neighborhood-leadership-academyThe NLA was formed in 2012 and is sponsored by United Way and Fifth Third Bank, and Donatos. The program provides valuable training to central Ohio current and emerging community leaders in the areas of advocacy, consensus building, effective collaboration and communication skills. For more information, contact Sharon L. Ware, 614.241.3071,; or Jennifer King, 614.227.8715,

Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy

With an emphasis on Columbus’ Near East Side, this unique leadership program is designed to equip residents with the knowledge and tools to become agents of change. Participants will aspire to make a positive impact in their neighborhoods by building upon existing assets of their community.

Learning opportunities will be designed such that participants benefit from a good balance of traditional, classroom-based learning with highly-engaging experiential learning opportunities including community tours and field trips.

Click here to apply.

Southside Neighborhood Leadership Academy

United Way is proud to have launched this second Neighborhood Leadership initiative designed for Columbus Southside neighborhoods. Following the tenets of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, the Southside Neighborhood Leadership Academy seeks to engage local Southside residents in leadership development, community engagement and collaboration skills building. For additional information, contact Katelin Hansen, 614.954.2427 or


The Neighborhood Partnership Grant program provides resources to support neighborhood organizations and improvements in low and moderate income areas of Franklin County. Projects are selected on a competitive basis and are designed to increase resident involvement and community volunteerism through neighborhood improvement projects. Projects support capacity building at the neighborhood level, engage numerous stakeholder groups and showcase local talent.

Examples of projects that have received grants through the program are neighborhood clean ups, litter and graffiti abatement, neighborhood newsletters, community gardens, neighborhood gateway signage, youth leadership initiatives, civic engagement programs, health education and awareness, neighborhood documentaries, community festivals, home safety tools and educational resources, historic preservation projects, senior support activities and much more.


For more information on the Neighborhood Partnership Grants program please contact Jennifer King at or by phone at 614.227.8715.

Neighborhood Partnership Grants Reporting Form:

Click here to access the Neighborhood Partnership Grants Reporting Form. 

Learn to Improve Your Community Through the Neighborhood Training Academy

The Neighborhood Training Academy provides grassroots, small nonprofits and community residents the opportunity to improve existing skills, build or improve organizational capabilities and create new ways in developing stronger and safer neighborhoods.

United Way of Central Ohio’s Neighborhood Partnership Center (NPC)’s Training Academy and its community partners offer over 60 low cost  training in:

  • Grant Writing
  • Organizational Development
  • Financial Stability
  • Technology Building
  • Safe Homes and Neighborhoods

The Neighborhood Training Academy is made possible with the support and partnership of more than twenty local non-profit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, faith-based organizations and independent consultants. All of these organizations share in our objective of building vibrant neighborhoods.


United Way of Central Ohio has increased its efforts to improve neighborhoods by focusing on five priority neighborhoods in Franklin County: Franklinton, King Lincoln, Northland, Near South Side and Weinland Park.

These areas were chosen based on their needs and asset-based trends and the opportunity these neighborhoods have for achieving lasting change. In 2008, United Way adopted strategies that will reduce the number of vacant and abandoned housing units by one third, as well as reduce the crime rate by 30 percent in these priority neighborhoods over the next decade.

For additional information, contact Sharon L. Ware, Assistant Impact Director, Neighborhood Partnership Center, at or call at 614.241.3071.


Every year the Neighborhood Partnership Center, in conjunction with the city of Columbus, puts together a community led conference. The Neighborhood Best Practices Conference began in 2010 and offers opportunities for community groups to share their success and collaborate on a wide variety of obstacles plaguing communities today.

Over 250 residents, advocates and community leaders joined by a keynote speaker, present various workshops led by community based organizations and share ways to tackle youth violence, beautification/gardening, how to merge various races/religions with your effort, impact crime, understand police and fire services, youth involvement within a community, utilize technology to fight crime and understand resources.

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