January 18, 2022
An upward cycle: Fending off donor fatigue with innovation
by CJ Orr, vice president, Orr Group, and NonProfit Pro contributor

Donor fatigue is a slow burn. Whether it manifests itself through a dwindling regular contribution, a shift in finances, a loss of inspiration, event support or an unforeseen reason, a once-enthusiastic financial contributor may come to a point where they’re just not as interested as they used to be. I’m going to examine why this happens and what you can do about it.

The donor fatigue phenomenon can be seen across all types of revenue streams – foundations, corporations, major gifts, etc.; however, I’ll use an event donor to tell our donor fatigue story. Time after time, I’ve seen it happen. A donor buys a $25,000 table at a nonprofit’s annual capstone event. They do the same thing several years in a row — and then staff start hearing cues: “Oh, this is going to be the last time I’m doing this,” the donor says.

Or, they explain why they can’t spend as much on a table. It’s very straightforward: $25,000 through last year, $12,000 this year. Maybe they’ve been to that event enough. Maybe their financial situation has changed. Maybe they’re not inspired by the organization’s programs anymore. Maybe they feel like they’ve done their part. When you spot such fatigue, it’s time to tailor your ideas — with innovation — to bring donors back to the table at the level of enthusiasm and investment that helped your organization to thrive.

Giving to Women’s and Girls’ Organizations Represents 1.9 Percent of Total Charitable Giving in the U.S.
Renew Indianapolis has hired Josh Mullens as a real estate manager. Mullens previously was a consumer lending external loan advisor at FORUM Credit Union.
Renew Indianapolis has hired Martha Gilchrist as a land bank specialist. Gilchrist previously was the community manager for G-Bloc Loft Residences and Co-working.
Renew Indianapolis has hired Jeb Reece as a land bank specialist. Reece previously was the community development coordinator for the City of Richmond, Ind.
Circular Indiana has hired Cortnee Yarbrough as director of strategic engagement. Previously, Yarbrough was director of development at University Library at IUPUI.
The Indianapolis Public Transportation Foundation has promoted Rachel Moss to strategic initiatives and special projects manager. Moss previous was a community and gift coordinator.
Kappa Delta Pi has hired Stuart Kushner as chief communications officer. Kushner previously was director of communications for the Indiana Society of Association Executives.
The Indy Bar Association is offering a free nonprofit toolkit to help organizations navigate the challenges in understanding the federal income tax exemption application process and other challenging tasks often faced by nonprofit organizations. Download

The Indiana Youth Institute’s (IYI) Professional Development Grants program is offering financial assistance for youth workers to access continuing education that they might not otherwise be able to obtain. Each recipient can receive up to $750. Under the guidelines, there is a maximum of two awards awarded per organization per IYI fiscal year (July-June). The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. Learn more

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has awarded the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership® (INHP) a $50,000 grant. The funds will be used to support INHP’s Home Repair loan program.

The Indiana Governor's Fellowship Program is currently accepting applications. The program gives recent college graduates from across the state the opportunity to serve and gain experience in various state agencies on a rotating basis during a year-long period. Apply

As part of its On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program, the Indiana Arts Commission has awarded $204,000 to 102 creative entrepreneurs to fund arts projects throughout the state. Each project is designed to strengthen and support the recipient’s career and community. Read more

Community Foundation of Boone County, which continued a community matching grant initiative launched in 2020, awarded nearly $170,000 in matching grant funds in 2021. The impact resulted in $850,000 being distributed to 27 nonprofit grantees. See recipients

See an article, event or podcast that a friend or co-worker may be interested in? Ask them to subscribe to the Not-for-profit News for the leading nonprofit news in Central Indiana.
The Friends of Belmont Beach, a grassroots community initiative, is seeking volunteers to join their efforts. Belmont Beach, which includes a new pop-up park, seeks to salvage an overlooked area near White River in the historic Westside Indianapolis neighborhood of Haughville. Volunteers are needed for numerous committees, including marketing/outreach, event management, fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Read more
As grants from donor advised funds continue to grow at impressive rates, they are likely to play an even more prominent role in philanthropy in the years ahead. New research from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy demystifies the role DAFs play.
Holding the chief executive accountable is a very critical board role. Ensure that both the board and CEO understand expectations and that the chief executive is properly executing their core roles. Learn how leaders need to lead in areas like planning, fundraising and board relations.
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.

Downtown suites for lease with onsite parking
The Sol Center, located at 708 E. Michigan St. near the Bottleworks District in downtown Indianapolis, has affordable rental suites and collaborative spaces for nonprofit organizations. Leases include the use of a full kitchen, café style seating, meeting spaces, onsite parking and WiFi access. Contact Christian Page charold@mealsonwheelsindy.org
To view all jobs, visit the Not-for-profit News jobs' board.

Director - Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad


Director of Individual Giving - Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Assistant Director of Individual Giving - Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Vice President of Advancement - Indiana Youth Institute

Catholic Philanthropic Advisor - Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Vice President of Services - Disciples Church Extension Fund

Building and Capital Services Advisor - Disciples Church Extension Fund

Corporate Engagement Associate - United Way of Central Indiana

Grant Accountant - Indianapolis Public Schools

Development Director – Morning Light

Director of Development - Ivy Tech Community College - Hamilton County Campus

Outreach Manager - Indiana Youth Institute

Development Officer - IU Health Foundation, Indianapolis Metro Region


Parish Administrator (part-time) - Resurrection Lutheran Church

Assistant to President and CEO - Indiana Historical Society

Office Coordinator (Part-time) - Classical Music Indy

Front Desk/Office Assistant - accessABILITY, Center for Independent Living

Operations Director - Barbara B. Jordan YMCA, dba YMCA of Morgan County

Director of Project Management - Disciples Church Extension Fund

Operations Manager - Dance Kaleidoscope

Conference Assistant assigned to Diversity, Missions and Justice Ministries - Indiana Conference of United Methodist Church

Conference Assistant assigned to Districts - Indiana Conference of United Methodist Church


Special Events and Communications Specialist (Part-time) - The Jackson Center for Conductive Education

Director of Communications - Marion County Commission On Youth, Inc.--MCCOY Inc.

Associate Director of Events & Marketing (Part-time) - Laurel Hall/Phi Psi Foundation

Marketing Projects Coordinator - The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Content Coordinator (Part-time) - Indiana Conference of United Methodist Church


Financial Manager - ACLU of Indiana

Business Manager - Indiana Repertory Theatre

Bookkeeper / Office Manager (part-time) - Indiana Forest Alliance

Human Resources

Human Resources Specialist (Part-time) – Sigma Theta Tau International

Human Resources Coordinator - Indiana Youth Services Association


Database Administrator - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana

Business Analyst – Membership Insights - Indiana Hospital Association


Housing Pathway Coordinator - Damien Center

Associate, Visitor Services (Part-time) - Indiana Historical Society

Independent Living Advocate - accessABILITY, Center for Independent Living

Youth Program Coordinator - Domestic Violence Network

REACH Active Living Coordinator/Manager - Health by Design/ IPHA

Operations Coordinator - Indianapolis Children’s Choir

Case Manager - Bilingual (English/Spanish) - Bethany Christian Services

Program Manager (part-time) - Indianapolis Oasis

Program Manager, City Connects - Marian University - Center for Vibrant Schools

Account Management/Business Development

Member Relations Liaison - Indiana State Medical Association