February 14, 2023
Grant writing: Tips to enhance your chances of approval
Martin University’s vice president of institutional advancement gives insights on strategic fundraising
by Shari Finnell, editor/writer, Not-for-Profit News

While nonprofits have numerous options for raising funds, mastering the art of grant writing can be critical in gaining ongoing support for your organization. But the odds of approval can be against you. According to numerous estimates, only one out of 10 grant applications are approved.
However, with a strategic grant writing process that includes research, creative writing, and the ability to recognize when a grant is not a good fit, you can increase those odds, according to Kristie Johnson, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Martin University and a Certified Fundraising Executive.
Johnson, who earned a Ph.D. in leadership in higher Education from Bellarmine University and is currently working on an executive MBA from Howard University, recently led a grant writing workshop for the Black Heritage Preservation Program Research training workshop hosted by Indiana Landmarks in partnership with Indiana Humanities and Freetown Village.
The following are highlights of the tips she offered for more successful fundraising through a comprehensive grant writing plan.
Invest time in research before starting the application process. In addition to identifying foundations listed in directories, including the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) website, nonprofits could maximize the use of their time by gaining a deeper understanding of the organization. Some grant writers may not take the research far enough.

“Research is really important because you need to take the time to identify where your resources are,” Johnson said.

Review a foundation’s 990 tax documents. Gaining an understanding of a foundation’s giving history also can be an important step in being more successful in the grant writing process, Johnson said. In Indiana, that process can include researching foundations on the IPA website, which provides various pertinent information, including a foundation’s 990 tax documents.

Culture: The key to attracting and retaining top talent
by Dan Prater

COVID-19 created a storm in the labor market as companies were forced to close or suspend operations. In the aftermath of the pandemic, organizations of all sizes and types share a common denominator: mass vacancies. It seems most are scrambling to fill critical positions with quality employees.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in a May report said the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6%. Within that group, around 6 million were actively searching for a job. More than 1.5 million were classified as “not looking” or “don’t want a job.”

Mass workforce exodus

A recent Pew Research Center study found that low pay and lack of opportunities are two major reasons for people leaving their jobs. It also shows a lot of people quit because they feel disrespected or not appreciated in the workplace. Roughly half say childcare issues were a factor in their decision to leave.

Whether you’re an organization that has three, 30, or 3,000 employees, it’s a reality that you need quality, committed employees to be successful. It can be nearly impossible to carry out the work if you don’t have the right individuals in place.

A 2022 nonprofit study by FORVIS (a merger of BKD and DHG) found that more than seven out of 10 organizations across the nation are finding it difficult to deliver their programs and services because of workforce shortages.

Episode 38: Re-released Join Bryan Orander in a conversation with Tina Cloer, president & CEO of Firefly Children and Family Alliance, the new name for two of the oldest nonprofits in Central Indiana. Cloer talks about the 2021 merger for Families First and Children’s Bureau, and why trust and relationships are key to nonprofit partnerships. Listen
The Indiana University School of Medicine has hired Dr. Rachel Patzer as president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute. Patzer currently is director of the Health Services Research Center at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. — Indiana Business Journal
Christel House International has hired Ana Paula Buzo as chief talent and diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. Buzo previously was Christel House Mexico’s talent and culture leader.
Damien Center has promoted Alex Marshall to director of strategic initiatives. Marshall previously was a project manager. — Inside Indiana Business
The Patachou Foundation has named Jennifer Pope Baker as president and CEO. Previously, Pope Baker was the president and consultant, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana at Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Coburn Place has promoted Renita Adira to health program manager. Adira previously was housing advocate.
Choices Coordinated Care Solutions has named Karen Anders as chief financial officer. Anders previously worked at Advantage Health Solutions as executive controller and interim CFO.
Are your employee salaries competitive in this highly competitive nonprofit job market? Fill out our 2023 nonprofit salary report to be among the first to find out how Central Indiana nonprofits compare with compensation. The annual report, which can be an invaluable tool in recruiting efforts, provides insights on 26 categories of nonprofit roles. Survey participants will receive the report in June for their participation. Take the survey

Indianapolis Bar Foundation is accepting applications for the 2023 Community Empowerment Grant. Funds of $35,000 will be awarded to a non-profit or government entity to support a program that presents opportunities for members of the Central Indiana legal community to participate on a pro bono or modest means basis. Apply by March 3.

United Way of Central Indiana is accepting applications for Propel, an event that gives human services organizations the opportunity to pitch their ideas on how to reduce barriers for people from under-resourced communities or asset-limited backgrounds. Finalists will compete for prizes totaling more than $90,000. Apply by Feb. 27.

Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership® has awarded $900,000 to nine local organizations who provide affordable housing preservation, development, and collaboration to enhance the supply of affordable housing through homeownership, owner-occupied repairs, and rental projects. See recipients

The Baxter YMCA, located at 7900 Shelby St., has announced plans to break ground on an outdoor sports complex, which will include two soccer parks, a 40-yard turf field, basketball and pickle ball courts, a pavilion, and an outdoor walking trail. The project is supported by a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor. Learn more

Donations needed: Horizon House is requesting donations of blankets, backpacks, new underwear in all sizes, to-go snacks, and hand and foot warmers. Items may be dropped off at Horizon House, 1033 E. Washington St., during normal business hours. Learn more
Butler University MBA program virtual information session on Feb. 16 at noon. Learn more about Butler’s experiential curriculum, the application process, and how to evaluate other MBA programs. A Q-and-A session is included. Presented by Butler University. Cost: Free. Register

Limiting beliefs that might be holding you back pre-recorded webinar. Learn how to identify limiting beliefs and discover the many ways they are affecting the way you show up in your work and personal life, and create strategies to sidestep them. Watch

Maximizing a lean staff for optimal donor coverage prerecorded session https://tinyurl.com/2v8ksbrd. After watching the QuickBrief session, register for a 30-minute live chat to discuss strategies, ask questions, and share your own challenges and successes with maintaining adequate donor coverage. Feb. 23 at noon or Feb. 24 at 2:30 p.m. Presented by Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates. Cost: Free.

Executive Leadership: Leading longevity 90-minute interactive virtual workshop on March 7 at noon-1:30 p.m. Learn ways to reduce burnout and turnover. This session is tailored for executive directors and others in leadership positions. Presented by United Way of Central Indiana. Cost: Free. Register
Irvington Historical Society is seeking volunteers to assist with a wide variety of duties, including scanning materials in the archives, maintaining the building, installing displays, editing the website, planning events, and sharing information with visitors. Learn more
Small business owners can expand their reach and build stronger, authentic community relationships by paying it forward to others in need.
Volunteers are critical to nonprofits. Many organizations rely on them to support their mission. So, what do you do when your helpers lose interest and disengage?
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.

Nonprofit office space in great location
Indiana Interchurch Center, which is centrally located in Indianapolis at 1100 W. 42nd St., has available office spaces ranging from 200 to 1,600 square feet for 501(c)3 organizations. Free parking, utilities, high-speed internet, and shared meeting rooms are included. The facility is home to a diverse group of nonprofit and church organizations that are making an impact in the community. Contact Kris Keys or call (317) 923-3617.
Private month-to-month offices for lease
Nexus has two furnished micro-offices and a premium suite available for month-to-month rentals. The workspaces include free meeting room credits, high-speed internet, copy, printing, and coffee. With the facility consisting of small business owners and nonprofits employees, Nexus offers opportunities for networking among like-minded individuals. Small micro-office rates start at $393/month. Learn more
Executive Leadership (CEO/ED/COO)

Executive Artistic Director - The New Harmony Project, Inc.

Executive Director - Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis, Inc.

Fund Development/Marketing/PR/Advocacy

Director of Development - Indiana Repertory Theatre

Director of Client Development - Purdue for Life Foundation

Senior Development Manager - Playworks Indiana

Proposal Writer - Riley Children's Foundation

Marketing Automation Specialist - Riley Children's Foundation

Director of Development - Indianapolis Public Library Foundation

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter

Marketing and Communications Manager - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana, Inc.

Director of Regional Advancement (Western) - Purdue for Life Foundation

Director of Regional Advancement (Texas) - Purdue for Life Foundation

Director of Regional Advancement (Eastern) - Purdue for Life Foundation

Director of Grant Development - Ivy Tech Community College

Fundraising Events Specialist - Indianapolis Zoo

Director of Individual Giving - Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity

Director of Development – Central Indiana Community Foundation

Admin Support/Clerical

Development Coordinator - Indiana University School of Medicine

Office Management Associate - Community Solutions, Inc.

Associate, Marion County Re-entry Coalition - Community Solutions, Inc.


Director of Finance - Wayne Township Trustee's Office

Director of Finance - The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis

Senior Director, Financial Reporting – CICOA Aging & In Home Solutions

Operations and Events Manager - Arthur Dean Family Foundation

Talent Development Manager - Riley Children's Foundation

Event Coordinator - Riley Children's Foundation

Finance Director - Brookside Community Development Corporation

Director of Finance - We Bloom

Data/Research/Quality Assurance

Prospect Development Analyst - Riley Children's Foundation

Programs/Program Support

Program Director, Youth and Family – Indiana Black expo, Inc.

Membership Associate - Indiana CPA Society

Program Manager - Bethany Legacy Foundation

Housing Director - 91 Place

Homeownership Advisor (HOA) - Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership

Social Drivers of Health Project Coordinator - Indiana State Medical Association

Guest Services Manager (Community Programs) - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana, Inc.

Family Program Coordinator - Southeast Community Services

Senior Associate - Community Solutions, Inc.

Membership Manager - PIA of Indiana