Columbus, Ohio—Besa is marking its fifth birthday by celebrating a noteworthy milestone: $2 million in community impact from community volunteerism and Besa's social enterprise, Besa Promise.

Besa Founder and Executive Director Matthew Goldstein is thrilled by the movement that Besa has become.

“Besa’s success is a direct result of the generosity and kindness in our community,” Goldstein said. “We aimed to build a bridge between people and need. I’m inspired and humbled by how passionately people are using it.”

Besa launched on Sept. 11, 2012. Five years later, it is engaging individual volunteers in more than 30 community service projects a month and working with a bevy of notable businesses to help amplify their philanthropic efforts. Partners include Big Lots, CoverMyMeds, Express, GBQ Partners, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Kaufman Development, Safelite AutoGlass and more.

In five years, here are highlights of what Besa has achieved:
• 15,000: Volunteers rallied
• 1,000+: Volunteer projects organized
• 30,000: Volunteer hours given
• 50: Partner nonprofits
• $2 million: Community impact made

Next up? Besa is going bigger locally—and making plans to expand nationally.

Besa is launching a $1 million capital campaign to invest in technology and services that will ultimately generate an additional $3 million in impact by 2020. By perfecting its model of community engagement locally, Besa will be poised to expand its network nationwide.

Besa is celebrating its fifth birthday with a fundraiser hosted by Jeni Britton Bauer and Nina West at 6 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Strongwater, 401 W. Town St., Columbus. Tickets cost $60 at Proceeds benefit community service projects.

Besa is a Columbus nonprofit dedicated to supporting those who need it most by connecting people and businesses with local charities, from food pantries to homeless shelters. Besa offers a portal at where Columbus residents can easily find and register for volunteer opportunities citywide; it hosts drives for various nonprofits; and it helps corporate partners manage and enhance their philanthropic efforts.

Kristy Eckert, Kristy Eckert Communications