Member Spotlight: Jennifer Hutchinson


Jennifer Hutchinson

Tell us about your organization:

The Breathing Association serves the medically vulnerable energy-insecure residents of Franklin County, promoting lung-health and preventing lung disease through clinics, outreach education services and Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).  Our care for our clients and patients is holistic: we support good health in combination with home utility assistance, you can’t have one without the other.  In addition, we have a strong network of organizations we collaborate to help overcome all barriers.

While there are many favorites in my job, the part I enjoy the most is the fact we have been a pillar in Central Ohio philanthropy for over 110 years.  Our mission has evolved from caring for the “sick poor” afflicted with tuberculosis to caring for over 25,000 people every year with an array of needs we can help with. 

How long in AFP

I joined AFP in October, right after I assumed this development role.  As I collected advice from others in the industry, joining AFP was on the top of the TO DO list!  So far, I have attended meetings and participated in the mentor/mentee program and look forward to participating on other committees. 

What do you consider the most valuable

Columbus is a wonderful place to live and work- and AFP is a great example of what makes Columbus great!  The most valuable part of my membership is access to the depth of knowledge more experienced development professionals have and the fact they’re willing (and even enthusiastic!) to share best practices with me.  There’s a true feeling of philanthropy in our community, AFP members are eager to lend a hand to benefit the greater good. 

How long fundraising

I am still very wet behind the ears, I have only been in the development role since September.  My background is in sales and relationship management, with a focus on recruiting and maintaining blood donors with your American Red Cross.  My enthusiasm for Columbus’ German culture led me to a position with Schmidt’s Catering, which I thoroughly enjoyed, when The Breathing Association positioned opened up over the summer and I thought I might be able to get behind the mission and give a hand up. 

Columbus Faves

I am a true Columbus native, my mom’s side of the family has been here for over 100 years!  I love that Columbus has a beautiful skyline representing an abundance of opportunity to grow through employment, education, healthcare, and the arts.  Even though we have a big-city feel, Columbus is still very small and everyone seems to know everyone on one level or another. 

Also represented by our skyline are TERRIFIC places to eat!  Of course, I am partial to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus- every time I go there I feel like I have been on an adventure. 

Fun Facts

When I was in high school, my youth group at church was hosting a lock-in.  This was an overnight at the church intended to be a fun time for the kids already involved in Luther League, and for other kids in the community to learn what we were all about.  I created a position for myself on the event planning team to promote the heck out of the night, and accidentally had 110 kids on my guest list!  That was the last time the church ever had a lock-in, but I knew for sure that I was good at recruiting people for my cause. 


Posted March 2017