Brackets for Good

By: Abby Peck


The convergence of college rivalries and basketball fanatics is upon us! This time of year we find unique ways to beat the odds and pick the winning team. This impossible feat has been challenged year after year with no avail. The most difficult factor of creating the perfect bracket is the illusive “Cinderella Story”. A team that defies logic and overcomes doubt, becoming everyone’s favorite team in the end.

This year the true Cinderella Story is the Brackets For Good Campaign. After all, is there a better way to embrace friendly competition than donating to your favorite charity? All bets are off and all donations are on with this unique and exciting philanthropic opportunity. Your gift will gain them points in a single elimination round competition! Give the charity of your choice your best shot and donate at the Brackets For Good website.

Here’s the play by play:

Imagine the college basketball tournament, but the teams are local non-profit organizations. The match-ups are one week long and $1 = 1 point donated via 

Nonprofits advance through the single elimination tournament by scoring more points than their opponent. The winning organization receives an additional $10,000 unrestricted donation from Valeo Financial Advisors. If you want your donation to go further, help your team get further in the competition.

Take this chance to support your favorite local nonprofit organization and cheer them on. All competition aside, these are wonderful causes and a great way to extend the reach of their mission. All donations will make an impact on our wonderful community, which is the name of the game!

Score a slam dunk for your favorite charity today!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fundraising in General

Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership: A Reflection

by Willie Matis

So the title of the luncheon “Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership” probably could’ve been changed to “Lessons in Nonprofit Leadership.”

The panelists yesterday were among the most quotable of the entire year.

A huge shoutout goes to JGA (Johnson Grossnickle & Associates), for not only putting on a great series for AFP Indiana, but saving this great group for last.

Yvonne Shaheen – CEO, Long Electric Company (retired)
Mike Wells – President, REI Investments, Inc.
Steve Walker – Chairman of the Board and CEO, Walker

Some great themes that were taken from them can be noted from the tweets above; however, one big takeaway was that leaders and board members should not be afraid to hold each other accountable.

This is a large statement. People, places, and organizations get complacent all too often. I don’t think it is coincidental that all 3 of these panelists, who are known to be fantastic board members, are also know to be a little “blunt.” Holding each other accountable is how to move forward. Sure, there are tender ways to be assertive, but when it comes down to it, in order to see success everyone must do their job. It was very refreshing to hear these words from the panelists. It fired up the crowd, and they inspired us all.

The quotes above or the theme of the day could have a negative feeling to it, but that is not at all how it came across. The passion was seen in each of them, and they speak their minds because they care about the community and the organizations for which the volunteer.

Yvonne gave some great parting words… she said, “If you don’t love what you are doing, then you’re in the wrong field.”

When you have passion, when you care, and when you work out any problems that arise, then good things will come.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capital Campaign


by Willie Matis

Happy Hump Day everyone! Your weekly AFP blog is here, and it is aimed RIGHT AT OUR MEMBERS!

First step, check out this quick video giving you an overview of the BE the CAUSE campaign.

AFP Foundation – BE the CAUSE Toolkit Video from AFP IHQ on Vimeo.

Second step, donate now. 

It is important for all members to participate in the BE the CAUSE campaign.  The three reasons why people give to the BE the CAUSE campaign are to advance the issues that affect our profession, because ethical and effective fundraising builds trust with potential donors, and because the next generation of fundraisers will carry on your life’s work!

Please consider giving to the BE the CAUSE campaign today.  This will not only help the fundraising sector as a whole be a portion of every donation you make comes back to OUR VERY OWN Indiana chapter.

Why do you give to the AFP Foundation?  Please share below in the comments section.

Leave a comment

Filed under Annual Fund Program, Fundraising in General

Who do you want to win?

by Willie Matis

You can really choose ANYONE.  So who do you want to win?

Nominations for the 2014 Philanthropy Awards are NOW OPEN! Nominations are due by July 31, 2014. So consider this blog post your time to brainstorm on who you want to win. As fundraisers, we are always perusing the news hoping to see a big win for a major donor’s company, or to see a foundation’s name in the paper, or any kind of recognition for donors, right?  Because it opens the door for another opportunity to keep in touch with them!  So why not nominate someone for a Philanthropy Award, and let them know?

(Okay, that is a very vain reason to fill out a nomination)

The great thing about the 2014 Philanthropy Awards is that it is a time for all of us here in Indiana to recognize those who have progressed the sector in some way shape or form. There are a multitude of candidates out there who are deserving of one of these awards.  This is your chance to not only recognize that long-time volunteer with a nice card and a party by your organization, but to give them STATE RECOGNITION for the dedication they have brought to your mission.  This is your chance to recognize that small business that has to penny-pinch in these economic times but has still come through each and every year because they are passionate about helping the community around them.


The 2014 Philanthropy Awards are AWESOME! And here are the categories… now make sure to nominate someone.

