March 16, 2021
Local church transforms neglected Eastside neighborhood through strategic economic development plan
Eastern Star Church announces the groundbreaking of a 60,000-square-foot youth center — part of Phase II of its ROCK Initiative
by Shari Finnell, editor/writer, Not for Profit Newsletter

(Para leer en español, haga clic aquí) Translated by LUNA Language Services

When comparing the livability of a neighborhood, it’s easy to quickly get caught up in numbers — crime rate, school scores, home values, walkability scores … or miles to the nearest grocery store. House hunters are likely to carefully compare these ratings, knowing that it can impact the quality of their family’s lives after a move.

However, many residents in some of the city’s most impoverished communities can’t make those types of choices. With a significant number challenged by limited financial resources, moving isn’t an option.

Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr., is intimately familiar with one of those neighborhoods — the Arlington Woods community, which is located in the 46218 ZIP code — an area that has been blighted by high crime rates, high rates of unemployment, high student dropout rates and, more recently, high rates of COVID-19 infection.

Johnson, who grew up in this neighborhood before going off to college, returned at the age of 24 to become the pastor of Eastern Star Church (ESC), which has three campuses, including its Main Campus at 5750 E. 30th St., in the heart of the 46218 community.

Under Johnson’s 33-year leadership, the church continually invested in the community through a food pantry, affordable apartment housing, financial investments in local schools, health fairs, volunteering, mentoring and other programs. In 2017, Johnson joined members of ESC in announcing the launch of The ROCK Initiative, a more comprehensive plan for investing in the community. The ROCK Initiative is built on four pillars — affordable housing, strong community, quality education and financial security.

As part of Phase I, the church renovated and built single-family homes, developed an urban garden, and constructed a multi-use complex with 25 apartment units and retail space occupied by a credit union, a grocery store and social service providers. The initiative received support from numerous community partners, including INHP, Habitat for Humanity, The Mind Trust, Financial Health Federal Credit Union, Community Health, and Eskenazi Health.

Today, it announced another major phase in accomplishing its vision for a transformed community — the development of the ROCK Community Center for Children and Youth, a 60,000-square-foot facility that will provide students a safe environment to study, learn new skills, and engage in recreational and developmental activities.

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Make Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices easy and secure
Save your organization a collective headache with software and hardware that make remote work easier, safer, and more secure. 
by Cody Lents, partner and change manager, COVI, Inc.

With nearly 42% of the American workforce continuing to work remotely, you’ve undoubtedly had firsthand experience with an unreliable home connection, or tried connecting with a peer who has had challenges. A normally fine broadband connection can suddenly come to a grinding halt when family members and neighbors all sign on for remote work and school.

The easy solution? Higher speeds and more bandwidth. Unfortunately, that is not always available. The best alternative? A dedicated hotspot. 

Establishing a reliable home connection
While mobile hotspots work great in a pinch to provide connectivity when and where you need it, a dedicated hotspot device can offer even more capability — allowing you to tap into organizational resources via a VPN pass-through, and options that enable users to block devices and “whitelist” media access control (MAC) for added security. Additionally, it allows you to make calls and use the data connection on your phone without draining its battery as a hotspot.

The Skyroam Solis (to leverage AT&T and T-Mobile networks) and Verizon JetPack are two great examples of a dedicated device that will ensure your team never experiences a glitchy, lagging Zoom call again.

Securing personal devices for work
An IBM Survey found that 53% of remote workers are on a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, using their personal devices for work. However, about 61% of respondents say their employer provided no tools on how to properly secure those devices. The use of personal devices for work puts your organization’s data at risk of cyber-attack.

Implementing a security infrastructure, such as a VPN or gateway is the best investment your organization can make to ensure the safety and security of your technology.

Virtualized remote services
Solutions like Microsoft’s RDS/Published Apps, Citrix, or AWS’ App Stream, enable organizations to allow their employees remote and secure access to their infrastructure’s resources. By tapping into their physical office PCs, employees have access to all the applications, data and resources they need to do their work — eliminating the need for any other virtual desktops/applications to accommodate teleworking. Virtualized Remote Access can provide aa safe, secure option for all.

