Category Archives: Chapter Events

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


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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.

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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! 

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What is the hardest thing to express to donors?

by Willie Matis

We are in an age where every single fundraising expert is telling us the importance of expressing IMPACT to donors.  Show it through social media, tell it before an ask, and you better know how to back up your findings.

question guyKnowing this every day, it is still hard to come up with answers to these 3 questions.

1) What exactly does the donor want to know?

2) How to I measure that impact?

3) How do I MAKE TIME to measure and show the impact?

I don’t know the answers, except maybe the last one is… “YOU BETTER MAKE TIME AND PRIORITIZE THIS.”  And, the good thing is that our friends at Johnson Grossnickle + Associates have helped us bring in yet ANOTHER great speaker.  Katherina Rosqueta, Founding Executive Director, Adjuct Faculty, The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania.

[Okay, if you aren’t already intimidated by her title, check out what all she’s done on the Luncheon registration page.]

Katherina knows her stuff, and so my suggestion is this.

“Measuring and Managing Social Impact”
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
11:30am – 1:15pm
Hilton Indianapolis Downtown
120 W. Market Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Ms. Rosqueta has been cited in NUMEROUS publications including the Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Philantrhopy, Money Magazine, and the International Herald Tribune.  This is a can’t miss luncheon, and please note the DATE AND LOCATION CHANGE!

So, back to where I started. What is the hardest thing to express to donors? Impact. You may be able to choose a statistic, but do you know how to back it up? Is this the impact that is going to pull a donor closer to the mission?

I don’t know, but Katherina Rosqueta probably will.  Hope to see you at the Luncheon, registration CLOSES ON FRIDAY, APRIL 11TH.

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Take Advice from Oprah Winfrey, okay?

by Willie Matis

Last week, I received an email from our VP of Membership, Morgan Hoover, CFRE.  It was about our mentorship program, but what stuck out to me most was the very first line she wrote.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” – Oprah Winfrey



I thought to myself…

1) Why would you NOT listen to Oprah?

2) That is some GREAT advice.

The Indiana Chapter of AFP is already a great group of people of whom you should surround yourself.  There are members from the entire gamut of fundraising.  I could go on a Dr. Seuss-like scope with “some are small, some are tall…” about the range of fundraiser who are members, but what I really want to stress is that by becoming a member of AFP, you can tap into each and every one of these people.

To expand even more on surrounding yourself with people who are going to lift you higher is our Mentor Program.

Are you wanting to be a mentee? You can be paired up with someone who is willing to dive in DEEP with you as a fundraiser.  They will not only show you the ropes, they will help you when you climb into the ring.  There is a countless variety of experiences that happen to us fundraisers, and if your mentor DOESN’T know the answer to a question, they most likely have a contact who does.

Are you wanting to be a mentor? FANTASTIC! A benefit other than being a donor of time is that you may gain a fresh perspective when finding answers to the questions coming from someone who is new to the game.  People always say that a fresh pair of eyes helps, and your mentee can be just that.

Please consider being a part of the program by becoming a mentee or mentor.

Sign up by clicking here.

 Questions about the program, please contact Leslie Kidwell at or 317-274-1496.

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Past, Present, and Future

by Willie Matis

A conversation with new President at Nina Mason Pulliam Trust, Gene D’Adamo.


A nice and easy living room conversation with our Chapter President, Nathan Hand.

Some quick insight. Mr. D’Adamo loves Mesh on Mass Ave.

But let’s get to the meat of what we learned today…

“Self – efficiency is an important initiative for Nina Mason Pulliam Trust moving forward, how does your program promote this to clients?” – Gene D’Adamo.

Question: How do you distribute dollars between priorities and geographic area?
Answer: 60% going into helping people in need. Closer to 30% is going toward the helping animals and environment.  But it varies from year to year and bading it on the economic environment and where the greatest needs are.  The programs with the best merit are where we want dollars to go.

Impact is hard to answer. But they are currently looking at what is possible to measure and what is plausible enough to measure.

Question: What is your take on the grantor/grantee relationships?
Answers: – We want an honest communication. When you have a big change, let us know. If you can’t fulfill a grant, let us know ahead of time because we can change things up.
– Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Plan ahead.
– Don’t go around us.  Be direct. If youre talking about collaborations then make sure that collaboration is happening!

What did you like about the conversation with Mr. D’Adamo? Comment below!

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Luncheon Preview: A Chat with Gene D’Adamo

by Willie Matis

Mr. Gene D’Adamo, President & CEO of the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust, will share his professional journey through philanthropy and experience on over 20 nonprofit boards.

I think that last cause is what hooked me.  Experience with over 20 nonprofit boards means Mr. D’Adamo will have a plethora of instances to choose from to answer any questions that pop up during March 19th’s Luncheon.

Will you join us?

Time:  11:30 a.m. Registration; 11:45 a.m. Lunch Service begins; 12:00-1:15 p.m. Program
Location:  Ivy Tech Community College Corporate College and Culinary Center, 2820 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis (Click for Map)

Today is Tuesday, and you will need to register by THIS Friday!

It is luncheons like these that get me excited because hearing and conversing with funders on what trends they are seeing in the philanthropic world is important.  Mr. D’Adamo will be led in a moderated conversation that will be followed up with questions from the crowd as well.

photo credit to

photo credit to

If you are a new fundraiser what questions do you have for funders?  What would you like to know?
If you are a seasoned fundraiser, what advice would you give new fundraisers on what to pay attention to when hearing funders speak?  Leave a comment below so that we are all prepared by March 19th!

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Stewardship, Stewardship, Stewardship

by Willie Matis

We all talk about it. Stewardship.

“We need to steward our major donors better.”

“We need to steward our first time donors EARLY.”

“We need to steward our corporate partnerships because they can open up many doors.”

But do we understand HOW to steward?  Do we understand stewardship at its core?

photo credit to Good Works Blog

photo credit to Good Works Blog

Enter: Rob MacPherson.

Rob MacPherson serves as Vice President for Development & Philanthropic Services with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).  He directs the Foundation’s asset development strategies and donor services activities.  In addition to working with prospective donors to promote the ease and advantages of partnering with the community foundation to fulfill charitable wishes, Rob works closely with CICF’s current donors to keep them engaged with the Foundation’s work in the community and informed on current trends in central Indiana and with charitable giving.

Even if we know a bit about stewardship, this will be a very VALUABLE luncheon next Wednesday – February 19th!

CICF represents hundreds of philanthropists throughout the state so Rob will have a little bit for everyone.  MAKE SURE TO REGISTER TODAY! You don’t want to miss out.  We are almost at capacity for the event, and this is one where you not only get to learn about stewardship but also hear from a funder.

We will be there in the front row.  What questions would you like us to have prepared for Rob’s presentation?  We will ask him for you if you leave them in the comments section.

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