Outstanding Civic Organization:  church, social service organization, community groups, and similar entities  

Outstanding Foundation:  donor-advised fund, foundation, corporate foundation, and similar entities

Oustanding Corporation:  business with more than 100 employees and/or annual revenue greater than $5 million

Outstanding Small Business:  business with 100 or fewer employees and/or annual revenue of $5 million or less

Outstanding Fundraising Professional:  professional fundraiser employed specifically in the development field who has generated significant revenue for his or her organization.  He or she must have demonstrated creative and stimulating leadership, and practiced and promoted ethical fundraising.  (Must be a current member of AFP)

Lifetime Achievement:  an individual or family who has demonstrated a record of exceptional service (as a donor or volunteer) and has left a remarkable legacy in the Indiana community and/or beyond

Outstanding Philanthropist:  an individual or family whose generosity during the past year transformed the community and/or encouraged others to take philanthropic leadership roles

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser:  an individual or family that demonstrated outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of charitable institutions

Outstanding Youth Achievement:  an individual or group between the ages of 5 and 17 who participated in direct  financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteerism and/or philanthropic leadership

Outstanding Young Adult:  an adult or group between the ages of 18 and 25 who participated in direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteerism and/or philanthropic leadership


Leave a comment

Filed under Chapter Events

RECAP BLOG: Philanthropy in the Media

By Willie Matis

Stacy Palmer, Top Editor at The Chronicle on Philanthropy, joined us last week for a GREAT and lively discussion.


She immediately started talking about government! Well she is from DC and it is an election year, right?

Stacy’s insight was great. Here are a few highlights…

– Do donors care about results and measurement?
Stacy is seeing both sides. She made a great point about the people doing well in rating systems will be happy, those who aren’t will be unhappy with the system. Smaller donors enjoy narratives that pull at our heart, but bigger donors enjoy data. Nonprofits will need to work to find a sweet spot here.

– Getting beyond donations.
Social impact investments could be very transformative.  Example would be the Heron Foundation putting 100% of its endowment into efforts to create jobs.

– Is it the economy? Or is it the way charities raise money?
This was a great slide.


– Making sure that fundraisers LOOK like the donors of whom they are asking for money.
Growing concern that there is not enough diversity in the field.

– Growing concern on knowing exactly where the money goes.
Check out Dan Palotta’s TED talk. Stacy mentioned a few nonprofit organizations have been successful by distilling his message to their boards.


Check out the Slideshare presentation below.

Leave a comment

Filed under Chapter Events

Philanthropy in Today’s Media

by Willie Matis


The Workshop: What were the most important stories of 2013? What will be the biggest in 2014? Stacy Palmer, Editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, will share how the changing media and information landscape is impacting philanthropy, stories from behind-the-scenes at the Chronicle, the latest trends and how organizations are leveraging media to advance their missions.

And why would you NOT want to be at Ivy Tech’s Second Floor Ballroom to hear about this?

This workshop is on a different day and time than any luncheon… here are the deets.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
3:00 to 3:30 pm – Registration
3:30 to 4:30 pm – Program
5:00 to 6:30 pm – Reception

We are happy to host Stacy and to show her some Hoosier Hospitality as part of the JGA Signature Speaker Series. This particular event for AFP is a fun one as well because we are joining Johnson Grossnickle + Associates as they celebrate their 20th birthday that evening!!

Here is the location in case you need to click and have your phone bring you there…

Ivy Tech Community College Corporate College and Culinary Center
Second Floor Ballroom
2820 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Stacy will bring not only knowledge about the media’s role in philanthropy but philanthropy as a whole.  I didn’t know this about her until I read her bio – Stacy has served as the top editor for The Chronicle of Philanthropy SINCE IT’S BEEN FOUNDED! (That deserves a round of applause before she even takes the microphone.)  Register online now!

There is a little less than two weeks, but you need to start thinking about a FANTASTIC question to ask Stacy.  We can brainstorm together below.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

See you May 20th! 

Leave a comment

Filed under Chapter Events

Volunteer Appreciation Month! Thank you’s all around

by Willie Matis

There is only one more week of April left.  Crazy how time flies!  But one more week in April means there is only one more week during National Volunteer Appreciation Month.

photo credit to Good Works Blog

photo credit to Good Works Blog

AFP chapters are groups RUN BY VOLUNTEERS! We would be wrong to not acknowledge all of those who help with AFP membership, programming, communications, leadership, mentorship, sponsorship, and more…

Nathan Hand

President Elect
Carol Lukemeyer

VP of Programs
Beth Kloote

Co-VPs of Membership
Morgan Hoover
Chrissy Vasquez

VP of Finance
Mike Eikenberry

VP of Resource Development
Paula Ingram-Coleman

VP of Communications
Willie Matis

Marcy Zunk

Immediate Past President
Phil Purcell

Chris Brooks

Adam Clevenger

Angela Dabney

Roberta Donohue

Lori Garraghty

Dan Hartmann

Julia Holbrook

Rachel Hughes

Leslie Kidwell

Cara Lathrop

Mike Laudick

Victoria Petersen

Jayne Rayman

Randy Rogers

Elisa Rogowski

Taylor Schuh

Kelly Shrock

Travis Stountenborough

Stacy Traylor

Brandi Young

Rob Zinkan

Chapter Administrator
Sara Nash

We could not do what we do without those listed above.  Also, we’d like to shout out those who may not be on the board but serve on the committee, serve as a mentor/mentee, serve as an advocate for AFP, and more.  It is great to have a group who is so dedicated to not just furthering your own fundraising skills but to furthering the entire fundraising profession as a whole.


1 Comment

Filed under Fundraising in General