Giving back to Northern New Jersey community

Giving back to Northern New Jersey community

The Columbians,
New Jersey based Italian-American Philanthropic Organization

The Columbians were founded in 1982 and are committed to giving back to the Northern NJ Community, consisting of professional and business leaders. We are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) “tax-exempt” organization.

scholarships by the Columbians

Apply for a Scholarship

charity events


Hardship Assistance


The Columbians Core Efforts

The Columbians is community minded non-profit organization formed with the following principals:
  1. To provide scholarships to young scholars in need of financial assistance. Over the years we have provided hundreds of scholarships to students meeting our high standards for scholarship funding.
  2. To provide hardship assistance to those in need after experiencing a loss, health issue, family emergency or other significant short term need for aid.
  3. To help preserve and communicate Italian heritage through awareness and education.
raised in 2022
raised in 2022
scholarships awarded in 2020-2021
scholarships awarded in 2020-2021
minimun award granted
minimun award granted

Our Trustees

Meet the Columbians leadership
Jim Averso, the resident of the Columbians, Northern NJ


  • President: James A. Averso
  • Vice President: Mario Tommolillo
  • Treasurer: Anthony J. Graceffo
  • Secretary: Drew Picarillo


(listed alphabetically)

  • Vincent Brana
  • Ralph Contini
  • Mike Franco
  • Ken Gebhardt
  • Nick Lagnanella
  • Joseph Maurice
  • Rich Nutile
  • Stephen Perretta
  • Gennaro Rotella