When the world shut down earlier this year in the beginning stages of the global pandemic, nonprofit organizations were impacted as they struggled to serve their constituents in new ways and with limited resources. Yet, these organizations remained true to their missions and worked tirelessly to serve others throughout the community, state and world.

In celebration of National Philanthropy Day, the founding members of the Wabash Valley Philanthropy Alliance (WVPA) would like to take this opportunity to shine a light on the important works of individuals and organizations making a difference during this challenging time. On Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, the WVPA will host a day of reflection and gratitude in honor of National Philanthropy Day.

“We want to use this day to say ‘thank you’ – thank you to our volunteers who give of their time and talent to make an impact; thank you to those who make charitable contributions to generate change; thank you to those who serve and work for nonprofit organizations to create new opportunities in our community,” said Rachel Mullinnix, executive director of Ivy Tech Foundation, Terre Haute, and founding member of the WVPA.
WVPA asks those who volunteer, financially support or work for a nonprofit organization, or those who benefit from charitable works, to take a moment and share a positive photo or story on social media using #WVPhilanthropy2020 or by tagging @wabashvalleyphilanthropyalliance on Facebook.

“Our community’s philanthropic organizations play a vital role in improving the quality of life for all of us,” said Margie Anshutz, president of the Hamilton Center Foundation Inc. “Whether their work supports social and recreational opportunities, health and human services, culture and the arts or education, our community could simply not thrive without them.”
According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Philanthropy Day recognizes the contributions of philanthropy as well as the people active in it, in order to better enrich the world. After beginning as a grassroots effort in the early 1980s, National Philanthropy Day was first recognized widely in 1986 with the signing of a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan.

“Our local Wabash Valley Philanthropy Day celebrates the good works being done in our community by nonprofit organizations, individuals and local businesses,” said Beth Tevlin, executive director of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, and founding member of the WVPA. “What this year has taught us is that our community is strong and resilient – even in the midst of a pandemic. Daily, I witness how our community is rallying to invest time and dollars in making a difference in the Wabash Valley. How fitting that we take a day to reflect and be grateful!”

Established in 2019, the WVPA is a regional membership association of nonprofit professionals, board members and volunteers who work alongside philanthropists seeking to make an impact by connecting the nonprofit sector through collaboration. Its mission is to create an environment of giving throughout the west central Indiana community.
“As the WVPA seeks to foster a culture of philanthropy in our community, it is not lost on us how fortunate we are to live and work in a community that understands the importance of giving,” said Karen Dyer, vice president for advancement and strategic initiatives for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and WVPA founding member. “Now, more than ever, the community needs those who are willing to make an investment in lifting others up so that, together, we might envision an even brighter future.”

Richard Payonk, executive director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley, agrees that being philanthropic shows the desire to better the community.
“Each of our local philanthropic organizations is working tirelessly to support their individual mission – from providing high-quality education, to delivering healthcare services, to breaking the cycle of generational poverty,” he said. “We encourage the community to seek out what they are passionate about and find their own way to get involved in our philanthropy community.”

Other members of the alliance include Chris Aimone, executive director of development and senior director of planned giving at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Joel Harbaugh, executive director of Union Health Foundation; Kenneth Menefee, executive director of planned and principal gifts at Indiana State University; and Jane Nichols, executive director of the Vigo County Education Foundation.


Media contacts:
Rachel Mullinnix – rmullinnix@ivytech.edu, (812) 322-6873

Beth Tevlin – beth@wvcf.org, 812-232-2234

Karen Dyer – kdyer@smwc.edu, 812-251-6139