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. E. Phillip Smith
The Wasserstrom Company

Align community resources and generate data insights that strengthen central Ohio.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We partnered with Community Shelter Board to make central Ohio one of 15 communities in the US leveraging 2-1-1 as the coordinated point of access for its homeless shelter system.

  • We were named one of the "5 Nonprofits to Watch" by The Columbus Foundation.

  • We were awarded the 2016 Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award for Innovation from the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

  • We partnered with Columbus City Council and AT&T to strengthen food security in Linden, Franklinton, the Hilltop, and South Side neighborhoods, while improving the overall efficiency of food pantries serving the City of Columbus and Franklin County.


  • 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 build and support a corps of neighborhood ambassadors to strengthen and enliven central Ohio's neighborhoods.

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).

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. Ernest Perry, PMP, President & CEO

To us, the Spirit of Columbus is a sense of pride that we share when our community dares to do something great. I believe this spirit was very much alive at the founding of our organization, by a group of Columbus leaders, in order to realize something, together, that was close to impossible for any single actor to do on its own. This remains true for our community today; we find our greatest inspiration and strength through collective impact. The challenges we face as a community are too large and complex for any single institution to grapple with in isolation. And, they have taken generations to reach their current state. Only together, through sustained effort, can we move the needle in a positive direction.



Mr. Ernest Perry, PMP, 
Term Start 7/2013 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

Ernest L. Perry, Jr., PMP is president and CEO of HandsOn Central Ohio. Ernest believes that platforms, like HandsOn, are essential to bridging gaps and crossing silos in ways that drive greater and higher community outcomes, grow strong regional economies, and strengthen and sustain neighborhoods of opportunity for every Columbus resident.

Ernest is a native of Columbus’ North Linden neighborhood, and a proud graduate of Brookhaven High School. He is an alumnus of Miami University and The Ohio State University and has completed executive programs at Villanova University and Harvard Business School. Ernest resides in Columbus with his wife Kelly-Ann and daughter Madison.

Ms. Tiffany Wright, 
Biographical Statement

Tiffany T. Wright is the senior director of finance and grant administration for HandsOn Central Ohio. Tiffany is responsible for overseeing the organization’s finance and accounting activities, contract management, and ensuring financial compliance with our grant-funded projects.

Prior to joining HandsOn, Tiffany spent over a decade with OhioHealth, serving in senior accounting and finance roles throughout the organization. Most recently, she was responsible for the budgeting and financial planning process for one of Riverside Methodist Hospital’s largest service lines. 

Tiffany earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Carolina A&T State University and her master's degree in accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is married to Mo Wright and they have three daughters--India, Kenya, and Milan.

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff: 36 
Number of Part-Time Staff: 17 
Number of Volunteers: 13000 
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 -  6/2017  
Board Members
Ms. Melissa Blount-Garner,  
Ms. Candy Carr,  
Ms. Strauss Catherine,  
Mr. Larry Costello,  
Ms. Jana Croom,  
Mr. Greg Filipkowski,  
Mr. Ryan Hecht,  
Mr. Chetan Kandhari,  
Ms. Michele Kothe,  
Mr. Aaron McClendon,  
Mr. Ervan Rodgers II,  
Ms. Amy Schultz Clubbs,  
Mr. Brian Suiter,  
Mr. Donald Wells,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 52% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 93%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 93%
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.


Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program administers regional funding to a network of organizations that provide emergency mortgage, rent, and food assistance to needy residents in Columbus, Fairfield, and Franklin counties.

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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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2-1-1 Information & Referral Services

A comprehensive information and referral line provides callers with 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 them 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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Neighborhood Ambassadors

Neighborhood Ambassadors are volunteers who serve as the critical link between HandsOn Central Ohio and the communities we serve. Neighborhood Ambassadors share in HandsOn’s mission to provide coordinated community resources and generate data insights that strengthen the greater Columbus area. Ambassadors distribute important community resource information through local channels, empowering neighbors.

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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 2015 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.