April 25, 2023
Highlighting mental health: Charitable Advisors’ Not-for-profit News will focus on mental health awareness in the nonprofit sector as part of our May and June 2023 issues. 
Volunteering has been declining for decades but the pandemic and economic struggles made it a lot worse: ‘This is a wake-up call’
by Thalia Beaty, Glenn Gamboa, and The Associated Press

CASA of Lexington has tried just about everything to find volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children with the Kentucky nonprofit. Since 2020, it has hired someone to focus on recruiting volunteers, added in-person and virtual outreach events and options to complete the required 30-hour training, and printed information on fans to hand out in churches, Melynda Milburn Jamison, its executive director, said. She even visited a men’s-only barbecue to make a quick 10-minute pitch.

The result? In 2022, CASA of Lexington had 62 new volunteers complete training, short of its target of 80. Only two came from the group’s recruitment events, with the rest mostly via word of mouth, Jamison said.

“We’ve been able to retain keeping the number of children we serve fairly consistent,” she said, “but we should have been increasing because we’ve taken on new counties, and we’ve added additional staff.”

Jamison is not alone in her frustration. Her experience reflects the latest twist in a decades long trend of declining volunteer participation. As pandemic-related government aid programs end and inflation rises, nonprofits of all kinds are looking everywhere and trying everything to get volunteers. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau and AmeriCorps survey, formal volunteer participation was 23.2%, dropping 7% between 2019 and 2021 — the largest decrease the survey has recorded since a version of it started in 2002.

It’s reached the point where the lack of volunteers strains the safety net that nonprofits provide to many of society’s most vulnerable.

Before and after of WIDC project
ICON loan program critical to success of community development project
by Citizens Energy Group 

As executive director of West Indianapolis Development Corp. (WIDC), Lisa Laflin considers herself many things, including “dot connector, cat herder, and chainsaw juggler.” Many employees of community development corporations (CDCs) or other nonprofits probably can relate. Working to keep many plates spinning at the same time, Laflin is a passionate voice for affordable housing and the flourishing of neighborhoods served by WIDC.

WIDC has recently completed a housing project through the Investment Collaboration on Neighborhoods (ICON) loan program, an initiative from Citizens Energy Group that makes low-interest loans available to nonprofits and CDCs to facilitate such development projects. The program is designed to help CDCs access the financing they need to undertake important projects that might otherwise be too costly or too difficult to finance through traditional channels.

Laflin and the WIDC team purchased a home in The Valley neighborhood originally built by Habitat for Humanity but which had since undergone foreclosure. Despite being in a flood plain and thus ineligible for certain federal loan programs, WIDC secured a $100,000 loan from ICON to rehab the home and make it available as affordable housing with a 20-year deed restriction.

According to Laflin, the loan process, which took less than half an hour to complete, was the easiest she had ever experienced and faster to process than federal funding, even as WIDC follows federal guidelines on requiring multiple bids for comparison.

Re-released Where are you headed with your DEIA efforts? In this conversation with Shari Finnell, GangGang co-founder Mali Jeffers challenges us to start putting some wheels on equity initiatives. Mali also talks about why she and co-founder, Alan Bacon, thought the time was right to start a nonprofit in the middle of a pandemic.  Listen
Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. has hired Amy Marisavljevic as director of planning and public programs. Marisavljevic previously was the Next Level trails program director for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. has hired Riley Hill-Kartel as director of advancement. Hill-Kartel previously was the corporate giving officer at Newfields.
Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has hired Yecenia Tostado as senior program officer in Indianapolis. Tostado previously was the first executive director of Project Azul.
Little Red Door Cancer Agency has named Pam Melady as a client services representative. Melady previously was the manager of gift processing at Riley Children’s Foundation.
Little Red Door Cancer Agency has hired Brittany Austera as a client services representative. Austera previously was a customer service representative for Navient/Maximus.
Little Red Door Cancer Agency has hired Ginger Summers as a development manager. Summers previously was the project coordinator at Isaiah 117 House in Boone County.
United Way of Central Indiana’s Parent Advisory Council has awarded $200,000 in grants to seven nonprofits in the region. The funds will be used to address four areas the parents identified as having a high need in the community: financial stability, mentorship, mental health and well-being, and social and emotional learning. Learn more 

TeenWorks, an Indianapolis-based education and economic mobility nonprofit, has received a $1.7 million grant from Glick Philanthropies to empower teens to achieve excellence in community, college, and career. Glick Philanthropies also contributed $500,000 to the TeenWorks Scholarship Fund to support the educational attainment goals of TeenWorks students. Read more

The Hendricks County Community Foundation has received a $500,000 gift from the Lincoln Legacy Foundation, Inc., to open the new Lincoln Bank Legacy Donor Advised Fund. The community foundation initiative will benefit both Plainfield and Hendricks County. Read more

The Indianapolis Rotary Foundation is accepting applications for its 2023 Community Grant program. The Foundation intends to award two grants of $25,000 and two grants of $10,000. Applications are due by June 21. Apply

