August 11, 2020
COVID-19 leads to unprecedented response in support of Indiana’s most vulnerable
by Shari Finnell, Editor, Charitable Advisors

Nonprofit organizations on the frontlines of supporting immigrants, refugees and other foreign-born residents have been regularly encountering challenges to ensure critical, sometimes life-saving, information is adequately relayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to language barriers, these individuals are more likely to be employed in jobs that put them at higher risk for infection, are denied unemployment benefits, lack health insurance, and have fears about accessing medical care and resources — all factors that jeopardize their ability to navigate the pandemic, according to several local nonprofit organizations.

“Those of us who are fluent in English are struggling everyday to understand COVID-19,” said Dana Harrison, interim executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Center. “‘What did the governor say? What is going on with schools?’ It’s changing daily.” For foreign-born newcomers, those COVID-19 directives — from stay-at-home orders to how to protect themselves from the virus — can be extremely difficult to understand, Harrison said.

Rethinking the ceiling for grantmaking in a time of crisis

During the past 18 years, board members of The Clowes Fund have been invested in understanding the challenges facing immigrants and refugees as they shifted their focus to supporting those populations and workforce development initiatives.

When the pandemic hit the U.S., a subcommittee of Fund board members and staff immediately gathered to determine how it could best meet needs in the community. Realizing they didn’t have the resources of larger foundations. The Fund was intent on making a significant impact through a more concentrated effort.

Ready to Restart grants, in amounts ranging from $200-$5,000, are being offered to registered 501(c)(3)s located in Marion County based on reimbursements for purchases of PPE, disinfectant products, and capital improvements that include, but are not limited to signage, air handling, partitioning for social distancing, and improvements for safe queueing. Nonprofit restart hosted by United Way – applications through August 31.

The state announced the creation of a $10 million fund to assist arts and cultural organizations that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program will be administered by the Indiana Destination Development Corp. and will be funded by the state’s share of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds.

The state is adding $15 million to its COVID-19-related rental assistance program after already receiving 24,000 applications. The $15 million would be added to the existing $25 million fund intended to assist Hoosiers who are behind on rent because of pandemic-related job losses or income reductions.
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Utilizing Data to Guide Investments in Your Fundraising Program
by Andy Canada, JGA senior consultant and director of data analytics

Data plays a vital role in the world of nonprofits. It is a critical tool that helps you make smarter decisions, and it can play a key role in supporting future investment in your efforts.

Your data tells a story that can help you identify key trends as you think towards the future. Sometimes determining what that story says can be a challenge, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by too much data. But with the right guidance, you can quickly gain clarity that can make decision making much easier. For more information on how others are using data in fundraising to achieve results, download our content collectionHow to Use Data to Improve Your Fundraising, produced by Chronicle Intelligence, a division of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, in partnership with JGA.

Successful organizations know that it’s important to use the data you have to guide decisions that will help you build stronger and deeper relationships with your donors and friends in the most efficient and effective way possible. Many are using that data to guide future investments in fundraising.

In “normal” times, increasing the investment that is made towards the development operation can be challenging. Budgets are tight and boards and leadership want to ensure efforts are focused on those things that support the core mission. But we all know that if resources are deployed properly, increased investment in fundraising can help strengthen the organization.

Habitat for Humanity of Grant County has hired Brittany Howey as executive director. Howey previously served as membership and marketing director at the Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce. — Inside Indiana Business
The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites has named Jessica Stephens a site manager at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. Stephens previously served as the youth programs manager.
The Indiana State Poultry Association has named Rebecca Eifert Joniskan as president. She most recently served as chief of permits in the Office of Land Quality at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. — Inside Indiana Business
The Clowes Fund has promoted Traycee Lane to program associate. Lane previously served as the foundation’s graduate assistant while pursuing a Masters in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy.
The first round of Emergency Services Grants, which comes from $2.7 million in federal CARES Act funding, has been awarded to agencies that provide help to the homeless population or those at risk of becoming homeless. See recipients

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust awarded Coburn Place a grant totaling $330,000 to add more advocates to its staff to better serve survivors of interpersonal abuse.

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) has provided Centers of Wellness for Urban Women (CWUW) with $25,000 for capacity building. The organization plans to use the funds to hire a fund development consultant. For more information, visit

The International Center has announced the inaugural cohort for its newest program, the James T. Morris Global Leadership Series. The 2020 cohort, which is comprised of professionals from across Indiana, will serve in roles from associates to executive in numerous industries. Read more

Indianapolis Business Journal is accepting nominations for Women of Influence. The honor recognizes local women who have demonstrated professional excellence and leadership in their careers and community service. Nominate

COVID-19 awards

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $100 million grant to the National Urban League to create an initiative dedicated to studying and improving the quality of life for Black Indianapolis residents. The initiative is, in part, a response to economic disparities and the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black community. Read more

Child Advocates has announced a recent grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Funds received from this grant will be used to support general operating expenses to help offset COVID-19 related impacts.
Charity Navigator is launching a new rating system to help better evaluate nonprofits.The charity rating organization is rolling out a new, more detailed measurement tool called Encompass.
How board members can lend a hand during the pandemic. Joan Garry shares five simple ways board members can help its staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, including touching base with volunteers and donors in the nonprofit's network.
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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Executive Director - Fayette Community Foundation (Connersville, IN) 
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Executive Director - Hancock County Senior Services

Executive Director - Leadership Hendricks County

Executive Director - Local Membership Association


Strategic Corporate Initiatives Manager - United Way of Central Indiana

Planned Giving Representative - The Salvation Army

Development Coordinator - Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis

Donor Relations Assistant (part-time) - The Salvation Army Indiana Division

Alumni Relations Coordinator - Center for Leadership Development

Development Manager - BU Wellness Network

Vice President of Advancement - Indiana Youth Institute


Office Manager & Executive Assistant - Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

Deputy Director - Southeast Community Services

Coalition Builder - Prosperity Indiana


Finance and Payroll Administrator - The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis 

Financial System and Reporting Manager - Kiwanis International

Human Resources

Director of Human Resources - Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic


Senior Research Analyst - United Way of Central Indiana


Program Coordinator - Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic

Youth Engagement Specialist - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana

Enrollment & Matching Specialist (Part Time) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana

Manager, Walk to End Alzheimer’s - Alzheimer's Association

Diversion Specialist - PACE Inc.

Therapist - HVAF of Indiana, Inc.

Licensed Recreational Therapist - A Caring Place Adult Day Services

Tobacco Program Coordinator - Indianapolis Urban League

Case Manager, Physician Assistance Program - Indiana State Medical Association

Project Ready Site Coordinator - Indianapolis Urban League

Cessation Education Specialist - Good Samaritan Network

Financial Coach - Southeast Community Services

Family Assistance Program Coordinator - Inclusivity Institute


Immigration Staff Attorney - Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.


Interfaith Enrichment Corps AmeriCorps Member - Center for Interfaith Cooperation


Driver - A Caring Place Adult Day Services

Kitchen Aide - A Caring Place Adult Day Services