August 9, 2022
4 steps to build a Planned Giving Legacy Society
by Amanda L. Cole, contributor, NonProfitPro

For some nonprofits, starting to ask for planned gifts may seem like a big leap. After all, many fundraisers are afraid to ask for a gift in general. So, how are they going to ask a donor to give to a cause after their death?

But it’s vital that fundraisers make that specific ask. A planned gift can be the largest donation they make to your organization. And those donors might not be where you’d expect to see them. Sure, they could be in your major gifts file, but often, they are your most loyal supporters. In fact, they could be giving in $25 increments to your organization right now.

Gregory M. Wilson, CAP, CFRE and director of client services, and Colleen Bowman, marketing director, both of Planned Giving Marketing, recently shared their planned giving strategies in a session titled “Stick Figure Planned Giving” at the Bridge Conference in National Harbor, Md.

“As much as you always hear, ‘Oh my gosh, planned giving is so complicated. It’s so crazy,’” Wilson said, “I realized that really you can build your entire planned giving program around the basic figure of a stick figure, which is my level of artistic ability.”

In order to make sure those loyal donors leave your nonprofit a gift in their wills, Wilson and Bowman shared four steps to build a legacy society — based on a stick figure sketch.

1. Build a planned Giving Strategy (aka the head)
Think about all you can accomplish with planned giving. Yes, your time and organization’s budget play a factor, but being consistent with what you can accomplish is key. Start small but have a plan that lets your donors know they can leave your organization a gift in their wills, or even designate retirement IRA accounts or stock investments to your organization after they pass away.

Nonprofit leaders must take a hard look at employee engagement
by Christine Shepherd, managing partner, Planning Plus

When I was entering the workforce in my late teens, a solid, well-written resume and interview skills were everything. As a job seeker, long tenure and job stability were key factors in the job hunting and interviewing process. If you were looking for positions in management and leadership, a stable and consistent work history was considered a major plus.

Now, more than 25 years later, the job market is in a different place. Various job experiences paired with shorter tenure have slowly become the new normal. Career paths are not always linear. And the massive number of job vacancies and an unprecedented employee turnover rate have led to a significant paradigm shift in employment power.

According to the article Rewriting Employee Engagement, published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on Feb. 3, 2022, “19 million (people) resigned between March 2021 and July 2021.” Talking heads and critics tried explaining this labor movement as a blip in time — a response to an influx of COVID relief funding. As time went on and more jobs continued to sit open, it has become evident that employers no longer hold the power.
In the article, the author Eva Andres goes on to say “it's a desire for change fed by pandemic-era introspection … What we're seeing now is shift of power from employer to employee, a humanistic labor evolution in which people are revisiting their values and what they want to do with their lives. That is forcing employers to adapt to employees' needs instead of the other way around.”

Yes, that’s right. The hiring organization is now in the hot seat.

So how do we assess how we are doing with employee engagement and what can we do better?

Episode 13: How can innovation take your nonprofit further? Join Shari Finnell as she speaks with Donna Oklak, founder of the Meridian Foundation, and Jonathan Haag, vice president of innovation at CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions. These nonprofit leaders give their perspectives on what it takes to be innovative in the nonprofit sector. Listen
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir has hired Kristin Schwerha as development director. Schwerha previously was the grants and foundations manager for LOGAN Community Resources, Inc.
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation has hired Andrea Farmer as chief communications officer. Farmer previously was director of external engagement at Indiana Donor Network.
Indianapolis Propylaeum has named Alison 'Ali' Brown executive director. Brown previously was executive director of Rebuilding Together and the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana has hired Karen Doe as director of operations. Doe previously was district director of business services at YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant to Marian University to support the launch of the E.S. Witchger School of Engineering. Marian University officials said the new school is designed to help educate a pipeline of diverse engineering talent to meet local workforce needs. Read more

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and The Indianapolis Foundation have announced 31 recipients for the first round of funding from the Elevation Grant Program. As part of the program, more than $4.3 million will support projects focused on developing thriving neighborhoods, empowering youth, and restoring communities through mental wellness. See the list of recipients

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has awarded the Center for Leadership Development a $300,000 grant to support the construction of a 20,000-square-foot addition to the organization’s headquarters. Learn more

Glick Philanthropies has awarded Child Advocates a $75,000 grant to help fund an Educational Liaisons Program, which is designed to help children overcome barriers in school. Read more

The STEM Connection has received $74,774 from Lilly Company Co., Lilly Endowment Inc., The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Citizens Energy Group Co., Marion County Farm Bureau, Scientech Club Co., Jack & Jill of America Co., After School Coalition of Indianapolis, and Clif Family Co. The proceeds will support STEM programming for local children.

