citizens acting on the impulse to provide a helping hand. One of the most educational and energizing experiences I had this past year occurred when I participated in the HandsOn Network Innovation Hub retreat. There, I interacted with board presidents and executive directors from around the country. Alongside these thought leaders, we shared best practices and gleaned some great program and service ideas. I learned that the challenges we face in these difficult economic times are common among nonprofits nationally. HandsOn is well positioned to meet these challenges head on, thanks to the work of our board, staff, volunteers, and the generosity of our partners and sponsors. It is exciting to be involved with this innovative organization that engages citizens and connects groups and communities to make our world a better place.



Mr. Ernest Perry, PMP, President & CEO
Term Start 5 /2013 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

Ernest Perry joined HandsOn Central Ohio as executive director in 2013. A native of Columbus, Mr. Perry served as executive director of Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley and Junior Achievement of Greater Reading and the Lehigh Valley. He is a gratuate of Miami University and holds graduate degrees from both Miami University and The Ohio State University.

Ms. Sue Hamilton, Vice President Administration
Biographical Statement

Ms. Hamilton came to HandsOn in March 2012 as vice president of administration. Her experience includes director of internal audit and chief of operations at the Office of the Ohio Attorney General; chief of operations and investment coordinator at the Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State; and chief of programs at the Office of Franklin County Treasurer. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Franklin University and a BS of business administration from The Ohio State University.

Ms. Stephanie Andrian, Vice President Information/Disaster Management
Biographical Statement

Ms. Andrian came to HandsOn in March 2012 as vice president of information and disaster management. Her professional employment includes chief operating officer of recovery and prevention resources, program director at COVA, and intake caseworker at Franklin County Children Services. Her experiences include assessing and preparing an agency for accreditation, grantwriting, designing performance goals, and developing workshops on a variety of topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Otterbein University and a Master of Science from University of Dayton.

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff: 22 
Number of Part-Time Staff: 17 
Number of Volunteers: 2957 
Staff Retention Rate: 55% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Management Succession/Training Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Strategic Plan No
Additional Organization Information

Franklin County Citizen Corps Council; Ohio Citizen Corps Council; Mentoring Center of Central Ohio; Franklin County Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security Advisory Committee; Central Ohio Public Information Network; Ohio 2-1-1; Ohio Alliance of Information and Referral Systems; Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition; Franklin County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition; Franklin County Foreclosure Coalition; and Nationwide Children's Hospital Medicaid program.


Local Governing Board
Board Co-Chair Ms. Nicole Seals, UPS
Board Chair Term 7/2011 -  6/2013  
Board Co-Chair Mr. Anthony Sharett, Bricker & Eckler
Board Chair Term 7/2011 -  6/2013  
Board Members
Ms. Melissa Blount-Gardner, Emerald Bank  
Ms. Betty Clark, Carlisle, Patchen and Murphy LLP  
Ms. Stefphanie Harper, Carlile Patchen & Murphy  
Mr. Ryan Hecht, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis  
Judge Timothy Horton, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas  
Mr. Daniel Hurley, Crabbe Brown & James, LLP  
Ms. Kimberly James, Schneider Downs  
Ms. Megan Kleinman, Mary Slane Financial  
Mr. Christopher L. Miller, Schottenstein Zox & Dunn  
Ms. Amy Schultz Clubbs, The Huntington National Bank  
Mr. E. Phillip Smith, Nationwide  
Ms. Tracy Townsend, Merrill Lynch  
Ms. Jenny Whipple, The Huntington National Bank  
Ms. Qiana Williams, Franklin University  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 77% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 100%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 50%


Gender Female 68%
  Male 31%
Race African-American/Black 25%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0%
  Caucasian 75%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%

Advisory Board

No members in the Advisory Board.


Volunteer Services

HandsOn Central Ohio is the local affiliate of the HandsOn Network. We offer volunteer projects through the management of trained volunteer project leaders. Individual volunteer opportunities can be found on our website and staff works with individuals to match them with the volunteer experience that meets their need.

  • We are the sponsor of the federal programs of Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP); Foster Grand Parent; and Americorps/VISTA.
  • The Beyond the Freeway Tour is a glimpse of what life is like for local residents who live at or below the federal poverty line; and Disaster/Homeland Security/Ohio Citizen Corps engages and trains citizens who can be available during a disaster.
  • The Dental Options program recruits dentist to volunteer their services to income-eligible adults in need of emergency dental care.

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Online Community Resources

With the Directory Online, central Ohioans can access valuable resource information anywhere, anytime. HandsOn Central Ohio files are uploaded to the Directory Online subscriber database weekly, granting access to the most current information available with the stroke of a key. The Directory Online features user-friendly alphabetical, subject, and geographical indexes and includes in-depth service descriptions, eligibility requirements, service boundaries, and separate nonprofit and government search functions.

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Dental Options

Dental Options assists low-income adults with special healthcare requirements and breaks down financial barriers to obtaining the critical dental care needed. Members of our staff match volunteer dentists with individuals in need of dental care.

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Information and Referral Services/2-1-1

Our comprehensive information and referral service connects those in need with 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. Foodlink connects people to a food pantry or soup kitchen that can help them meet an immediate need. We assess specific needs, including distance from pantry, time of day, and special dietary needs the individual or family may have. In one year, our specialists, assisted by volunteers on the Foodline, answer more than 360,000 calls.

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Nonprofit Management and Volunteer Training

We offer year-round training sessions designed to provide skills to those in community service who will benefit a nonprofit organization and receive valuable networking opportunities. Otterbein University, together with HandsOn Central Ohio, is offering a nonprofit leadership certification program. Training and consultation services include areas such as retreat and meeting facilitation, board development and strengthening, board orientation, strategic planning, volunteer management, and creating a nonprofit. Boardlink works with nonprofit agencies on a case-by-case basis to manage and develop productive boards of directors. Through this program, we connect volunteers interested in serving on the governing or advisory board of a nonprofit with more than 900 agencies in Franklin County.

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 07/01/2012 - 06/30/2013
Projected Revenue $2,473,176
Projected Expense $2,546,880
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? No

Revenues by Source

  2012   2011   2010  
Total Direct Support $175,871  $256,918  $184,304 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $175,871  $256,918  $184,304 
Government $1,431,373  $1,547,478  $1,389,164 
Indirect Public Support $314,881  $296,885  $313,897 
Earned Revenue $182,662  $171,865  $71,478 
Interest and Dividends
Membership Dues
Special Events
In-kind $31,277  $42,021  $93,565 
TOTAL REVENUE $2,136,064  $2,315,167  $2,052,408 

Expense by Type

  2012   2011   2010  
Programs $2,168,376  $2,066,509  $2,177,824 
Administration $147,523  $163,885  $173,961 
Fundraising $19,376  $13,941  $4,753 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $2,335,275  $2,244,335  $2,356,538 

Assets and Liabilities

  2012   2011   2010  
Total Assets $899,713  $1,077,396  $1,057,774 
Current Assets $346,316  $538,066  $501,426 
Total Liabilities $210,373  $236,310  $320,085 
Current Liabilities $210,373  $231,021  $305,045 
NET ASSETS $689,340  $841,086  $737,689 


TCF Staff:
Documents Form 990 2011 Form 990 2010

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.