April 21, 2020
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At Exodus, new skills translate to help for COVID-19

Before COVID-19, Exodus Refugee Immigration was building a community of learners. A resettlement nonprofit, the organization has welcomed refugees and asylees since 1981.
Before the pandemic, at its location on East Washington Street, it started a Women’s Art Circle for Congolese women. The goal initially was not only to teach the women a new skill, but also socialize and give them back the community they were used to in Africa. The Friday group focused on sewing and started by making bright, print-elaborate African dresses. The group expanded to include Burmese women. Led by Exodus case manager, Khin (Kim) Sain and volunteer Megan Benson, sometimes family issues surfaced during their time together.

The group began by learning hand-sewing applique techniques, but when they took on a quilting project, sewing machines were donated. Enter the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana’s OPTION group which chipped in and bought an additional 10 new sewing machines. Cole Varga, the nonprofit’s executive director, said the idea was that with the addition of these machines, women could take one home to practice. Then the next week, a new sewing technique could be introduced.
These loaner machines were already in the women's homes when Indiana began its shelter-in-place order. So, the timing was right for when the Women’s Fund called Exodus for help with a project to help build a stockpile of masks for Community Hospital. The Women’s Fund provided the fabric, which an Exodus staff member delivered to these art circle member’s porches and to a couple of other volunteers. In quick order, they were able to fulfill the request. All told over 200 masks were completed.
COVID loan tracker: A Floridan husband and wife, both small business owners, developed a crowdsourcing Paycheck Protection Program tracker. With help from small businesses and nonprofits, they have been keeping tabs on the national stimulus program. If you are interested in adding your organization to the tally, click here.
Paycheck Protection Program: The Trump administration and congressional leaders closed in this weekend on an approximately $470 billion to replenishing funds for the small-business and nonprofit loan program that ran out of money under crushing demand. The goal is to pass the agreement into law within days. Read more.
Indianapolis Bar Association: In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar) has launched the “Virtual Ask a Lawyer” online legal advice chat service, where community members can chat in real time with an attorney who is prepared to assist with basic legal questions. To begin the chat, simply visit indybar.org/chat. All correspondence is confidential. The chat service will be manned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). For individuals without access to the internet, phone-based assistance is also available by calling 317-269-2000.
Development professionals: The Indianapolis Public Library is offering temporary remote access to the Foundation Directory Online Essential. Click this link for access.
O’Neill grad students put classroom lessons to work for communities
This photo was taken before social distancing.
O’Neill grad students put classroom lessons to work for communities
By Leslie Wells, assistant director of communications, O’Neill School at IUPUI

As two teenage girls stood before the Batesville, Indiana, City Council, they waited to make their case for funding. The Batesville Mayor’s Youth Council had received $5,000 through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s (ICHDA) My Community, My Vision grant program (MCMV). If they couldn’t come up with another $7,000, they’d have to take their public art project back to the drawing board.

In the crowd at the council meeting was Stacy Robinson, a public affairs graduate student from the O’Neill School at IUPUI. She had been working with the Mayor’s Youth Council for months through her My Community, My Vision Fellowship at the O’Neill School. Her assignment: to help the teens develop a proposal that would bring national artist Kelsey Montague to Batesville to paint two interactive murals.

“The meeting actually was a little tense,” Robinson recalls. “Some of the city councilors didn't like their idea.”

Former Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann started MCMV in 2014 to bring development to Indiana communities and engage young people. Every year, youth-led organizations from across the state apply to the program. Each group selected receives a $5,000 grant toward a community development project. They are also paired with an O’Neill IUPUI graduate student who guides them through the process. As part of the fellowship, each grad student receives $10,000 over the course of two semesters.

Help your team care for themselves and they will care for others
Help your team care for themselves and they will care for others
By Jodi Snell, vice president, Hedges
We work with some of Indy’s best at Hedges. Hard to believe, it has been five weeks since we all started working from home. While working remotely is not a completely new concept to our Hedges team, working from home 100% of the time while being surrounded by our loved ones is new to us.

Last week, we took the time to send out some extra communication via email to let Hedges employees know how much we value them. It was something we called Monday morning motivation. The response from our team told us that we were right on the money. They needed to be reminded that it’s okay to care for themselves during this time. As a result of this intentional communication, we received positive feedback from team members and learned that people felt relief, support, and gratitude for such open communication during this time.

We were inspired by how much this message meant to our team and during this time when collaboration and community mean so much, we wanted to give others permission to “borrow” our idea and hope that it can be a resource for those nonprofit leaders looking to communicate the value of self-care to their teams amidst COVID-19.

Here’s what we sent to Hedges employees. Read more.
The O'Connor House has named Michelle Corrao as the executive director. Corrao most recently served as assistant director at Prevail.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth has named Steve Ehrlich interim president and CEO. Ehrlich previously served as chief operating officer for Bolstra.
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has hired Carlie Vaughn as human resources manager. Vaughn previously served in human resources at Indy Imaging.
Indianapolis-based Energy Systems Network named Sierra Latham director of the Moving Forward program. She most recently served as demographer for the City of Alexandria, Va. – Inside Indiana Business
Indianapolis-based Energy Systems Network named Drew Tharp manager of communications. Tharp previously served as account executive at Indianapolis agencies Element Three and Caldwell VanRiper. – Inside Indiana Business
Child Advocates was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of CICF, to support its Interrupting Racism for Children program.

Students from the International School of Indiana started a nonprofit organization called Safer With A Gown (SWAG) to help support efforts against COVID-19. The team of six students from Indiana and California have created an online platform where individual users can download patterns and instructions to make gowns that can be donated to medical facilities. Read more.

Grantmakers’ survey: The 2020 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey (GBS) is open. This survey provides grantmakers the most comprehensive data on foundation staff salary and compensation. Participation in the GSB survey is needed – the more participation received, the greater the insights for the sector. Learn more and participate.

Community foundations’ survey: The deadline for the Community Foundations (CF) Insights annual data collection survey has been extended to May 15. Results from this survey are used to help individual community foundations across the country make more informed, effective decisions about their operating models, leading to greater financial sustainability and community impact. Learn more and participate.

COVID-19 relief funds

Foellinger Foundation announces it has awarded Lifeline Youth & Family Services a $25,000 Innovative Rapid Grant. Additionally, AWS Foundation announces it has awarded Crosswinds Counseling a $25,000 Emergency Funding Grant. The grants will be used to provide mental health support and emotional wellness checks to staff members of nonprofit organizations who provide health and human services to the residents of Allen County. Read more.

The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, the Penrod Society, Owl Music Group and The Jazz Kitchen joined forces to create a musicians’ relief fund to assist local jazz and related-genre musicians who have had a direct loss of income through cancelled or rescheduled performances. Its initial goal -- $50,000 -- was surpassed and will be used exclusively for artist relief.

Families First used C-CERF grant funds to continue operations and service to the community. The nonprofit was able to keep employees and within two weeks of closing the facility to visitors, was able to provide all client services virtually. Only in extreme cases where safety is a concern are staff providing face-to-face services.

The Villages used C-CERF grant funds to help grandparents raising their grandchildren with “Porch Pantry Packages” of food and grocery gift cards, and also assisted both foster and kinship caregivers address the “digital divide for children in their care and gain access to e-learning, providing hot spots, ipads and upgrading Wi-Fi access.

Virtual meetings untangled
Virtual meetings untangled. Does your board occasionally have virtual meetings? If not, it’s likely it will do so at some point in the future; virtual meetings are here to stay. To ensure that your virtual board meetings are productive, the board must pay careful attention to key considerations.
Rising to the challenge of change
Rising to the challenge of change. In this white paper, learn how to set up projects quickly and respond more swiftly to demand, meeting various donors' demands for governance and reporting, growing income and making it easier for people to do their jobs and deliver more impact.
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Reserve a room for your next meeting or training at St. Paul's Indy.
Looking for a meeting space on Indy's Northside? St. Paul's Indy has six rentable spaces that can accommodate groups from six to 250. Building is handicap-accessible and has a large parking lot and ample street parking. Guest wifi and A/V equipment included. Interested in learning more?  Click here  for accommodation details, pricing and an inquiry form.
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President and CEO - TechPoint Foundation for Youth


Major Gift Officer - Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

Director of Development - The Julian Center


Executive Assistant - Children's Bureau

Marketing /Communications/Events

Director of Communication - Raybourn Group International (RGI)


Controller (part-time) - Franklin Heritage, Inc.

Accounting Manager – HollandParlette


Senior Program Officer – Family Income and Wealth Building - Local Initiatives Support Corp (LISC)

Workforce Development Manager - Fathers and Families Center


Pre-Kindergarten Teacher - Sycamore School