German Village Gazette

Village Notebook

'Impact Report' shows Villagers are moving the needle

We have so much to celebrate -- such a significant impact to report in the past 12 months.

We are just a couple of days past our annual meeting, where we also revealed a beautiful all-digital online annual report.

Our 2013 annual report had a theme of celebrating our accomplishments, and we re-branded it as an "impact report" because we know we're moving the needle with our projects and programs.

How? I'm so glad you asked. (And if you want to know more, go to germanvillage.com and click on "impact report.")

We've welcomed more than 6,000 people through our Visitors Center this year who just wandered in during their tour of German Village.

These are folks from throughout the world who had a friend or travel consultant or social media link tell them: if you're headed to Columbus, you have to stop in German Village.

Our 45 regular Visitors Center volunteers greet them, imbue them with a sense of our history and send them out the door armed with a map and a better understanding of why they were recommended to us.

Add to that more than 1,250 visitors who took one of 41 guided tours from our dozen volunteer docents.

In the past 12 months, we reaped grant money totaling nearly $525,000, and sponsorships totaling more than $110,000.

Taken together, that is a story of Central Ohio understanding the unique urban gem we are and choosing to invest in our future.

We expect those relationships to continue to grow and underwrite the critical needs list we have created here together -- things such as hiring an historic preservation expert and creating an historic signage plan -- that we know undergird our ability to stay an authentic, 21st-century neighborhood dear to residents across the region.

Our parks and our public spaces are part of what makes us so unique and so sought-out by neighbors from across downtown and the South Side.

Those residents and business owners voted with their checkbooks during the first Bloomin' Fund fundraising project this spring -- a combined ask in behalf of Friends of Schiller and the German Village Garten Club, who work together to keep the neighborhood beautiful.

The Bloomin' Fund raised more than $6,000 from folks who want to see it stay beautiful.

Our Historic Preservation Committee has listened, researched and guided a conversation about the principles at the core of our mission.

Civic Relations has undertaken a parking solution, and is about to dive headfirst into the details that will finally restore safety and historic fabric to the Third Street corridor.

Membership is growing -- both in dollars raised and numbers participating.

Organization Development is thinking in fresh ways about how we recruit, nurture and train our emerging leaders.

Long-Range Planning has partnered with COTA, Car2Go and CoGo to think through transportation options, and turns next to how we become relevant as a Society to renters and landlords.

Our business community, an amazing resource and compliment to our residential neighbors, has also attracted new members, thrown two amazingly successful events, and has stepped up as a group and individually to more fully perpetuate and support the work of German Village Society.

The leadership our entrepreneurs show in their investment, pride and service to our neighborhood is a cornerstone element and is what drives people to German Village and makes us so special.

And, by far most importantly, all of these things happen through the drive, dedication, time, talent and treasure of more than 350 regular volunteers.

The above list of tremendous accomplishments simply can't happen with only two full-time staff members and a handful of contract workers.

This neighborhood and this organization bounds forward thanks to the dedication of volunteers who care.

I am humbled to serve them and carry out their vision.

They are the biggest gift and have the biggest impact that any nonprofit could ever hope to attain.

German Village Society Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.

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