April 27, 2021
Is digital transformation sustainable for nonprofits in a post-COVID world?
by Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE and Forbes Nonprofit Council member

Even though the technology had been there for years, at the dawn of 2020, virtual meetings were still a novelty. Working from home was something mostly only those high-tech startups did. Then COVID-19 forced nearly everyone into the virtual working world.

With vaccines rolling out, there is hope we will finally see the backside of the pandemic. What happens then? Do we go back to the way things were, or push forward with digital transformation?

For nonprofits and charities, it’s not just about whether the weekly staff meeting keeps happening on Teams or Zoom. It will be a question of whether offering programs and services virtually is a sustainable long-term strategy. In my experience, the answer is a definite yes. Digital transformation offers a wealth of new possibilities for delivering services and programs more efficiently and sustainably. Here are some tips and lessons I’ve garnered from WE Charity’s digital journey.

If you build it, they will come

If there’s one thing the pandemic has shown us, it’s that people are willing to do more online. Before the pandemic, my organization had already begun taking its educational resources, and youth events like WE Day, online. COVID-19 forced an acceleration of digital adoption because we couldn’t do live teacher development sessions anymore or pack youth into an auditorium. Before the pandemic, only a portion of our resources were available virtually; now they are 100% available online. We started 2020 working with 50,000 teachers, and in one year we're almost at our goal of connecting with 100,000 educators by the end of 2021.

10 essential tips for fundraisers in 2021
How to achieve fundraising success in uncertain times 
by Kristi Howard Shultz, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

As we embark on this new year, the pandemic continues to reshape nonprofits’ work in profound and unprecedented ways, but knowledge and insights gained in the past 12 months can position organizations for success throughout 2021.

Fundraisers can create powerful, positive fundraising plans with these 10 tips gleaned from new research, expertise, and professional practice.
  1. Seek relief funding. Relief funding came to the rescue in 2020. As COVID-19 began to spread early in the year, numerous community foundations and United Way affiliates quickly established new funds or activated existing emergency funds, as research by Laurie Paarlberg and colleagues at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found. This response to short- and long-term community needs included collaborations with community partners, corporations and local governments. Relief, recovery, and capacity-building funds likely will continue to be a key resource into 2021.
  2. Find new ways to collaborate. In addition to philanthropic collaborations with community foundations, seek new partners in places you might not have previously looked. Lake Institute on Faith & Giving found that 33 percent of congregations raised funds to support other congregations and nonprofits in need. Religious organizations, like many others, made the pivot to online services during the pandemic, with more than half reporting an increase in participation. What can you learn from religious organizations and others with membership models? How can you collaborate to raise more money?
  3. Build community virtually. Online community building will be a permanent part of nonprofit-donor relationships. This type of community building appeals to women in particular. In fact, Women Give 2020 found that women are giving more gifts and a greater proportion of total dollars on tech platforms, and that women’s and girls’ causes receive substantially more online support from women donors. Technology enables women to give according to their preferences. Create a strategy to highlight the women and girls you serve and offer more opportunities for online giving.

The Indiana University Board of Trustees has selected Pamela Whitten as the university's 19th president, beginning July 1. Whitten is currently president of Kennesaw State University in Georgia. — Inside Indiana Business
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has named Dr. David Hampton as executive director of LISC Indianapolis. Dr. Hampton most recently served as president and CEO of Hampton Innovations.
United Way of Central Indiana has hired Chris Flegal as community relations director for Hendricks, Morgan and Putnam counties. Flegal was the former executive director of United Way of Putnam County.
National Youth Advocate Program has hired David Siler as the executive director for Indiana. Siler previously served as the CEO of Families First of Indiana, until its merger with the Children's Bureau. 
Foster Success has named Tiffany Powell as assistant director of outreach and engagement. Powell has had extensive experience in higher education admissions and college readiness/preparedness. 
The Center for Leadership Development has promoted Terry Whitt Bailey to vice president and chief program officer. Whitt Bailey previously served as the organization’s manager of programs.
Indiana Campus Compact is holding its first individual giving campaign in partnership with Lilly Endowment Inc., and Marianne Glick and Mike Woods. The funds will enable Indiana Campus Compact to create and expand programs that prepare college students for civic leadership. Read

The Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund (CIREF) is accepting applications for its second and final round of grantmaking. The fund seeks to address the inequities in criminal legal systems that unfairly target, penalize and disrupt the lives of Black residents in Central Indiana. The deadline to apply is May 14, 2021. Apply

Bosma Enterprises has relaunched its Student Training and Employment Program after a pause due to COVID-19. Lilly Endowment Inc. and the city of Indianapolis' Summer Youth Program Fund have provided financial support for the program, according to Bosma. Read

Ben’s Ranch Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Carmel, is partnering with Conner Prairie to support teens struggling with mental health issues. Under the agreement, Conner Prairie will employ interns referred to them by the foundation. Read

Indianapolis Business Journal is accepting nominations for 20 in their Twenties to recognize young adults in central Indiana whose achievements in business or the community clearly make them stand out from their peers. Nomination deadline is May 7, 2021. Nominate
Donations: Office furniture, including a conference room table, a youth table, desks and chairs, free to non-profits on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call (317) 574-1600 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and ask for the furniture donation team. Items available for pickup in mid-June. See available items. 
Tangram is seeking volunteers to participate in Zoom Buddies, a new program designed to help people with disabilities build friendships and social connections over Zoom. For more information, please contact Lindsey Hill at lhill@thetangramway.org.
Be intentional about including remote and on-site team members in meetings, assignments and communications, ensuring that it is seamless for them to reach out to each other.
2020 was a standout year in giving compared to 2019, when online revenue increased just 10 percent for the 135 nonprofits surveyed, and 2018, when it only grew by 1 percent for the 201 groups in the survey.
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.

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Community Engagement Coordinator - HVAF of Indiana, Inc.

Stewardship Manager - United Way of Central Indiana

Director of Development - Gennesaret Free Clinic, Inc.

Corporate & Community Relations Officer - Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc.

Indiana Associate Director of Development - The Nature Conservancy in Indiana

Digital Fundraising Manager - Children’s Organ Transplant Association

Advancement Director - Covenant Christian High School


Lead Outreach Director – Traders Point Christian Church

House Manager; Hospital Family Room(s) - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana

Assistant Director - Children's Bureau, Inc.

Administrative Assistant – Village of Merici Inc.

Director of Operations - Kids’ Voice of Indiana


Marketing and Intake Coordinator - Charitable Allies

Digital Marketing Coordinator (part-time) - KidsFirst Adoption Services

Communications Manager - Downtown Indy, Inc.

Graphic Designer - Indiana Repertory Theatre

Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Indianapolis Men's Chorus (Part-Time, Contract)


Senior Accountant - Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

Controller - Kids’ Voice of Indiana


Senior Research Analyst - United Way of Central Indiana


Housing Acquisition Representative - Merchants Affordable Housing Corp.

Housing Navigator/Case Manager (Contract Position) - Merchants Affordable Housing Corp

Care Coordinator - Damien Center

Substance Use Therapist - Children's Bureau, Inc.

RRH Case Manager - HVAF of Indiana, Inc.

HIV Prevention Specialist - Damien Center

Housing Case Manager - Damien Center

Referral Specialist - Damien Center

GAL/CASA Program Contract Attorney - Kids’ Voice of Indiana

Site Coordinator, 21st Century Community Learning Center - Martin Luther King Community Center

Assistant Coordinator, Best Buy Teen Tech Center - Martin Luther King Community Center

Career Coach – Indianapolis Urban League

Urban Family Engagement Coach - Indianapolis Urban League


Maintenance Technician - HVAF of Indiana, Inc.

Health Clinician

Licensed Practical Nurse - Carey Services