Young Womens Christian Association

Eliminating Racism Empowering Women

aka YWCA Columbus   |   Columbus, OH   |


YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Elizabeth Clarke Brown

Main address

65 S 4th St

Columbus, OH 43215 USA

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NTEE code info


Human Service Organizations (P20)

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

YWCA Columbus is one of the 225 affiliates of YWCA USA. While all affiliated YWCA branches share the same mission, the programs offered are designed to match the needs of the local community and are independently operated and funded. Here at YWCA Columbus, the services provided are linked by a common thread-our dedication to promoting racial justice and personal empowerment. • YWCA Family Center, an emergency shelter for the family shelter system provides services for homeless families, connecting them with resources to find permanent housing. • Women's Residency, a supportive housing program in the newly-renovated Center for Women currently houses 91 formerly homeless women who have a disability. • School-aged childcare. • Leadership programs that include mentoring middle school girls, and leadership development for women in their twenties and thirties, and special events such as Women of Achievement and Activist and Agitators.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The YWCA Family Center

In 2005, YWCA Columbus responded to a community call to take over emergency shelter and services for families without homes. Many are working poor and unable to meet high housing costs; many are women raising children alone. The 50-room center offers these families safety and support, a place where they can get three healthy meals a day and a warm, secure place to sleep. With their basic needs provided, parents can concentrate on moving forward, using the job-and-housing-search resources, transportation services and the five-star Step Up To Quality rated Safe & Sound child care program.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

When someone is down, we believe it’s our responsibility to lift them up. For women recovering from addiction, weathering disability or mental illness, or navigating job loss and low incomes, the recently renovated Women’s Residency Program provides 91 units that include private kitchens, bathrooms and living space. Through safe, long-term subsidized housing, employment and education resources and healthcare, YWCA Columbus enables these women to live independently, with pride and dignity.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
People with disabilities

The youth component of the Women of Achievement program recognizes 11th grade young women. The program provides participants with leadership skills training, personal and professional development, as well as social awareness. Students participate in six intensive leadership conferences and two community services throughout the year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

YWCA Kids Place has more than 30 years of experience providing affordable, dependable, and high-quality year-round child care for families in the Gahanna and Westerville school districts. Our programs are conveniently located in your child’s elementary school to promote consistency and continuity for your child’s transition from school to Kids Place.

All of our programs are Step Up to Quality star-rated, using a comprehensive curriculum that includes choice-based learning, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), social-emotional development, and physical fitness. Additionally, in lock-step with the mission of YWCA Columbus, social action and advocacy are promoted by participating in community service projects that benefit non-profit programs in the community.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We believe we have a responsibility to educate and empower the next generation of women leaders. This program engages young women at the beginning of their careers, helping them understand how discriminatory practices, policies and beliefs produce various forms of inequity. Armed with insight, program participants are better prepared to speak up and act out on behalf of themselves and others.

Through our 10-month learning experience, emerging leaders engage in workshops with community experts working in organizations that create social change. Experts come from grassroots, political, community-based, educational and nonprofit organizations to help participants develop practical and theoretical knowledge about current issues and current models for creating change.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Women and girls

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Empower women
~We will be a beacon of good in our community so that with each new generation we’re all braver, wiser and kinder.

Children’s programs

Serve women on the economic margin
~We will create a community of safety and support for women and families.
Women’s Residency Program
Family Center

Elevate voice and increase impact of racial justice
~We will confront uncomfortable truths about prejudice and poverty.

Leadership for Social Change
Bright Futures
Community Convening/Conversations
Women of Achievement
Activists and Agitators

As an agency dedicated to promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity, we stand committed to dismantling systemic racism in our city, state, and nation.
• We continue to fulfill the advocacy and engagement agenda we established in 2019, which includes fighting for policies and practices that remove barriers created by racism and inequity. We promote long-term housing stability and security, economic mobility for women and people of color, and investments in young women and children.
• In June 2020, President and CEO Christie Angel helped form a Coalition of African American leaders in Columbus, Ohio. The group developed an initial agenda to reform practices that reinforce systemic racism in Central Ohio.
• Our Leadership and Social Justice team partnered with the City of Columbus’s Health Commissioner and Equity Team to declare racism a public health crisis. Through opeds and testimony, our work led to both the City of Columbus and Franklin County adopting the declaration.
• Shared information and resources with Ohio Council of YWCAs and other counties in neighboring states to support passing their own resolutions to address racism as a public health issue, which has now occurred in at least nine other counties in Ohio, all of which have YWCA affiliations.
• Currently, we are advocating for the State of Ohio to declare racism a public health crisis.
• Members of our leadership and Social Justice team serve on the City’s Commission on Black Girls and provided revisions to the upcoming report on the quality of life of Black girls in Central Ohio

The Family Center, built in 2005, was the first emergency shelter in the region to stabilize homeless families. We know the population that we serve and provide appropriate and comprehensive training. We are not the only emergency shelter serving families in Franklin County. We work closely with our partners at YMCA Van Buren. Having two shelters is an asset, especially during COVID-19, when separating the population in two locations helps avoid community spread. Through the homeless system, we have daily on-going communication and strategize about how to jointly meet the needs of homeless families during this time.

Because of the YWCA’s commitment to social justice, we are not just concerned about the families’ immediate crisis, but we are also engaged in finding policy solutions to address structural issues such as institutional racism that have held families back. With COVID-19, we are leading conversations on how health and income disparities leave African-Americans vulnerable right now. YWCA Columbus is partnering with other Ohio YWCAs to bring the issues facing marginalized communities to the Statehouse. Locally, YWCA has advocated for increasing affordable housing in the City of Columbus. Our organization initiates community-wide dialogues to bring allies together to share resources and insights to bring bias to light so we can see each other’s value more clearly.

Since the Governor issued his initial COVID stay-at-home order in March, we have been serving fewer people at our shelter as many sought out family and relied on stimulus checks to survive. In 2020, 111 families entered in March-June versus last year when 167 families entered in these same months. This enabled us to implement proper social distancing measures as recommended by the CDC and get the proper equipment and cleaning supplies for staff in place. However, we know this is a temporary lull as the system prepares for evictions to bring many more families to our doorstep. In fact, our July numbers are starting to rise. We are already close to capacity (50 families) and are preparing to take overflow.

We know that homelessness is stressful for children, but homelessness during a pandemic is a daunting challenge for a child. Our onsite mental health provider has
continued to serve clients and our Safe & Sound Childcare has kept doors open under a pandemic license for essential workers at reduced teacher to student ratios. YWCA also worked with community partners to make distance learning possible for school-age children. Over 170 electronic devices with built-in hot-spots were donated.

While this time has been stressful for residents and staff, we have made stronger relationships with other community homeless providers and local health partners as we developed a coordinated response to COVID. Our Workforce Development Program forged a relationship with Amazon to provide onsite interviews. This is a major help for clients who often have transportation barriers.

The financial impact has been large as we have moved scheduled fundraisers online and shuttered our afterschool revenue-generating childcare this past spring. We are tremendously grateful for the many donors who have supported us with monetary donations and supplies and the many volunteers who normally serve meals have donated money to defray meal costs in lieu of service hours. We have served 25,902 meals for residents.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Young Womens Christian Association

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Young Womens Christian Association

Board of directors
as of 05/16/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr Rebecca Butler

Columbus State Community College

Term: 2024 - 2026

Jane Grote Abell

Donatos Pizza

Colette Barricks

Hexion Inc.

Shadena M. Carter

State Auto Insurance

Shawna Davis


Eve Ellinger Buckles

State Auto Insurance

Erika Clark Jones

The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County

Aneca E. Lasley

Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

Kelly Leonard

PNC Financial Services Group

Gail Marsh

The Ohio State University

Judy Marsh

Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease

Lauren McBride

The Ohio State University

Mary Beth Sullivan

Huntington Insurance

Michelle Yeager-Thornton

The Champion Companies

Danielle Demko

Bath & Body Works

Michelle Silwonuk

JP Morgan Chase

Maribel Delfaus

Cardinal Health

Mia Hairston


Melissa Shivers

Ohio State University

Cheryl Lebens

Grange Insurance

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/9/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/16/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.