Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in On the Table! We’ve included answers to the most common questions below. If you have additional questions, please email us at

General FAQs

What is On the Table and why should I participate?

By hosting a mealtime conversation as part of On the Table on Tuesday, October 22, you’ll be part of an exciting initiative to discuss not only what’s great about our community, but also ways to make it even better — more sustainable, just, safe, strong and vibrant.

At Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley, we know big ideas can spring from small conversations and that people invest in what they help create. When we come together as a community to listen to and learn from each other, we have the power to impact neighborhoods, communities and lives. That’s what On the Table is all about.

On the Table is an opportunity to gather around a table with friends, neighbors, colleagues and maybe even a few people we are meeting for the first time to talk about the issues, big and small, that impact our quality of life. When we talk about our experiences and listen to others, we connect and learn about what matters to all of us.

On the Table invites residents of Columbus and the surrounding areas to come together to talk, collaborate, and become more civically involved and committed to our community. The issues we face today don’t often offer quick fixes. On the contrary, progress will only result when residents, organizations, businesses and government work together to make contributions that add up to a greater solution than we can achieve on our own. On the Table is a starting place for meaningful conversation. What happens next is up to you.

What is the goal of On the Table?

This area is full of people who love our community and each other. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to feel welcome “at the table” because people don’t know where the table is. They might have a hard time finding a way to be heard – or believing that their voice matters. On the Table is designed to better connect people to each other and to make all voices heard. It’s been hugely successful in Chicago – tens of thousands of residents have participated in On the Table over the past five years! – and has inspired a number of community improvements. We know that our future depends on more collaboration, more civic engagement and more coming together. We hope you will join us!

How can I get involved?

Right now, we’re in the process of recruiting hosts and participants from across the Chattahoochee Valley to be part of On the Table.

Sign Up!

What is the Community Foundation?

The Community Foundation was founded in 1998 to help people with philanthropic interests easily and effectively support the issues they care about. Since then, the Community Foundation has grown to more than $160 million in assets and has awarded over $139 million in grants through its donor advised, unrestricted, designated, field-of-interest, scholarship, and organization endowment funds. As a local center for philanthropy, the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and not-for-profit organizations to carry out their charitable objectives and address emerging community issues.

To learn more, please visit the Community Foundation of Chattahoochee Valley.

Where can I find more information about On the Table?

New and updated information will be posted regularly on the On the Table website. You can also join the Facebook group and follow us on Instagram. Additionally, you can send us an e-mail at to have one of our team members contact you with more information.

Host FAQs

What does a host need to do? What’s involved?

It’s really pretty simple: You determine a location for folks to meet on October 22, 2019, for a mealtime conversation to discuss not only what’s great about our community, but also ways to make it even better — more sustainable, just, safe, strong and vibrant. You can have your breakfast, lunch or dinner wherever you want and serve whatever you like – from a catered or home-cooked meal to a picnic, barbecue or soup-and-salad meal.

How do I get started?

Simply visit the Register page to register your event.

Who do I invite?

The invite list is up to you. If you’re unsure, start with people you know – friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. You may consider reaching out to a larger community by co-hosting your event with a local church or nonprofit. Consider asking your guests to bring a friend, or invite people from your network that don’t already know each other.

Eight-to-twelve guests per table is ideal. On the Table is about giving everyone a chance to speak and be heard. If you want to host a larger gathering, consider breaking into smaller groups and allowing time for each to discuss and report out to the larger group.

What should an On the Table gathering look like?

Hosts are encouraged to be creative. The priority is to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful conversation – a potluck in your dining room, a picnic in a nearby park, a gathering at a neighborhood restaurant or a backyard barbecue are just some of the many possibilities.

What is expected of me during and after my On the Table gathering is over?

We look forward to hearing about the stories and commitments discussed at your gathering. We encourage all participants to share insights, photos and videos on social media throughout the day, using #ChattChat.

At the conclusion of the On the Table events on October 22, we’ll send every participant (hosts and guests) a short e-mail survey to learn more about their experiences and their commitments. You may also be asked to participate in a more in-depth post-event interview, where we hope to dive even deeper into some of the experiences, thoughts and ideas that arose from these conversations.

All On the Table participants can opt-in to receive a copy of an electronic copy of the summary report detailing the impact and outcomes of this initiative. You will also be invited to future civic engagement programs, initiatives and events sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley.