September 8, 2021
Stretching your grant budget with volunteers
by The Nonprofit Times

It’s a typical dilemma — the project is crucial, but the price tag exceeds the maximum request the funder allows. None of the options for dealing with this quandary offer a smooth, all-air solution. Trying to piece the budget together through various grant proposals is a logistical nightmare.

Scaling back the project’s scope will erode your ability to meet the defined community need. There’s tough competition for your organization’s discretionary funds and you’re unlikely to convince administrators to spend down the hard-earned nest egg on a new endeavor.

Since personnel costs are the lion’s share of most grant budgets, including a volunteer component in the program plan is a common response to the low-cap scenario.

“Engaging community volunteers can bring a host of benefits and add substantial in-kind value to the budget,” said Barbara Floersch, grant expert and author of the new book You Have a Hammer: Building Grant Proposals for Social Change. “But a robust volunteer program is not budget neutral. It costs money.” Floersch encourages nonprofits to weigh the demands and benefits of a volunteer program carefully before going all-in.

Can you recruit volunteers with the right knowledge and skills? Helping in the homeless shelter’s kitchen is entirely different than providing one-on-one support to young people struggling with opioid addiction. “Take a hard look at project needs and ask yourself whether volunteers are a good option,” Floersch said. “Sometimes volunteer training will make it work. Other times, only professional level expertise is appropriate.”

What systems will you need? Think of volunteers as employees who don’t get paid. Like employees, they’ll need job descriptions, they’ll submit time sheets, and they’ll be expected to abide by the organization’s policies and procedures. Proper screening of volunteers is always essential, but sloppy screening can be fatal for some projects, such as those serving vulnerable populations.

“Strong, detailed systems protect the volunteers, the beneficiaries, and the organization. Do background checks just as you would for employees and consider liability issues from all perspectives. Make sure the right insurance coverage is in place,” Floersch said.

Donor engagement and retention techniques: Invest time now to solidify donor relationships
by Andy Canada, senior consultant, director of data analytics, Johnson, Grossnickle and Associate

While we need to work to engage all of our donors, many nonprofits have experienced the benefit of an influx of new donors in response to the pandemic’s challenges. What can you do to engage and retain these new donors as well as deepen your relationships with your existing donor pool?

Donor Engagement

While we are operating in unusual times, you do not want to throw out your tried-and-true ways of engaging and stewarding your donors. But, you might consider adding the following strategies as well.

Personal connections: Think creatively about how to create personal connections with donors, such as engaging with donors via FaceTime to capture a specific meaningful moment at your organization. Engage board members, leadership team members, volunteers, and other donors in thank you calls. Hearing from someone new will expand donors’ connections and engagement with your organization.

Technology techniques: Using technology to your advantage has hopefully become easier than ever over the past year. There are multiple platforms that can be very effective with donors who are now more familiar with different means of communicating. Tell your story from the perspective of those you serve — send short video messages telling the story of how lives have been changed by gifts from generous donors. You might also share short “day in the life” videos from the heart of your organization—such as the teacher, direct care staff, curator, cook—to give a glimpse into real-world impact.

Peer engagement: Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising or use third-party events to deepen engagement and spread your reach. Personal referrals will never go out of style. Identify donors who can advocate on your behalf to reach out and engage new donors. This will create an additional touchpoint and provide a way to ask for additional support from a peer or for a specific program.

Donor Retention

Research from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project indicates first time donors only donate again about 20 percent of the time. However, if a donor makes a second donation, the chance of them continuing to contribute is 60 percent. Invest in new donors now, because retaining a donor for multiple years will more than make up for the initial investment.

