Our Story

History of Cause Collaborative

Cause Collaborative was established by Fulcrum Creatives in collaboration with partner, Community Shares of Mid-Ohio, in 2011 as a way to give resources back to the community–especially to smaller to mid sized nonprofits struggling to attain professional development services. The goal has always been to connect nonprofit and social entrepreneur professionals with industry experts for a day of interactive discussion, advice and networking opportunities. 

In it's pilot year at Wild Goose Creative, Cause Collaborative featured a lineup of panels discussing:

  • The Cost of Free
  • Nontraditional Fundraising
  • Building & Maintaining Your Brand

Some of the speakers represented for these topics included: 

  • Lourdes Barroso de Padilla, Executive Director of City Year Columbus
  • Jami Goldstein, VP of Marketing at Greater Columbus Arts Council
  • Christine Hurtubise, Senior Marketing Director of COSI.

The second event was also located at Wild Goose.

Panel Topics of Discussion:

  • Collecting and Leveraging Data
  • Strategy and Planning
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • PR for Small And Medium Nonprofits in Columbus

Some panelists included:

The 2013 edition was hosted at Seventh Son Brewing Co. 

Panel Topics of Discussion:

  • Operational Support
  • Pathways To Online Giving
  • CRM and Database
  • Board Development

Some panelists included:

This year, a special pre-event happy hour was also planned as a fun way to meet potential speakers and attendees.

Emily Campbell, The Art and Science of Making the Ask (Development) 

Emily Campbell, The Art and Science of Making the Ask (Development) 

Held at the Short North Stage Garden Theatre, 2015 was the first year the event completely opted out of panel discussions in favor of intimate, interactive sessions presented by single speakers. Overall, the event brought in 76 attendees from local nonprofits and social enterprises. 

Topics of Discussion:

2015 was also the first year in which the event leveraged sponsorship opportunities to help fund expenses and add value to the experience. Additionally, th event received a brand makeover! 


Jennifer McNally and Diego Espino of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

Jennifer McNally and Diego Espino of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

Held at the MadLab Theatre, the 2016 Cause Collab event offered a combination of solo and panel discussions.

Crisis Communications

Dual presentation with Jennifer McNally, Board Chair and Diego Santino, VP of Community Engagement at Planned Parenthood, of Greater Ohio. Jennifer and Diego used personal experiences of working at Planned Parenthood during the fraudulent video scandal of 2015 to educate attendees about the difference between bad news, and a full-blown crisis. They then shared an outline for how to create an effective crisis communication plan, so your organization can be ready to handle the good, the bad and the ugly.

Change Management

George Needham, Library Director at Delaware County Library, shared his insights in the library industry for how to maintain relevance in an ever changing society. Libraries for example, have been fighting more and more to maintain relevancy in a Goolge-It era. George shared how he created a sense of urgency, shared that urgency with his team, and rallied them together for response. By leveraging focus groups to look at their organization from the “outside in,” Delaware County Library has been able to digitize some of their service offerings and change the way they operate to maintain relevancy.

Emerging Social Enterprises

A panel discussion moderated by Allen Proctor, President of the Center for Social Enterprise Development, allowed attendees an inside look at the ups and downs of three, local nonprofits in transition of becoming a social enterprise through the Center’s SE catalyst accelerator program. Panelists shared their progress stories to date in addition to advice for those considering the transition for themselves.



2017 - The Present

Hosted at Columbus College of Art and Design, 2017 is the first year the event has assembled a full planning team of community volunteers to help plan the initiative. It's also the first year in which the event is specifically focused towards the arts sector, introducing the theme: Art Unites Us. Right now, the arts in particular are facing a plethora of challenges that are hindering them from thriving. The 2017 keynote topics offer solutions directly in response to what has been identified as the top two primary threats : 

  • Political shifts, threatened federal funding for the National Endowment for The Arts (Fundraising, Strategic Planning)
  • Unequal representation of color and access to resources (Diversity and Inclusion)

These keynotes makeup the largest lineup in Cause Collab history, in addition to two interactive breakout sessions and a plenary workshop sponsored by the United Way of Central Ohio Neighborhood Partner Center.

See the full 2017 line up and save your seat today.