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IPA Names New GIFT Director of Programming

Friday, January 15, 2021
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Indiana Philanthropy Alliance CEO Claudia Cummings announced the promotion of staff member Sarah Origer to GIFT director of programming, which supports Indiana’s large community foundation field. 

“Sarah and our GIFT team are instrumental in helping IPA members adapt to new methods of working and address community-wide challenges brought on or made worse by COVID-19,” said Cummings. “Sarah is a rising leader in philanthropy, and her involvement in IPA during this pivotal time continues to strengthen trust and relationships among Indiana’s 94 community foundations.” 

Under leadership by Amy Haacker, IPA vice president of community foundation programs, Origer will direct learning and professional growth opportunities for community foundation staff and boards across Indiana. This role replaces that of GIFT Associate Director Terri Johnson, who retired from IPA at the end of 2020. 

“Sarah brings to this role a real passion for place-based philanthropy with a particular interest in community development,” said Haacker. “She is committed to empowering community philanthropy, guiding these funders through new investment strategies and cross-sector partnerships at the local level.”

GIFT, or Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow, is a signature program of IPA that provides technical assistance to Indiana’s 94 community foundations (74 legal entities) serving all counties in Indiana. Origer joined IPA’s GIFT team in 2018 on a temporary basis to support community foundations navigating the $125 million GIFT VII leadership planning grant opportunity from Lilly Endowment Inc. With GIFT VII, the Endowment seeks to help community foundations enhance their leadership competencies and address high-priority challenges and opportunities in the towns, cities, and counties they serve. 

Origer previously served as the director of development for Starke County, part of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation. In that role, Origer worked with a number of coalitions and partnerships, including ones focusing on community health and early childhood education, as well as an effort to achieve a Stellar Community designation. Prior to her work with NICF, Origer held positions at The Heritage Foundation, the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, and Law, and the Colorado State House of Representatives. Origer is pursuing a master’s degree in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and is completing a fellowship with the Impact Finance Center. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Political Science and earned her Certificate in Fundraising Management at IUPUI.

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