Colleen Buzza brought success to Community Shelter Board’s first mass fundraising campaign

Colleen Buzza, member, Community Shelter Board

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award
for Community Service — Columbus
Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year

Colleen Buzza, like other members of the Community Shelter Board, was deeply concerned about the alarming increase in the number of homeless families and individuals who sought shelter in Columbus and Franklin County. The agency had never before appealed to individuals on a mass scale, but felt it was time to do so.

Buzza was integral in securing a partnership between WBNS-TV/Dispatch Media Group, where she is director of interactive advertising solutions and campaign performance, and CSB. As a result of her leadership, WBNS contributed a significant amount of time and financial resources to support the inaugural year of the campaign, which was titled One Day to End Homelessness.

The community was encouraged to donate the equivalent of one day’s rent or mortgage payment to the CSB. Buzza secured promotional spots through the vehicles of television, print, Internet and radio to reach the largest possible audience. Her knowledge of the board’s mission goals and her message development were crucial in developing a successful advertising campaign.

Among the efforts were 11 specially produced WBNS news stories on top of two news stories and eight color ads in the Columbus Dispatch. A total of 77 promotional spots ran across a network of websites, resulting in ads delivered more than 2 million times with 875 “click throughs” to the campaign website. All together, WBNS donated $134,000 of in-kind support.

Not one to put all her eggs in one basket, Buzza sought support from other community partners. She supported event sponsorship by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and The United Methodist Church. Buzza also helped developed a Faith Leadership Council, representative of diverse religious faiths to recruit congregations to participate in the One Day to End Homelessness Campaign.

Thanks to Buzza’s efforts, more than $179,000 was raised. Her leadership during the campaign was indicative of her commitment and enthusiasm for ending homelessness. Without her support, the campaign never would have materialized.

How to reach: Community Shelter Board, (614) 221-9195 or

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