The Columbia Club of Indianapolis has engaged a research project into the community involvement and positive impact its members have on the greater Indianapolis community. The research, conducted by SMARI Research, sought to identify the communal efforts of its members; to identify areas of community involvement members regularly engage; to identify additional areas that would be of interest to Columbians for their volunteer time and effort; and to bring community needs to the attention of Columbians who could affect positive change.
“This project has brought to light some of the needs most of us aren’t aware of in our community, and highlighted the specific areas of others of which we are aware”, said Matt Freel, Columbian Community Impact Alumni and past Membership Chairman. “By bringing those issues into conversation, there has been great discussion about what it takes to tackle those issues to improve greater Indianapolis and its citizens.”
The Executive Summary of the study reveals that members are currently involved in a wide variety of community volunteer organizations, and they demonstrate very diverse interests in engaging the Columbia Club as an agent of community enrichment. Columbia Club members report currently being involved in volunteer activities that promote the social welfare of Indianapolis, and provide necessary services to the community. They focus on professional development in order to foster relevant volunteerism in the areas of the arts, education, social advocacy, and mentorship.
“Our members are leaders in community activities ranging from hunger relief to successful empowerment outcomes, and just about everything in between”, said Jim Ittenbach, Columbia Club President. “Their activities over the years have affected education at all levels; healthcare assistance, children’s welfare and safety issues, as well as the arts and preservation of precious local history. Part of our outreach is to encourage local involvement, and educate our members about the opportunities for service presented by the city’s needs.”