IU Ventures has hired Jonathan Barada as vice president. Barada most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Bloomington Health Foundation. — Inside Indiana Business
Indiana Donor Network has hired Jefferson Hare as manager of in-house organ recovery and perfusion operations. Hare most recently served as CEO of Transplant Staffing Resources. — Inside Indiana Business 
The Damien Center has promoted Marco Gonzalez to director of human resources and operations. Gonzalez previously served as a care coordinator and executive assistant. — Inside Indiana Business
EmployIndy has promoted Chelsea Meldrum to chief development & external affairs officer. Meldrum previously served as development officer for the Indianapolis Museum of Art. — Inside Indiana Business 
Lilly Endowment has approved $16.75 million in new grants to help Indiana communities respond to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The support consists of a $15 million grant to Indiana United Ways, which will distribute funds primarily through its statewide network of local United Ways to help meet needs in Hoosier communities, and a $1.75 million grant to United Way of Central Indiana to help meet needs in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Morgan counties. Read

Cathedral High School has created the Chris Beaty Endowed Memorial Tuition Fund in honor of the local businessman, who was often called “Mr. Indianapolis.” So far, $100,000 has been donated to the fund. Read

Wabash-based White's Residential & Family Services is launching the Catapult program, which will equip young adults with the skills necessary for obtaining employment in the state's advanced manufacturing sector. Read

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana reported that it distributed twice as much food in 2020 than it did in 2019. The increased demand was attributed to the economic upheaval stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen

Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana has received a $200,000 gift from the Chapman Charitable Trust. The gift will be used to purchase more Murphy beds and mattresses to increase respite services and emergency lodging capacity. Read
Employee retention credit: A guide for nonprofit & higher education leaders webinar on March 18 at 2 p.m. Learn the criteria an organization must meet to qualify for the ERC. Presented by BKD. Cost: Free. Register

Creating space for critical conversations on March 18 at 10 a.m. Become empowered with skills necessary to have critical conversations with people around issues of values-based importance, including how to address hate language and bias. Presented by Peace Learning Center. Cost: $35. Register

Planning for a successful campaign webinar on March 23 at noon. The session will address various topics, including how to ensure a successful campaign in a new environment and how to plan for effective campaigns in advance. Presented by Johnson Grossnickle & Associates. Cost: Free. Register

Life beyond COVID-19: Nonprofit strategies to survive & move forward webinar on March 25 at 2 p.m. This webinar will review how nonprofits have been affected by the global crisis, what they’ve done to stay strong, and what they're doing now to help restore communities. Presented by BKD. Cost: Free. Register

Starting a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization on Mar 27 at 7 p.m. will help you assess whether starting a nonprofit is right for you. Presented by Indiana Legal Services. Cost: Free. Learn more

How to build an individual giving program webinar on April 1 at 7 p.m. Understand the current fundraising environment and how to overcome your fears with individual giving programs. Presented by CFRE. Cost: Free. Register

Developing an effective board of directors webinar on April 3 at 7:00 p.m. Understand the basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards and identify methods for improving board effectiveness. Presented by Falicia Brewer as part of an Indianapolis Public Library program. Cost: Free. Register
A brief summary of the nonprofit sector, according to BKD’s 2021 Annual Report State of the Nonprofit Sector report.
Nonprofits worked together more than ever during the pandemic and should continue to embrace a collaborative environment where organizations share resources and work toward mutual goals.
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Events, Meetings and Offices

With 2,000 square feet of coworking space, budget-friendly private offices, and comfortable meeting and event spaces, the Nexus Impact Center is an ideal location to pursue your mission. Located just off Interstate 465 and Michigan Road, Nexus allows your team members and visitors to quickly reach your space and meet in spacious rooms that allow for safe social distancing. More
To view all jobs, visit the Not-for-profit News jobs' board.

Executive Director - 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Inc.

President - Arts for Learning Indiana


Grants and Compliance Manager - The Julian Center

Vice President of Fund Development - Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

Annual Giving Officer -Ascension St. Vincent Foundation

Community Relations Specialist - LIFEDesigns Inc.

Donor Engagement Officer - Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana


Office Manager/Bookkeeper for Homeless Shelter - Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis

Operations Manager - Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

Receptionist/Office Administrator - Indiana Repertory Theatre

Office Manager - Pre-Born!


Communications Specialist - Indianapolis Transportation Corporation (IndyGo)

Director of Communications - Indianapolis Transportation Corporation (IndyGo)

Membership and Communications Coordinator - Raybourn Group International


Finance Assistant - Damien Center

Staff Accountant - Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc.

Assistant Director of Finance - Ball State University



Vice President of Child Care - YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

Program Director, Accelerate 100+ - Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council (Mid-States MSDC)

Career Education and Training Academy Coordinator – Edna Martin Christian Center

Family Success Coach – Edna Martin Christian Center

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Indiana Youth Institute

Program Director - Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis

Match Specialist - Starfish Initiative

Mentoring Relationship Specialist - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana

Vice President of Equity Advancement - YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

Home Delivery Services Associate - Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

Director of Community Engagement - Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB)


Professional Standards and Compliance Specialist - MIBOR REALTOR® Association

State Policy Associate – EdChoice