Holidays ‘a critical time for nonprofits’

Southside organizations have urgent need for donations, volunteers

By Nancy Price

For the past nine months, many Southside businesses have suffered, and even closed, due to the effects of the pandemic.

Local nonprofits are especially in danger, according to Alexandria Wheeler, investor development director for Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance. “Most operate on extremely thin margins and have had to get creative on different ways to attract donations, host fundraising events and get volunteers,” she said. “I think almost all nonprofits have had to cancel a major fundraising event.”

“If they were fortunate enough to hold one before March of this year, they’re having to pivot substantially, looking ahead to 2021,” added Anya McConnell, assistant director for the Franklin Chamber of Commerce. “The effects of the last nine months are far from over, unfortunately.”

Alexandria Wheeler. (Submitted photos)

In addition, for those individuals financially impacted by COVID, many of these nonprofits are essential. “They have provided food to children and families, offered housing, free counseling and financial resources, all while trying to keep themselves funded,” Wheeler said. “However, managing these programs are people who feel the weight of the pandemic. It is hard to give from an empty cup, and if you can give back to the community that has been able to five so much, now is the time.”

Wheeler and McConnell said that, according to nonprofit leaders, the greatest needs at this time include donations and additional volunteers and board members. “This is especially true or organizations that might typically have relied on volunteers that now fall into the more ‘high risk’ category who are currently unable to give of their time,” said McConnell.

Not sure where to start? “I would recommend people (if able) reach out and donate directly to one of the nonprofits shared from Franklin Chamber and Aspire Johnson County,” Wheeler said.

Anya McConnell.

To check out a nonprofit list for Southside Indianapolis and Johnson County organizations at Aspire Johnson County, go to: web.aspirejohnsoncounty.com/Organizations.

For an additional list of Johnson County nonprofits at Franklin Chamber of Commerce, go to franklincoc.org/community_service_agencies, franklincoc.org/organizations or franklincoc.org/service_organizations.

“The holidays are always a critical time for so many nonprofits and that certainly couldn’t be truer for 2020,” said McConnell. “These are the individuals and organizations that serve as a backbone for a much larger portion of the community than one might realize and often do so much with so little and, unfortunately, the need this year is at an all-time high.”