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. Christopher L. Miller
Ice Miller, LLP

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

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We launched a nonprofit volunteer manager forum to provide a platform to amplify the impact of local volunteer programs. Open to anyone who manages volunteers, it is an excellent opportunity for professional networking and development.

  • We grew the strength and profile of our board by adding Ervan D. Rodgers, Chetan Kandhari, Aaron McClendon, and Candy Carr.

  • We launched our Foodline Mobile Scheduling initiative that provides South Side, North Linden, and Franklinton residents the opportunity to schedule food pantry appointments via text message or online chat.

2015 GOALS

  • We will challenge greater Columbus employers to enroll in the corporate volunteer service partnership.

  • We will close gaps in services for greater Columbus residents.

  • We will champion collective approaches to impacting greater Columbus' key issue areas and priority neighborhoods.

Background Statement

HandsOn Central Ohio traces its roots to the mid-1980s merger of two existing organizations: the Volunteer Action Center (VAC), a clearinghouse of activities to engage volunteers in central Ohio, and; CALL, Columbus’ first community information and referral provider. The result was a one-stop shop for information on both nonprofit and government programs, and volunteerism--CALLVAC. As the organization continued to grow to meet the spectrum of community needs, CALLVAC launched a new brand identity and was renamed FIRSTLINK in 1995.

The agency’s volunteer programs continued to grow, and FIRSTLINK developed ties with national organizations, including the National Council of Volunteer Centers and the Points of Light Foundation. From there, the relationship grew with the HandsOn Network, the largest volunteer network in the nation. In 2010, FIRSTLINK became the HandsOn Network affiliate in central Ohio.

Today, HandsOn Central Ohio inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to create meaningful change in their lives and in their community. The agency is the region’s premiere information, resource referral, and volunteer mobilization organization, serving greater Columbus for nearly 30 years. HandsOn Central Ohio serves more than 500,000 people across 29 Ohio counties each year by providing community insights and access to critical needs. HandsOn Central Ohio leverages volunteer support to provide access to safe and warm housing; nutritious meals; improved academic, social, and emotional outcomes for young people; better public health; and strengthen central Ohio’s neighborhoods.

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

HandsOn Central Ohio is a dynamic social enterprise organization with a rich history of service in our home community. We are proud of the partnerships we have that make central Ohio a great place to live, learn, and lead. We are even prouder of the work we do each day, with more than 1,000 program and service partners and nearly 10,000 volunteers, to sustain Columbus' success.

Statement from Mr. Christopher L. Miller , Ice Miller, LLP

Serving as president of the HandsOn Central Ohio board of directors has provided me with the opportunity to witness firsthand the great need in our community for human services and volunteer engagement. Thanks to the dedication of our board, staff, volunteers, community partners, and supporters, HandsOn Central Ohio has created a coordinated pathway for individuals and organizations to obtain needed resources and provide valuable assistance. I am proud that HandsOn Central Ohio continues to engage citizens, connect communities, and initiate change to improve the lives of the residents of central Ohio.



Mr. Ernest Perry, PMP, 
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.  

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff: 27 
Number of Part-Time Staff: 21 
Number of Volunteers: 23 
Staff Retention Rate: 58% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fundraising Plan Yes
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; Tax Time; Columbus Rotary Service Above Self; 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. Christopher L. Miller,
Board Chair Term 6/2013 -  7/2015  
Board Members
Ms. Melissa Blount-Gardner,  
Ms. Candy Carr,  
Ms. Betty Clark,  
Mr. Larry Costello,  
Mr. Ryan Hecht,  
Judge Timothy Horton,  
Mr. Daniel Hurley,  
Mr. Chetan Kandhari,  
Ms. Megan Kleinman,  
Mr. Aaron McClendon,  
Mr. Ervan Rodgers II,  
Ms. Amy Schultz Clubbs,  
Mr. E. Phillip Smith,  
Ms. Tracy Townsend,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 74% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 100%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 100%
Gender Female 40%
  Male 60%
Race African-American/Black 33%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 7%
  Caucasian 60%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


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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Senior Corps

Senior Corps includes the RSVP and Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), two national initiatives that engage older adults in meaningful volunteer service. RSVP is the largest volunteer network in the nation for those 55 and over, providing volunteer opportunities for older adults to utilize their experiences and interests on a regular basis in a variety of settings throughout our community. Most volunteers are placed at sites that focus on the “healthy futures” of our community and help older adults maintain independence—generally through senior transportation, Meals on Wheels, community gardening, and teaching classes at senior centers. FGP provides opportunities for children with special needs to receive one-on-one tutoring and mentoring from low-income, older adults who receive a stipend for their service. FGP participants provide tutoring, mentoring, and emotional support in elementary schools, Head Start centers, and developmental disability agencies.

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HandsOn Central Ohio is responsible for the administration of the statewide Dental OPTIONS program in 29 counties in Ohio. As a joint partnership between the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Dental Association, the mission of the program is to assist Ohioans with special healthcare needs and/or financial barriers to obtain dental care (including dentures, partials, root canals, braces for children and teens, and wisdom teeth extraction). Dental OPTIONS patients are primarily adults, and many are the working poor or older adults with fixed incomes. To be eligible, patients must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, without dental insurance, and unable to qualify for Medicaid.

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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, schedules free tax preparation appointments during tax season, and acts as the coordinated point of access for the county's single adult homeless shelter system.


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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 07/01/2014 - 06/30/2015
Projected Revenue $2,895,350
Projected Expense $2,782,234
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? No

Revenues by Source

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Direct Support $298,542  $262,034  $175,871 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $298,542  $262,034  $175,871 
Government $2,178,236  $1,470,689  $1,431,373 
Indirect Public Support $542,766  $327,619  $314,881 
Earned Revenue $184,475  $107,539  $182,662 
Interest and Dividends
Membership Dues
Special Events
In-kind $20,576  $28,412  $31,277 
TOTAL REVENUE $3,224,595  $2,196,293  $2,136,064 

Expense by Type

  2014   2013   2012  
Programs $2,180,726  $2,122,421  $2,168,376 
Administration $325,481  $161,138  $147,523 
Fundraising $15,658  $37,994  $19,376 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $2,521,865  $2,321,553  $2,335,275 

Assets and Liabilities

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Assets $1,741,745  $935,005  $899,713 
Current Assets $1,156,752  $440,890  $346,316 
Total Liabilities $368,280  $337,868  $210,373 
Current Liabilities $368,280  $337,868  $210,373 
NET ASSETS $1,373,465  $597,137  $689,340 


TCF Staff:
Documents Form 990 2013 Form 990 2012

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.