AEP Foundation Partners with Columbus Foundation to Support the Critical Need Alert and Extend Matching Dollars

Print Email Facebook Twitter
Matching funds are available immediately for the community

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 3, 2009 –The American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation will donate $200,000 to respond to The Columbus Foundation’s Critical Need Alert and the creation of the Safety Net Fund to help 20 area nonprofit organizations offer food and housing to people in need in central Ohio.

“Our decision to join with The Columbus Foundation in this effort is simple,” said Michael G. Morris, chairman of The AEP Foundation and AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “People in our community are feeling the impact of the economic downturn. We know that an increasing number of families and individuals are in crisis, and we want to help ensure that they have the most essential of life’s necessities—food to eat and a warm, safe place to sleep.”

The Columbus Foundation launched the Safety Net Fund campaign Feb. 26 to encourage individuals and companies to make financial gifts to benefit 20 area nonprofit organizations that make emergency shelter and food pantries available to central Ohioans. So far, the campaign has raised more than $1.1 million. The AEP Foundation is committing $100,000 to help the campaign reach its goal of $1.2 million and an additional $100,000 to match dollars contributed by new donors.

“We celebrate this generous gift from The AEP Foundation,” said Columbus Foundation President and CEO Doug Kridler. “This gift will both support and extend the Safety Net Fund and more individuals and families will receive the help they need. This partnership reflects the sense of community that defines Columbus, and we applaud The AEP Foundation’s responsive and timely investment.”

Inspired by a challenge from one of its donors, The Columbus Foundation created the Safety Net Fund and secured $400,000 in matching funds to kick off this effort. Every $1 contributed by individuals or corporations will be matched by 50 cents until the matching dollars are exhausted. The Columbus Foundation introduced online matching campaigns last year when it launched an online database of nonprofit organizations, PowerPhilanthropy®.

According to a forecast released in January 2009 by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Columbus’ unemployment rate will rise to 8.9 percent by the end of the year – the highest since June 1983. The Critical Need Alert’s goal is to help fill the current funding gap many nonprofit agencies are realizing, so people in need can continue to be served adequately.

Those interested in donating may do so by credit card through the PowerPhilanthropy Web site at For questions about how to give toward the Safety Net Fund, call The Columbus Foundation at 614/251-4000.

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor to 1,700 individuals, families, and businesses, who have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for 65 years, The Columbus Foundation is one of the 10 largest community foundations in the United States today.

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

Print Email Facebook Twitter
Tammy Ridout
Corporate Media Relations
American Electric Power

Carol Harmon
Director, Communications and Marketing
The Columbus Foundation