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has named Julia Kathary as development director. Kathary, who most recently served as CEO of Coburn Place, also is interim executive director for Albion Fellows Bacon Center.
The JCC Indianapolis has named Ethan Cohen as assistant director of youth engagement and special events. Cohen will continue to serve part-time as Indianapolis' BBYO city director.
The Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana has hired David Sklar as a director of government affairs. Previously, Sklar was a director at the Indianapolis Jewish Commu-nity Relations Council.  
FIRST Indiana Robotics has hired Trisha Thompson as its FIRST LEGO league program manager. Trisha previously was a realtor with Premier Realty Group.
FIRST Indiana Robotics has hired Dan Leathers as ops and logistics manager. Previously, Dan was a hardware technician with Transloc.
FIRST Indiana Robotics has hired Megan Cabral as development coordinator. Megan previously worked as an administrative assistant for Purdue Polytechnic in West Lafayette. 
IndyGo has announced an award of $80 million for the construction of the Purple Line Bus Rapid Transit, a 15-mile route connecting the city of Indianapolis to the city of Lawrence. The route is among the most active in the IndyGo system. Read

Hands of Hope, a Marion-based nonprofit Family Service Society Inc., is transitioning from a domestic violence shelter to a new mobile advocacy model. Hands of Hope representatives say the change will better serve victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and stalking. Read

Indianapolis Business Journal is now accepting nominations for CFO of the Year for their roles as
financial stewards of corporations and not-for-profit/government organizations. Nominate

Indy Do Day, scheduled for Sept. 24, will match volunteers with nonprofits’ requests for completion of a service project. Hosted by The Rotary Club of Indianapolis Post your nonprofit project

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis is launching a 6-week series of classes to help immigrants earn their U.S. citizenship. Thanks to an anonymous gift, free courses will be offered to help green card holders prepare for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization exam. Read

Free support is being offered to employers challenged by worker shortages due to childcare issues. All of Child Care Answers’ services are free, funded by the Indiana Family Social Services Administration. Learn more

Learn more about the latest in employee retention, development, and other leading nonprofit topics. Subscribe to Charitable Advisors YouTube channel 
How to think like a grant reviewer webinar on Sept. 21 from 9-10 a.m. Learn to increase your competitiveness in state and federal grant applications through a mock review process. Presented by Indiana Grant Professionals Association Chapter. Cost: Free. Register

How to inspire legacy gifts webinar on Sept. 23 from 2-3:15 p.m. Learn how to identify prospective donors, promote planned gifts in sensitive and effective ways, and engage with them over the long term. Presented by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Cost: $69. Register

Effective staff and board roles webinar on Sept. 23 from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Participants will learn how to maximize their strengths in executive and board leadership roles. Offered by Hedges, with presenting sponsors Faegre Drinker and Katz, Sapper and Miller and supporting sponsor FirstPerson Advisors. Cost: $60. Register

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization workshop on Sept. 25, from 1-4 p.m. at Indianapolis Public Library Central, 40 E. Clair St. This session will help you assess whether starting a nonprofit is right for you. Hosted by Indianapolis Public Library. Masks are required for entry. Cost: Free. Register

Why and how to plan a successful golf fundraiser in 2022 webinar on Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. Learn how nonprofits can use golf tournaments to reach and engage with new and existing donors and sponsors. Presented by Nonprofit Tech for Good. Cost: Free. Register

Boost fundraising success with data-driven strategic planning virtual summit on Oct. 6 from 9:30 a.m.-noon. Learn how to develop an essential measurement culture. Hosted by Barnes Dennig’s 2021 Virtual Annual Not-for-Profit Leadership Summit Cost: Free. Register

Governing for Nonprofit Excellence virtual learning on Oct. 21-29. Learn essential competencies of nonprofit governance: board leadership, strategic stewardship, performance measurement, and financial oversight. Presented by Harvard Business School Executive Education. Cost: $3,750. Download brochure
Central Indiana Land Trust needs volunteers on Sept. 21 to help with “An Evening on the Bluffs,” an outdoor fund-raising gathering at Highland Golf & Country Club, 1050 W. 52nd Street. Register

Growing Places Indy needs volunteers for its Indy Night Market on Sept. 25, from 6-10 p.m. at the open lot behind 2955 N. Meridian St. Needs for the event include set up and tear down, event support and stage set up. Register

Volunteers are needed for the Zoo Boo at the Indianapolis Zoo from Oct. 4-31. Volunteers will help create an environment of family-fun at the Halloween-themed event. Assignments included leading interactive games, greeting guests, and guiding families through trails. Register
Organizations tend to take either a top-down or bottom-up approach to leadership, but a combination is preferable because it draws on the best of both styles and encourages a fluid approach to change.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has affirmed employers can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but it's important to analyze other requirements before moving forward with a plan. 
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.

