October 6, 2020
COVID-19 forces more than 40 percent of Central Indiana nonprofits to reconsider facility needs, and some to implement new delivery models, according to CA survey
by Shari Finnell, editor, Not-for-Profit News

After more than seven months of operating under restrictions caused by COVID-19, most nonprofit organizations have made adjustments in programming and/or office operations, with some permanently changing their service models with the aid of technology, according to an informal survey by Charitable Advisors.

For some, the new normal has revealed inadequacies in employees’ ability to deliver services from home. However, others noted some positive outcomes.

“Now we understand we can work successfully from home,” one survey respondent said. “The silver lining is that we all gained better technological skills. Plus, we adapted by recruiting, training, and working with volunteers all through virtual means — remarkable.” With that significant shift, the survey respondent said, the team plans to reduce its lease footprint in the future.

Another survey respondent questioned the need for a facility if social distancing continued to be a requirement for the foreseeable future. “Our current space is not set up for social distancing,” the respondent said. “Do we need a physical location at all?”

However, a significant number of respondents indicated that they will continue to need their facilities to deliver services.

Of 59 nonprofit representatives that responded to the survey, which was conducted in August 2020...
-      more than 30% said that everyone was working from home;
-      nearly 38% said programs are being delivered virtually;
-      slightly more than 12% said programs have been suspended

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Don’t have a data partner? You need to get one … now
by Leslie Wells, Assistant Director of Communications, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI

It’s a data-driven world, and finding a partner to help in the process is critical to a nonprofit’s future, its funders and, most importantly, to those whom the organization serves. Most nonprofits want and need to be able to show promising results to justify their existing efforts and their plans for future expansion. At the same time, staff members at those organizations also want to know that their hard work is making a difference. Having solid, reliable data can help them accomplish both of these goals.

But data can be intimidating, and many groups don’t know where to begin.

“Any nonprofit needs to start with solid questions and ideas about what they’ll do and who they’ll serve,” said Breanca Merritt, director for the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy (CRISP). “Data helps you answer those questions and make informed decisions.” CRISP recently partnered with the Martin Luther King Community Center in Indianapolis to address community crime prevention, thanks to a grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

After reviewing the research CRISP conducted, leaders at the MLK Center assessed their strategy and shifted their focus to young people. They used the data CRISP collected to secure a grant and create the Best Buy Teen Tech Center. From computers to a recording studio and a 3D printer, the new space gives at-risk preteens and teens the opportunity to explore tech-based interests, careers, and opportunities.

Merritt says the MLK Center project is an example of what embracing data can do for nonprofits — and she has advice for organizations that are just beginning their data journey:

1. Define your vision. Decide who it is you want to serve and how, then think about what data or other resources you already have — or don’t have — to communicate that story.

2. Find a data and research partner. If you're not a data person, find someone who is. Let them analyze your data before you reach your own conclusions. They can help you translate your big picture goals into something more tangible and measurable.

IndyFringe has named Justin Brady as its new CEO. Brady, a graduate of Butler University and Indiana University, most recently served as the manager annual fund and events for New 42nd Street in New York. — Indianapolis Star
The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo has named Rick Schuiteman as its executive director. Schuiteman previously worked for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Co., in Orlando, Fla. — Inside Indiana Business
The Villages annual golf outing, a recent two-event that attracted 114 golfers, has raised more than $83,000 in support of Villages’ Kids, a program that helps vulnerable children in need of foster care, adoption, and other family services.

As part of its ongoing Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative, Lilly Endowment has awarded more than $10 million to community foundations in Indiana. The funds will help support various initiatives, including early childhood education, workforce development efforts, transportation plans and health outcomes. Read more

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana have joined forces to support Gleaners' No One Runs On Empty awareness campaign, which highlights advocacy and volunteerism, and encourages financial support for Gleaners’ hunger relief programs. Read more

CertaSite has announced that CertaSite Serves, its charitable giving arm, has collected more than 7,300 pounds of food and essential items as part of a companywide food drive. Second Helpings has been designated as one of nine food banks to receive donations. Read more

DONATION NEEDED: The Grindery, a nonprofit that provides entrepreneurship training on the near northwest side of Indianapolis, is looking for conference room tables and chairs. Contact Stephanie Patterson sptterson@gmail.com or (317) 919-5194.
Nonprofits pivot to develop “virtual hiring halls” for day laborers. An estimated 117,600 people look for work on street corners on an average day. What does a nonprofit that acts as a hiring hall do when workers cannot congregate due to a pandemic?
We’re burning out on remote work and video calls. As the pandemic has stretched into months and the days seem to melt into each other, a vast majority of remote workers are burning out, according to a recent survey from Monster.com. Here’s how to get focused.
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Director of Development - Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.

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Community and Parent Coordinator - Edna Martin Christian Center

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