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of $15 million in grant funding to support programs that help youth — particularly those in rural areas, people of color, and people with disabilities, overcome obstacles to educational and workforce success with training and career guidance. Learn more

Applications are currently being accepted for the Debra Mesch Doctoral Fellowship for Research on Women’s Philanthropy. The one-year, $5,000 fellowship supports doctoral dissertation research and writing that contributes to understanding of women’s philanthropy or gender differences in philanthropic behavior. The application deadline for the 2023 fellowship is May 31. Apply
Advancing equity virtual summit on May 2-3. Learn actionable strategies that address the barriers and challenges our youth face based on race, place, household income, differing abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, systemic and historical marginalization, and traumatic experiences. Presented by Indiana Youth Institute. Cost: Free for Indiana youth serving professional/$25 for business leaders or out-of-state youth professionals. Register

2023 business software refresher series: Word (Part 1) on May 5 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Gain a better understanding of business writing using Word features and capabilities. The course is taught through focused discussion, demos, and hands-on practice. Presented by IUPUI Professional Development and Continuing Education. Cost: $75. Register

Find existing data workshop on May 8 at 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering 535 W. Michigan St. Learn the strengths, weaknesses, and costs of readily available data sets, including SAVI, so you have the information you need to locate the data that is right for you. Presented by SAVI. Register

Optimize your data and segment donors session on May 11 at 2-3:15 p.m. Learn simple steps you can take right away to enhance your donor records and customize your communications to offer donors updates and appeals that resonate. Presented by Chronicle of Philanthropy. Cost: $69. Register

Works of equity launch event on May from 11 from 5-7 p.m. at 3039 N. Post Road. Learn more about The Movement of 10,000 and the community, and enjoy free food. Presented by MVMT10K. Cost: Free. Register

Measuring program impact webinar on May 17 at noon. Learn a 4-step data informed decision-making process to showcase your organization’s impact. Presented by National Bank of Indianapolis and Hedges. Cost: Free. Register
Horizon House is seeking off-site volunteers to host donation drives and assemble snack packs or hygiene kits out in the community. Learn more
In an environment filled with uncertainty, charities can sometimes find it difficult to secure donations. One area that nonprofits should consider for a steady stream of income during economic uncertainty is recurring donors.
To get on the radar of DAF donors and attract gifts from these funds, savvy fundraisers build ties with financial advisers and other professionals who counsel these wealthy individuals.
Our sponsor marketplace serves to further connect our readers with our advertisers who are focused on serving nonprofits. To learn about each sponsor's nonprofit services, click on its logo.

Nonprofit office space in great location (Butler University area)
Indiana Interchurch Center, which is centrally located in Indianapolis at 1100 W. 42nd St., has available office spaces ranging from 200 to 1,600 square feet for 501(c)3 organizations. Free parking, utilities, high-speed internet, and shared meeting rooms are included. The facility is home to a diverse group of nonprofit and church organizations that are making an impact in the community. Contact Kris Keys or call (317) 923-3617.
Coworking office memberships available (Northwest side)
Enhance your productivity and meet like-minded people at Nexus’ shared coworking space. Nexus offers month-to-month memberships for open desks and dedicated desks. Memberships include meeting room credits, access to high-speed internet, and free printing, and coffee. Besides having a great place to work, you’ll connect with small business owners and nonprofit employees that care about making a positive difference in their communities. Coworking office memberships range from $59/month to $149/month. Learn more
President & CEO - Cancer Support Community of Indiana

Executive Director - Paramount Theatre Centre and Ballroom (Anderson, IN)
Executive Leadership (CEO/ED/COO)

Director - Home-Based Services - Firefly Children & Family Alliance

Chief Community Development Officer - Eastern Star Church

Senior Policy and Legal Director - Hoosier Environmental Council

Executive DIrector - Indiana Osteopathic Association

Fund Development/Marketing/PR/Advocacy

Manager of Communications - The Mind Trust

Development Director - Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County

Director of Development-MCOB - Ball State University

Director of Foundation Relations - Purdue for Life Foundation

Senior Director of Marketing - Herron Classical Schools

Donor Engagement Officer - Gleaners Food Bank

Communications Manager - Indiana Humanities

Major Gifts Officer - YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

Director of Development, Venture Capital - Purdue for Life Foundation

Admin Support/Clerical

Executive Assistant - Noble, Inc.


Accounting Manager – HollandParlette

Indiana Operations Specialist - The Nature Conservancy in Indiana

Business Administrator - Light of the World Christian Church

Data/Research/Quality Assurance

Association Management Software Product Coordinator - National Precast Concrete Association

Programs/Program Support

Production Volunteer Leader - Gleaners Food Bank

Teacher-Mentor - Elevate Indianapolis

Evaluation and Program Planning Coordinator - Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc

Unit Director - Boys & Girls Club of Boone County

Success Navigator - New Hope of Indiana