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Chic Spotlight: Columbus SOUP

A local organization creates events to help fund projects in Columbus to better the community. Learn about the upcoming Spring event and how to participate.


The Columbus SOUP team (left to right), Keith Wiles, Christina Christian, Jorie Emory, Liz Martin, and Bryant Miller.

Q: How was Columbus SOUP founded?

Liz Martin, Executive Director at Columbus SOUP: It began when one of our founding members visited Detroit and heard about their SOUP program, Detroit SOUP.  The next thing you know, a small group met  and decided to start Columbus SOUP.


Q: What is the purpose of the Spring SOUP Event?

Martin: Columbus SOUP’s mission is to redefine philanthropy by creating dynamic and democratic spaces for community engagement, participation, and investment, through crowdfunding events and projects. That’s our goal at each quarterly SOUP event. Attendees pay a $7 minimum donation for dinner and a vote to fund projects that make our city a better place and have a fun Sunday evening in the process. 

Spring SOUP’s grant theme is Community Empowerment. We’re seeking innovative projects that educate, build community capacity, and/or directly empower individuals and communities toward creating a better quality of life. Applications for project submissions are being accepted through April 20th and chosen projects will be announced on April 22nd.


Q: When will Spring SOUP be held?

Martin: Spring SOUP is Sunday, April 27th at COSI (333 W Broad St). Doors open at 5:30PM and the program promptly starts at 6:00PM. The event ends at 8:00PM.


Q: What’s on the menu?

Martin: We are so grateful to all of the local businesses that provide us with the means to put on these events. We’re anticipating a mouth watering selection of local foods.

Expect delicious made-from-scratch soups by Zen Cha, Explorer’s Club, Da Levee, Willowbeez Soul Veg, Barcelona, Mozart’s, and a few other local favorites. We’re working with Whole Foods to hopefully have their amazing fresh baked breads on our table again as well.

We host a Dessert Contest at each one of our events where we showcase local bakeries and cottage operations and put dessert on the table in the process.


Q: How do you RSVP to the event?

Martin: We’re taking FREE RSVP’s through Eventbrite. We’ll be taking RSVP’s through the start time of the event so you will be even able to RSVP at the door if any of the 300 seats remain.

We ask our guests to bring CASH for their donation. 100% of the cash donated for entry goes to the project with the most votes. It’s $7 minimum (you can always donate more) for dinner and a vote.

We’ll also have $1/each raffle tickets for some great prizes that create a mini grant for 2nd place. For the first time, SOUP t-shirts will be available to purchase for $20. Don’t forget the cash bar too. 


Q For those who can’t attend the event, are there other ways to participate?

Martin: We’re actually working on a program that’ll address that exact question, but it’s still in the very early stages. For now, we accept donations in any amount to help keep our programming going. You can donate right on our website

You can also mark your calendars for Summer SOUP on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at the CCAD Mind Market. More details to come as we get them.


Q Where can our readers go to learn more about the event and your organization?

Martin: Your first stop should be our website that we work really hard on keeping up-to-date. For real time updates, announcements, and fun stuff, Facebook is a great choice. We are also on Twitter and Instagram: @columbusSOUP.


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