The following resources are provided to help individuals and organizations develop best practices and gain knowledge. Serve Indiana connects organizations to resources to help equip them to meet the needs of our community. Many of the resources provided below were not created by Serve Indiana. They are meant to be a starting point and not as a definitive set of instructions. Please use with caution and make sure you research the most up to date applicable laws and regulations for your organization. Please utilize the resources below to find answers to your questions.
Starting a Nonprofit
- Establishing a Nonprofit Organization
- Indiana Code Title 23, Article 17: Nonprofit Corporations
- Life Cycle of a Public Charity
- Small Business Administration
- Starting a Non-Profit Organization: Filling Out the Forms
- You're a 501(c)3... Now What?
Boards & Governance
- Board and Staff Responsibilities
- Free Complete Toolkit for Boards
- Indiana Code 23-17-12: Board of Directors
- All About Boards
- Board Café
- Boards and Governance
- Governance of Charitable Organizations and Related Topics
- Implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act in Indiana
- Corporation for National and Community Service: Disability & Accessibility
- National Institute for the Deaf - Center on Employment
- National Service Inclusion Project
- Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services
- Benefit Resources for Hoosiers with Disabilities
- Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Service Provider Directory
- Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy - Workplace Accommodation Resources for Employers
- Social Security Online Disability Fact Sheet
- Grassroots Fundraising Journal
- Blackbaud eTapestry
- Benevon - Creating Sustainable Funding For Nonprofits
- Resource Development
For Nonprofit Employers
- Points of Light Foundation
- TechSoup.org - The Technology Place for Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Risk Management Center
- Free Management Library
- Indiana United Ways - Home
- Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network
- Nonprofit Alliance Southwest Indiana Chamber
- Indiana Youth Institute
- Marion County Commission on Youth
- The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University
- Central Indiana Nonprofits by Charitable Advisors, LLC
- Neighbor Power Indy
- Freedom Academy
Online Training Courses *free
- *The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA Program
- CharityChannel's CharityUniversity (tm) Network
- *National Service Resource Center
- *Nonprofit Ready
- IUPUI Online Professional Development Courses
- Board Café
- The NonProfit Times - The Leading Business Publication for Nonprofit Management
- GrantStation Insider
- Not-for-Profit News by Charitable Advisors, LLC
- Pew News Now
- TechSoup Blog
- Philanthropy Today - Philanthropy.com
- Benevon E-Newsletter
- GuideStar - Newsletter
- Blackbaud's Nonprofit Newsletters and Publications
- Grassroots Fundraising Journal
- Blue Avocado, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance
- IU School of Philanthropy - Philanthropy Matters
- Nonprofit Technology Network
- STATS Indiana
- The Urban Institute
- Affordable Colleges Online
- Association of Fund Raising Professionals
- The Council on Foundations
- Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (see Nonprofit Resources Guide)
- Indiana Libraries Grants Portal
Churches and other faith-based institutions in Indiana are receiving funding from state and federal agencies in a variety of ways, all with the goal of improving the lives of the citizens of Indiana.
Voucher Programs - These programs distribute vouchers to aid recipients, which can be spent with an approved provider. The best known of these is the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) administered through the Family and Social Services Agency.
Direct Grant Recipients - An organization directly contracts with a state or federal agency to provide social services. Subgrantee Recipients - A faith-based organization is selected as a subcontractor by another non-profit or an agency with a government contract.
Reimbursement - Many church based schools participate in the school lunch program through the State Department of Education, Division of School and Community Nutrition Programs.
Tax Credits - The Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Agency provides $2.5 million in tax credits to Hoosier non-profits to facilitate the provision of needed services. Of the 67 receiving organizations this year, at least 22 are faith-based.
Non-cash assistance - Programs such as Rx for Indiana are a great resource for churches, but don't involve the exchange of contracts or funds.
USA Freedom Corps Participants - Churches and other faith-based organizations are eligible to be service sites for programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), one of three programs administered by USA Freedom Corps.
* Government funds may never be used for inherently religious activities such as Bible studies, evangelism, or preaching.
* Any inherently religious activity must be separate in time or place from a government funded activity.
* Government funded programs must be open to all, without any faith test.
* You do not have to remove religious symbols, or hide your faith. You must respect the boundary of church/state separation, but you don't need to deny who you are.
This is a rapidly evolving area of law. The best suggestion is to develop a clear policy for your organization and have it reviewed on a regular basis.
How do I start a nonprofit organization?
Please utilize the resources above and identify trainings and workshops to help you in the process of starting a nonprofit organization. Serve Indiana is not the place where you will register to become a nonprofit. Please use the information above to learn more about the process.
Does the government use federal funding to support religious activities?
No. However, faith-based and community organizations are eligible to compete with other organizations for government grants and contracts. State and federal programs often have different eligibility requirements for their programs, which you should consult before applying. Please pay careful attention to the allowable and prohibited activities for each federal grant program you in which you wish to apply. The fact that your organization is faith-based will not exclude you from participation in these programs as long as the prohibited activities do not occur.
Serve Indiana hosts trainings and workshops for AmeriCorps programs and occasionally for other community initiatives. All our trainings, workshops, and events are listed on our News & Events page. You can also learn about upcoming trainings by signing up for our newsletter on our Contact Us page.
We have found the following organizations to be a valuable resource to organizations looking for trainings, workshops, and community data to grow their organization.
Community Training Opportunities
SAVI – the nation’s largest community information system of its type - is a free resource that helps organizations make data-informed decisions by providing data about Central Indiana communities, tools to analyze and visualize the data and training on how to use data effectively. SAVI offers demonstrations, webinars and classroom courses ranging from hands-on instruction to topical overviews. Location: Central Indiana (11 Counties)
Enriches the local community by strengthening the nonprofit sector through communication, collaboration, professional development, and outreach. Location: Monroe County
INRC offers a wide variety of leadership, professional development and civic engagement worskshops. Location: Marion County
Statewide Training Opportunities
The Center for Congregations
The Center for Congregations strengthens Indiana congregations by helping them find and use the best resources to address their challenges and opportunities. Many of their trainings are free of charge. STATEWIDE – Location: 5 Regional Offices
Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network (INRN)
INRN provides affordable, accessible, and high quality public and private workshops, board retreats, and resource referrals for Indiana nonprofits at all levels of nonprofit staff and volunteers. STATEWIDE – Location: 5 Regional Offices
National Training Opportunities – Schools, Universities, Training Institutions
Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of philanthropy, improving its practice, and enhancing participation through public service, teaching, research, fundraising, and management of nonprofits.
School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University
Training For Employment
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) offers a variety of services to Hoosiers looking to get back in the workforce. These services are offered at our WorkOne Centers, the heart of the workforce development system. WorkOne staff can help you find a new or better job, choose a career, access training or get the information needed to succeed in today’s economy. To learn more about upcoming DWD trainings follow this link.