September 22, 2020
Local Nonprofit Leaders View Social Justice Protests as Catalyst for Real Change
by Shari Finnell, editor, Not-for-Profit News

This article is the first in a series of perspectives on how to achieve racial equity locally, nationally and globally. If you would like to submit your nonprofit’s racial justice initiative for possible publication in Not-for-Profit News, please contact Shari Finnell at

“What’s next?” That’s the question on the agendas of many nonprofits in the wake of racial justice protests joined by as many as 26 million people throughout America in 2020. Here, the following five Central Indiana leaders give their perspectives on how to address that question as part of efforts to achieve real change in our nation’s renewed quest for racial equity.

  • Alan Bacon, senior director of Social Innovation for United Way of Central Indiana
  • Ebony Chappell, manager of program and communications, Leadership Indianapolis
  • Jill English, director of Child Advocates’ Interrupting Racism for Children
  • Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  • Lindsey Rabinowitch, director of the Faith & Action Project for Christian Theological Seminary.

With as many as 26 million people joining in Black Lives Matters protests nationwide in 2020, the United States could be poised for real change in achieving racial equity, according to Alan Bacon, senior director of social innovation for United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI).

“This is a large and significant moment for world history,” Bacon said. “We saw the entire world galvanize around the notion of racial equity. A lot of organizations are now asking, ‘What can we do to help?’.”

However, Bacon said, the moment could be lost unless there is an investment in the work required to eliminate systemic racism. “There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure that it’s not just a footnote to the history of 2020,” he said. “We have a unique opportunity to do something about racial justice.”

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By Deirdre Bird & Jami Vallandingham, VonLehman CPA & Advisory

On August 28, the IRS issued guidance that provides some explanation of how employers can defer withholding and remitting an employee’s share of Social Security tax when wages are below a certain amount. The guidance in Notice 2020-65 was issued to implement President Trump’s executive action signed in early August.

The guidance is brief, and private employers still have questions about whether, and how, to implement the deferral. The President’s action only defers Social Security taxes; it doesn’t forgive them, meaning employees will have to pay the taxes later unless Congress passes a law to eliminate the liability.

Tax deferral background

On August 8, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum that permits the deferral of the employee portion of Social Security taxes for certain employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The memorandum directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to defer withholding, deposit and payment of an eligible employee’s share of Social Security taxes (or the employee’s share of Railroad Retirement taxes) on wages or compensation paid from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. It applies to employees whose wages or compensation, payable during any biweekly pay period, generally are less than $4,000, or the equivalent amount with respect to other pay periods. The determination of applicable wages is made on a pay-period-by-pay-period basis. Amounts can be deferred without penalties, interest or additions to the tax.

Project Lead The Way has named Max Altmark as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Altmark most recently served as director of operations for Strategic Investment Group. — Inside Indiana Business
Drug Free Marion County has promoted Michaelangelo McClendon to the position of executive director and prevention program director. McClendon previously served as the organization's interim executive director.
Prosperity Indiana has named Michaela Wischmeier as research and communications specialist. Wischmeier worked with the nonprofit as an AmeriCorps Member-Fellow. – Inside Indiana Business
Kristaan Jenks has been hired by Indiana Donor Network as the manager of human resources. Jenks was previously the human resource manager at Tangoe. — Indianapolis Business Journal
Claude McNeal Productions has received an $85,000 grant from the Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund, an Arts Council of Indianapolis program made possible by Lilly Endowment, Inc. The funds will be used to restart its ACT Out social-issue theatre program in a virtual format. Read

Affiliated Service Providers in Indiana, Inc. (ASPIN) has received a $2.4 million grant from Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA). ASPIN will use the proceeds to certify community health workers to help those impacted by opioid use or substance abuse. Read

Teach Indy has been awarded $200,000 to help recruit, develop and retain teachers for Indianapolis schools. The funds were granted by the College Football Playoff Foundation and 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Host Committee. Read

The National FFA has announced it will make a $10,000 donation to the Indiana Hospitality Relief Fund through the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association. FFA’s annual convention, which will be held virtually this year, typically generates $35 million in economic impact. Read

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) is seeking applicants for the Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute 2021 inaugural class. Excellent candidates are senior leaders and board members in philanthropy, as well as those seeking to hold those roles in the future. Applications are due by noon on Oct. 30. Read

As schools pivot toward online learning, Junior Achievement of Central Indiana is moving one of its biggest student programs, JA JobSpark, to an online platform so that students and teachers can participate from their homes. Read

COVID-19 Awards

Indiana University Health has awarded $500,000 to organizations throughout the state working to address community needs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The grants are part of the $100 million Community Impact Investment Fund. See recipient list
Cultural groups have biggest Facebook audiences, followed by international, environmental and hunger/poverty. Engagement scores on Facebook were up 16 percent overall in 2019 but varied widely depending on subsector.
Board diversification is a struggle for many nonprofits. While 95 percent of nonprofits are actively seeking to diversify their governing boards, 87 percent have been frustrated in their attempts to find the right recruitment channels.
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