August 16, 2022
CLD set to intensify efforts to overcome racial disparities
by Shari Finnell, editor/writer, Not-for-profit News

As the president of Center Leadership Development (CLD) for more than 20 years, Dennis Bland has regularly contemplated the systemic barriers that lead to troubling racial disparities in Indiana — including with income, health, housing, education, employment and financial security.

It’s a concern shared by many leaders throughout the state, especially in light of statistics that show the disparities have not diminished in many areas. In some cases, as with college-going rates, the disparities have significantly increased. According to a recent report from the Indiana Higher Education Commission, the percentage of Indiana high school students attending college has declined from 65 percent in 2015 to 59 percent in 2019. While the decline is evident across all races, it is more significant for African American students. The report revealed a 13 percent decrease in the number of African American students attending college during the four-year period. 

As part of CLD’s $33 million RISE campaign, the organization will expand its educational programming throughout Indianapolis, specifically among minority and low-income youth residing in the zip codes of 46222, 46208, 46226, 46218, 46235, 46201, 46219 and 46205. CLD will partner with The PATH School, Christamore House, Eastern Star Church, Mt. Carmel Church and Community Alliance of the Far Eastside to provide in-school and satellite programming for students in their own neighborhoods. 

CLD, which targets five areas as part of its programming — character, education, leadership, service and career, plans to increase the number of students it impacts through its core programming from 4,000 students a year to 6,500 a year. Overall, CLD plans to provide services to 15,000 individuals annually. 

“I think so much about disparities and inequities,” said Bland, who recently helped lead the nonprofit organization past the $30 million mark of its $33 million RISE fundraising campaign. Donors have included Lilly Endowment, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and the NBA Foundation. “Education ultimately translates into empowerment and cultivation, particularly in the areas that help people mobilize, grow or thrive.”

Bland said CLD’s programming has been effective because of its comprehensive scope, which includes free tutoring, counseling, remedial courses, career planning, college prep, and college application and scholarship assistance. 

CLD also never assumes that a youth intuitively understands the value of an education, said Bland, who stresses the importance of identifying the issues that immobilize students.

Greetings from United Way of Central Indiana's new CEO: Fred Payne
Three weeks on the job as leader of United Way of Central Indiana, I admit, I’m already astounded.

Astounded by the importance of United Way of Central Indiana’s role in our seven-county community; the support from the passionate United Way staff and board, who are eager to bring me up to date on our impact initiatives, fundraising strategies and advocacy efforts; and the kindness of hundreds of friends, colleagues, donors, civic and nonprofit leaders, and folks I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet who emailed me their personal congratulations upon my appointment as president and CEO.

As of this writing, I've been asked on several occasions: Who is Fred Payne? Why did I choose this leadership role? What is my vision for United Way? And, my favorite question, Is a hot dog a sandwich? Below, I'm happy to oblige!

Who is Fred Payne?
I am the youngest of eight children. I'm from Louisiana and spent most of my younger days in the South. Indiana became my home upon graduation from IU Law School, where I met my bride, Kelly. Four children and many professional affiliations later, my family and I are proud Hoosiers by choice.

Why lead United Way?
After nearly five years as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, I felt better equipped to understand the needs facing our communities. Every day, I saw individuals who wanted to live the best lives they were capable of but were held back by a lack of basic needs, education, training, and opportunity. Building on the great work of my predecessors, I’m looking forward to opening the doors to new opportunities for United Way to help people in a deliberate and focused manner and strengthening new partnerships along the way.

What is my vision for United Way?
With only a few weeks under my belt, I can safely say that my big vision is to create greater partnership between government and nonprofit organizations in a strategic, intentional way. We are called United Way for a reason -- we cannot fight poverty as a single entity.

Episode 14: How one Indianapolis nonprofit is using arts as a vehicle for economic development, advocacy and community healing. Big Car Collaborative co-founders Shauta Marsh and Jim Walker talk about the responsibilities of nonprofits in taking on the difficult challenges and social issues in their communities. Listen
Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership has hired Gina Miller as president/CEO, effective Sept. 19. Previously, Miller was COO/CFO of United Way of Central Indiana.
The Excel Center, Goodwill’s high school for adults, has hired Elysse James as school director in Anderson. James previously was director of The Excel Center in Shelbyville.
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana has promoted Miriam Henry to regional director of Goodwill Education Initiatives, Inc. Henry previously was the director of The Excel Center in Anderson.
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana has promoted Jessica Harpenau to supervisor of its Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), Southern Region. Harpenau joined Goodwill’s NFP team in 2018.
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana has promoted James Capps to director of The Excel Center on Michigan Street. Capps previously was Lead Teacher of The Excel Center on Franklin Road.
Northeast Indiana Innovation Center has promoted Tammy Allen to senior director of marketing and communications. Previously, Allen was director of marketing and programs.
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has opened applications for its online Professional Doctorate in Philanthropic Leadership, which is designed for working professionals who want to apply research-based knowledge to the issues they face on the job. Learn more and apply