Space available for nonprofit in Fountain Square area

Rental spaces available for nonprofits in newly renovated 6,200-square-foot building at 2119 Prospect St. Available as a single space or two spaces with designated entrance and bathrooms, HVAC and common areas, with parking in an adjacent lot. Buildout to suit. Contact Harold Miller, 317-753-2034.

Could you lead an organization that has assisted four thousand victims of crime and abuse victims each year and helps them move forward or start in a new life? Do you feel passionate about advocating on behalf of marginalized and traumatized individuals? Prevail has offered a full range of comprehensive, restorative services to victims for the past 35 years and is a recognized leader in victim advocacy. We empower victims of crime and abuse on their path to healing, while engaging the community to support safe, healthy relationships. Programs and services including housing opportunities are offered to teens and adults along with their children. 

Would you like to help transform the lives of children with motor challenges and celebrate alongside families as their children achieve various developmental milestones such as walking, talking, and other self-help skills. You can lead an organization that offers the only Conductive Education program in the state of Indiana. The Jackson Center equips children with motor challenges associated with cerebral palsy, brain injury, and stroke with the physical ability and confidence to attain the highest quality of independent life. Our primary focus is the practice of Conductive Education, which develops motor skills through repetition, peer interaction, and positive reinforcement while integrating with traditional therapy.
To view all jobs, visit the Not-for-profit News jobs' board.

Director of Fundraising and Marketing - The Patachou Foundation

Executive Director/CEO - Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

Senior Leadership - Tolson Center for Community Excellence


Grants Senior Manager - United Way of Central Indiana

Membership Manager - PIA of Indiana

Mid-Level Advancement Officer - Tri Sigma Foundation

Advancement and Campaign Associate - Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre

Major Gifts Officer - Culver Academies

Annual Fund Officer - Culver Academies

Grants Coordinator - Little Red Door Cancer Agency

Director of Corporate & Foundation Giving - Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Associate Director of Annual Giving & Communication - Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Development Executive Assistant and Project Manager - Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Senior Development Officer - Indiana University Health

Director of Foundation and Government Relations - Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites

Development Officer - Anderson University


Business Manager - Holy Trinity Orthodox Church

Office Manager - Theta Chi Fraternity


Director of Marketing - Ascend Indiana

Communications Manager - Arts for Lawrence

Marketing and Communications Coordinator - Center for Congregations


Grant Programs and Finance Coordinator - Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking

Senior Staff Accountant - HVAF of Indiana

Human Resources

Client Support Specialist - Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, Inc.


Research Associate - United Way of Central Indiana


Director of Member Programs - Indiana Philanthropy Alliance

Program Development Manager - Servants at Work (SAWs)

Continuum of Care Grants Analyst - IN Housing and Community Development Authority

Case Manager – HVAF of Indiana

Senior Program Manager - Corporation for Supportive Housing

Family Assistance Program Coordinator - Inclusivity Institute

Mobile Advocate - Prevail, Inc.

Match Specialist - Starfish Initiative

Therapist - Children's Bureau

A&C Health Wraparound Facilitator - Adult & Child Health

A&C Health Wraparound Therapist - Adult & Child Health

Program Assistant - Financial Empowerment - Foster Success



Regional Supervisor - Church World Services


Consulting Analyst - Ascend Indiana

Manager of Consulting - Ascend Indiana

Land Bank Specialist - Renew Indianapolis

Real Estate Manager - Renew Indianapolis

Member Engagement Coordinator - Indiana Osteopathic Association