A New Age for Ohio’s Oldest Non-Profit
Annual Giving + Capital Campaign + Planned Giving = Strategic Investment in the Future
The Columbus Maennerchor is moving forward with a new vision that is rooted in its past. The 162-year old organization recently sold the building that they occupied as a social club, rehearsal hall, and public banquet/restaurant facility. With this sale, the Maennerchor will move into a smaller space next door and focus on bringing German folk singing and other folk culture programs to the public.
“The young people are interested in a different style of socializing,” commented Werner Niehaus, President. “They do not want to be tied to one place for dining out or feel obligated to participate in only one type of family activity. They have many more choices.” Therefore, the Maennerchor membership will focus on programs related to singing, music, language and the other folk cultural activities. While the main themes will be German culture, they are expanding the scope to include other European and world cultutres that are represented in the Columbus area. In this way, the Maennerchor will provide the wider community more opportunities to learn about the cultures that have made such a significant contribution to the character of Columbus’ heritage.
The first phase of this new focus is to rennovate the historic building on South High Street that the Columbus Maennerchor will still occupy. They want to include young people in the process, so the Maennerchor is actively investigating partnerships with local educational programs to design and construct the space. Funding will come from a modest capital campaign and grants.
But the fundraising does not stop there. The Columbus Maennerchor intends to preserve and promote the “living memory” of German and other cultures that have made Columbus the wonderfully diverse place it is today. Therefore, they are setting up an on-going funding program that includes not only annual giving but planned giving as well. The best part of this program is that it will be implemented almost entirely by the volunteer efforts of the membership. With guidance and coaching in the PhilanthropyPlus system, the members can network and make connections that will ensure the mission of the Columbus Maennerchor is alive in perpetuity. All three activities will be worked on SIMULTANEOUSLY: capital campaign, annual funding of programs, planned giving.
The Columbus Maennerchor was begun in 1848 by 12 men who wanted to get together and sing German songs. Today, it is 300 members strong, many of them participating in one of the singing groups that include people from the ages of 7 up to 92! By connecting to the past and making strategic, intentional plans for the future, the Maennerchor will be here to entertain and enrich our lives for many generations.
(FYI – the Columbus Maennerchor restaurant is still open to the public until this summer.)