If we make a life by what we give, then three female philanthropists recently honored during the annual Indiana Philanthropy Awards dinner sponsored by the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) are living life to the fullest. On this #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, we salute Ginger Merkle, Lisa Sablosky, and Yvonne Shaheen for all that they have given to make our city a better place.
Data from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy says women are motivated when they know other women are with them in supporting the causes they care about. Organized giving networks are growing our city’s female philanthropists and have generated tremendous results and exceptional giving locally for the American Red Cross, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis.
- Impact 100 member Virginia “Ginger” Merkle has been a volunteer leader and champion fundraiser for the American Red Cross for more than 20 years. Ginger received the AFP’s Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser honor. Ginger’s recognition honors her foresight to combine two of her passions, the American Red Cross and founding chair of The Tiffany Circle. The Tiffany Circle is a group of generous, highly involved female philanthropists from across the country that invest at least $10,000 each annually to ensure the American Red Cross has the ability to help prevent, prepare for and respond to life’s emergencies. Since 2008, Ginger has grown the Indiana Tiffany Circle from two members to 22 members, contributing $220,000 to the American Red Cross.
- Lisa and Larry Sablosky both volunteer their time, leadership and financial contributions to empower women, care for youth and their families, and improve the future of our city. Lisa and Larry received the Outstanding Philanthropists honor from AFP and were nominated by Eskenazi Health Foundation. Lisa’s community contributions have included involvement in the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana and Dress for Success. Lisa has also been a member of Impact 100.
- Yvonne Shaheen received the Lifetime Achievement Award and was nominated by the University of Indianapolis. Yvonne has worked with and helped raise contributions for nonprofits all around Indianapolis. Her list of passions include: The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Teachers’ Treasures, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, Indiana Sports Corporation, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, WFYI Public Media, the Immigration Center, and the Girl Scouts.
Today we celebrate and support these women for their impactful and inspirational work. Their contributions both individually and collectively have sent ripples of change through our community.