MORRIS: Celebrate city’s philanthropy scene

April 6, 2013
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MorrisGood things are happening in the philanthropic community. On April 2, the United Way of Central Indiana held its annual meeting luncheon. On the same day, IUPUI recognized more than 30 individuals and organizations during its annual Spirit of Philanthropy awards luncheon. And on April 9, IU will hold the inaugural ceremony for its newly formed School of Philanthropy on the IUPUI campus—the first school of its kind in the country.

United Way celebrated raising a projected $41 million from the 2012 campaign co-chaired by the dynamic duo of Steve Schenck and Marianne Glick. This record result was especially impressive considering the sluggish economy.

A highlight of the United Way meeting was the recognition of four new Spirit United honorees—Duke Realty Corp., Ice Miller, Indianapolis Power & Light, and Roche Diagnostics. These companies provided financial support and resources above and beyond successful workplace campaigns and provided significant volunteer support for United Way’s mission. They join 16 previous honorees.

United Way honored 22 top contributors and six distinguished campaigns. It also awarded a total of more than $743,000 in grants to three public elementary schools in some of the region’s neediest areas—Sunnyside Elementary in Lawrence Township, Snacks Crossing in Pike Township, and the Center for Inquiry III in Indianapolis Public Schools’ School 27. United Way’s focus on education ties to its mission of helping people learn more, enabling them to earn more and lead safe and healthy lives.

The annual meeting served as the final farewell for 23-year UWCI veteran Ellen Annala. She passed the CEO’s baton to Ann Murtlow, the former head of Indianapolis Power & Light. I can’t say enough about the enormous contributions Ellen made to this community during her tenure at United Way. So many individuals and families have been touched as a result of her dedication and hard work. Good luck, Ellen, and thanks for all you’ve done.

The community has every reason to be excited about Murtlow as her successor. I’m confident Ann and board chairman Sam Odle and 2013 campaign chairman Andy Mohr will provide great leadership as United Way transitions to handle the even larger challenges that lie ahead.

The Spirit of Philanthropy Awards—sponsored by IUPUI, IU Foundation and the IU School of Philanthropy at IUPUI—was a similarly uplifting event. This is the 24th year for the awards program, which recognizes those who’ve had a profound impact on IUPUI’s growth and development through their gifts and volunteerism.

Finally, how exciting is it for the future of philanthropy that IU will be celebrating the inauguration of its brand new School of Philanthropy on the IUPUI campus this week? The Indiana Commission for Higher Education last September signed off on IU’s proposal to start the school. And here we are seven months later with the inauguration. The genesis of the new school was IU’s Center on Philanthropy on the IUPUI campus, the leading research center of its kind, which has been in existence for about 25 years.

Why create a school of philanthropy? The world we live in is complex. The rules are changing as you read this. It’s always been tough to raise enough money to meet the needs of our communities, but it’s even tougher today.

Operating a not-for-profit or foundation requires greater sophistication. The new school will be an enormous asset to our community, our state and beyond. It will produce highly trained and educated people to navigate this difficult landscape. Who wins? We all do—the neediest of our population and the community at large.

Keep reading IBJ as Andrea Davis reports on philanthropy in central Indiana. Please contact Andrea if you have anything of note in this area, at adavis@ibj.com.

And as always, thanks for reading IBJ in print, online, in your inbox, and on your mobile device.•


Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to gmorris@ibj.com.


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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim