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Steve Votaw

Chief Executive Officer

Furniture Bank of Central Ohio

Direct Phone: (614) ***-****       

Email: s***@***.org

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Furniture Bank of Central Ohio

118 South Yale Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43222

United States

Company Description

The Furniture Bank of Central Ohio was established in 1998 as Material Assistance Providers, or "MAP," to help furnish the homes of people emerging from homelessness. The first year in operation, we provided furniture to 400 local families in the basement ... more

Find other employees at this company (17)

Background Information

Employment History

Executive Director

Learn4Life Columbus

Chief Executive Officer

Crittenton Community School


Board Member
Human Service Chamber

Member of the Task Force On Juvenile Justice



Kent State University

Master of Science degree

Youngstown State University

Web References (46 Total References)

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Steve Votaw

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Steve Votaw, CEO | Furniture Bank of Central Ohio

Read Case Study

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Steve Votaw, President, Furniture Bank of Central Ohio
Two years ago, the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio faced a reduction in half of its revenue. Due to a change in a long-time sponsor's giving structure, the Furniture Bank had three years to identify how to replace $1 million in lost revenue.
"To ensure a smooth transition, the Furniture Bank board created a Strategic Initiatives Committee," said Furniture Bank President Steve Votaw.
"Poverty puts so many stressors on lives, and no one organization can remove all of those stressors," Votaw said.
"We estimated what it would take to run a store, visited a dozen locations and selected what has since become our Furniture With a Heart location at 2165 Morse Rd., which opened on April 15, 2016," Votaw said.
"Retail had not traditionally been one of our core competencies," Votaw said. "It just isn't second nature to move into a business mindset."
That's when the Furniture Bank reached out to the Center for Social Enterprise Development (CSED).
"CSED was instrumental in helping us identify the right people we needed to talk to, and evaluate options related to loans and funding," Votaw said. "CSED also connected us with a consultant who has helped us since summer 2015. This consultant was critical because he helped us realize how much we didn't know about retail."
He also credits the board, staff, volunteers and industry experts for getting the Furniture Bank to this point.
"It was a total team effort," Votaw said.
"Taking a broad view in terms of human resources is important for nonprofits starting a social enterprise-it's not all paid staff that made all of this possible," said Votaw.
"As nonprofits, we have an obligation to help as many families as we can who need our services," said Votaw.
"When we met with one corporate partner to talk about the potential for funding, we learned that we were the first to ask for and receive funding specifically to start a social enterprise," Votaw said.
Asking for startup funding required a different kind of approach, but the Furniture Bank found the corporate community welcomed the idea and opportunity to help them become more self-sufficient and thereby able to impact more lives.
"Thanks to the local community, we are beginning to make up the lost revenue," Votaw said.

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