Early Learning Indiana has announced the launch of a new Early Learning Marketplace. The marketplace supports Indiana parents seeking high-quality childcare. Read more

The National Urban League has selected 40 organizations in Marion County to receive more than $21 million in grants through the new Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative. See recipients
Avoid data pitfalls webinar on Aug. 11 from 9-11 a.m. Learn how to think critically about data and how to use it effectively despite any limitations. Presented by SAVI Data Literacy. Cost: Free. Register

Close the gap: Funding black & brown-led organizations like we want them to win panel discussion on Aug. 17 from 9-11 a.m. Join the hybrid event online or at 3039 N. Post Rd. to hear experts discuss why philanthropy has historically failed to support these organizations, and what can be done differently. Presented by ProAct Indy. Cost: Free. Register

Frame the problem webinar on Aug. 25 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Before using data to inform decisions, identify what you are trying to accomplish and determine how data can help you. Presented by SAVI Data Literacy. Cost: Free. Register

Cultivating major donors: What’s working now webinar on Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. Learn which tactics and messages are working best in 2022, and how to stay connected with key supporters and connect with potential donors. Presented by Chronicle of Philanthropy. Cost: $69. Register

Advanced nonprofit governance online series starts Sept. 29 and meets every other Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. This five-part series is designed for more seasoned board members and executive directors who are seeking ways to amplify their impact. Presented by Hedges. Cost: $400 for two people from the same nonprofit. Learn more and register
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful needs volunteers to help with weeding and planting fruit trees at the Fall Creek Orchard Community Greenspace on Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. Register

United Way of Central Indiana is looking for volunteers for its ReadUP program, an initiative that sends volunteers into elementary schools to assist students who are behind on their reading skills. Learn more and volunteer
Nonprofit boards and leadership can help address worker burnout within their organizations by creating a safe space where employees can express their feelings and have more time to develop a real solution to a problem.
What is the role of the board when responding to feedback from community members it serves? And how can effective listening open new paths to equity and inclusion as boards seek to become more representative of their communities?
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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 - Tri Sigma Foundation

Chief Financial Officer - Damien Center

Executive Director (FT/PT) – America China Society of Indiana

Vice President, Development & Communications – Firefly Children & Family Alliance

Fund Development/Marketing/PR/Advocacy

Director of Development - Ivy Tech Community College

Development Officer - Kiwanis International

Manager, Communications & Stewardship - Best Buddies Indiana

Advancement Associate - Herron High School, Inc.

Resource Development & Marketing Manager - Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis

Director of Development - Food Bank of Northern Indiana

Development and Engagement Manager – The International Center

Indiana University: Assistant Director, Foundation Relations – Indiana University Office of Foundation Relations

Indiana University: Associate Director, Foundation Relations – Indiana University Office of Foundation Relations

Marketing and Development Coordinator - Holliday Park Foundation

Associate Director of Development– College Mentors for Kids

Associate Director, Relationship Events – Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter

Major Gifts Officer – Indiana University School of Medicine

Director of Food Sourcing – Food Bank of Northern Indiana

Admin Support/Clerical

Executive Assistant - 500 Festival

Office Administrator – Christ Lutheran Church


Director of Finance - Damien Center

Accountant - Kiwanis International

Business Administrator - Light of the World Christian Church

Staff Accountant - Central Indiana Community Foundation

Major Gifts Officer - Financial Development - YMCA Of Greater Indianapolis

Data/Research/Quality Assurance

Data & Outcomes Coordinator - Lutheran Child & Family Services

340B Program Manager – Damien Center

Programs/Program Support

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

Liaison-Madison County (Part-Time) - Firefly Children & Family Alliance

Operation Manager - Marian University

Liaison-Madison County (Full-Time) – Firefly Children & Family Alliance

Program Director - Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter

Membership Coordinator – Indiana Osteopathic Association

Director of Planning and Public Programs – Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc.

Community Organizer – Patchwork Indy

Director - Home Based (New Whiteland) - Firefly Children & Family Alliance


WorkLiteracy Coach - Indy Reads