Glick Philanthropies has announced grants totaling $250,000 to five organizations that are focused on creating opportunities and increasing equitable access on the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. See recipients

The Junior League of Indianapolis (JLI) has announced a new community focus to support children in central Indiana currently living in foster or kinship care through advocacy, fundraising and other philanthropic initiatives. JLI also will use its community grants program to assist nonprofits that support these populations. Read more

Local nonprofit organizations that share the Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis’ focus on serving children are invited to apply for annual grants through the Kiwanis Foundation of Indianapolis. Applications for the 2023 grants are due Sept. 30. Learn more and apply

Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute is accepting applications for its 2023 class. The cohort-based program provides continuing education training to prepare attendees for board and executive roles at foundations and corporations that serve Indiana. Apply

DONATION: Three custom-made wooden box name badge holders with foam base and slots for individual name badges. Pick up in Indianapolis by appointment. Questions or appointment requests can be directed to or by calling (317) 926-3009.
AmeriCorps Resources for Communities Across Indiana webinar on Aug. 22 at noon. Learn how your nonprofit can retain full-time talent or respond to a disaster as an AmeriCorps sponsor or grantee. Presented by Serve Indiana and the Federal AmeriCorps Midwest Regional Office. Register

Find existing data webinar on Aug. 30 from 9-11:30 a.m. Learn about the strengths, weaknesses, and costs of readily available data sets. Presented by SAVI Data Literacy. Cost: Free. Register

Intro to FDO: Finding grant funders webinar on Aug. 30 from 2-4 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. Learn how to use Foundation Directory Online, a research tool designed to help nonprofits find the grant makers most likely to fund their projects. Presented by the Indianapolis Public Library. Cost: Free. Register

Form 990 red flags & updates: Is your organization in compliance? webinar on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. Learn about the hot topics in tax-exempt compliance for Form 990, updates on IRS compliance measures and red flags on Form 990. Presented by Forv/s. Cost: Free. Register

Reading leadership: Finding your true north four-part online series starts on Sept. 22 from 9-10:30 a.m. Based on the book "Discover Your True North: Becoming an Authentic Leader." Presented by Leadership Johnson County. Cost: $115 for LJC and Franklin College alumni, Aspire and Indy Chamber members/ $135 for the general public. Register

Philanthropy Leads dinner on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St. Join a fireside chat on mental health with Gov. Eric. Holcomb and Colts owner Kalen Jackson. Presented by Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. Cost: $75 IPA members/ $150 nonmembers. Register
Gleaners Food Bank needs 20 volunteers for its Wine, Women & Shoes event on Sept. 9 from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in Carmel. Ages 21+. Sign up on your own or bring a group. For more information, contact Christina at or register

Indiana Family Health Council is seeking board members from across the state to offer their fundraising, management/administration, and networking skills to help the organization promote its mission and goals. Learn more
American trust in philanthropy is slowly declining, per Independent Sector and Morning Consult reports. Nonprofit leaders need to break the cycle.
Listen to an informative conversation about how to successfully launch a strong Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategy.
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Coworking memberships available
Nexus Impact Center offers month-to-month coworking space memberships that include free meeting room credits, access to high-speed internet, free printing, and free coffee in an engaging environment that includes other small business owners and nonprofits. Monthly memberships range from $59 to $149 for a dedicated cubicle. Learn more
President & CEO - United Way of Monroe County

Executive Leadership (CEO/ED/COO)

Executive Director - Eagle Creek Park Foundation, Inc.

Executive Director - Tri Sigma Foundation

Chief Financial Officer - Damien Center

Fund Development/Marketing/PR/Advocacy

Major Gifts Officer - Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Director of Development - Ivy Tech Community College

Development Officer - Kiwanis International

Manager, Communications & Stewardship - Best Buddies Indiana

Advancement Associate - Herron High School, Inc.

Admin Support/Clerical

Front Desk Agent - First Resource Inc.

Engagement Associate (Part-Time) - Elevate Indianapolis

Business Manager (part-time) - Boone County Chamber of Commerce

Executive Assistant - 500 Festival


Accounting Assistant - St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

Facilities Manager - Orchard Park Presbyterian Church

Software Services & Web Services Support - Firefly Children & Family Alliance

Director of Finance - Damien Center

Accountant - Kiwanis International

Data/Research/Quality Assurance

Director of Policy and Research - Independent Colleges of Indiana

Data & Outcomes Coordinator - Lutheran Child & Family Services

Programs/Program Support

Project Management Coordinator - First Resource Inc.

Contractual Program Observers - Montrell Partnerships LLC

Case Manager - Sheltering Wings

Director of Membership - National Association of Charitable Gift Planners

Major Gifts and Development Associate - Children's Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana

Outreach and Strategic Partnerships Associate - Children's Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana

Impact Director - United Way of Johnson County

Office Manager - Damien Center


WorkLiteracy Coach - Indy Reads