Year-End Giving

Some great, locally-operated organizations in Northwest Indiana

Charitable year-end giving is essential for non-profits...

Charitable giving during the holiday season is essential for non-profits...

Make no mistake, most organizations depend heavily on year-end donations to deliver their programs and services. In fact, according to Bloomerang and Pursuant, roughly half of all not-for-profits receive the bulk of their donation revenue during the months of October, November, and December. This applies to large national and international non-profits, and to those close-to-home as well.

If you plan to make a year-end charitable gift, here are a few worthy, locally-operated Northwest Indiana organizations that deserve your consideration.

For the Love of Art


Chesterton Arts Center has been a fixture in Chesterton since the early 1960s. From its iconic building on 4th Street, the venerable arts organization offers quality arts education for children and adults. It's also a popular venue for emerging and established regional artists to display and sell their work. And, the CAC's Chesterton Art Fair is a summer tradition, drawing artists and visitors from throughout the midwest and beyond.
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Generations of students have been inspired to expand their creativity and develop their artistic skills at the Art Barn School of Art. The organization invites art-lovers to "explore, create, relax" through a range of classes and workshops, hosted at its 19th-century farm in Jackson Township. Art Barn also curates exhibitions throughout the year and hosts periodic events, such as its popular Art Blitz.
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Where the Wild Things Are

Humane Indiana Wildlife

Your donation to Humane Indiana Wildlife enables it to provide loving, attentive, and humane shelter and care to 25,000 animals annually. The organization operates a clinic and shelter in Lake County and an amazing wildlife rehabilitation center in Valparaiso. I love how its website offers a curated selection of year-end "gifts"—like crisis transportation, care for orphaned infant wildlife, education for children in underserved communities, and much more. It makes it really easy to align your interests with the organization's needs.
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Consider what fuels your passions —

" ... whether that’s environmental impacts, diversity and inclusion, medical or scientific pursuits, or your local community — and find an organization that can align with your values both in the cause it supports and the way it supports that cause. "

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Dedicated to Serving the Community

Bus driver walks onto Opportunity Enterprises bus

Opportunity Enterprises is devoted to maximizing self-sufficiency and enriching the quality-of-life for individuals with disabilities.

The organization operates seven group homes, two Respite care homes, and a supported living program. Also, it delivers a range of programs designed to ensure the lives of the people it serves are valuable, purposeful and fulfilling.
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food staples packed in box at California food pantry symbolizes giving to humanitarian causes

Whether you have the ability to give just a little ... or a lot,

Porter County Community Foundation helps maximize donation dollars by investing in permanent endowment funds—to "make it possible for your generosity to last forever." Since its founding in 1996, the organization has reinvested more than $35 million in grants and scholarships in the Porter County community.
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Four for the Environment


Dunes Learning Center

Inspire the environmental stewards of tomorrow by donating to Dunes Learning Center. Nestled within the Indiana Dunes National Park, DLC provides memorable outdoor experiences that teach kids about the interdependence of a healthy environment, vibrant economy, and equitable society. Programs, like the popular "Frog in a Bog" for elementary-age kids, inspire a new generation of advocates.
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Flora Richardson Foundation

Named in honor of an early 20th-century naturalist and conservationist, the Flora Richardson Foundation promotes education and conservation initiatives in the southern Lake Michigan region. The organization is a big supporter of programs at Dunes Learning Center and helped fund construction of the bird observatory at Dunes State Park. It also maintains a magnificent nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary in LaPorte County. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 888 Chesterton, IN 46304.


Save the Dunes

The tireless advocacy of Save the Dunes is in large part responsible for the preservation of the dunes and the creation of the Indiana Dunes National Park in the 1960s. Today, the revered organization tackles a variety of threats—invasive species, water pollution, and even development pressures—by building partnerships, engaging like-minded nature lovers, and leveraging its decades of real-world experience.
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Shirley Heinze Land Trust

Shirley Heinze Land Trust preserves and protects nearly 3,000 acres of natural lands and waters throughout northwestern Indiana. Most of the organization's twenty nature preserves are open to the public and several provide public access to resources, like the Little Calumet River. New initiatives are designed to preserve agricultural land and educate land-owners on issues such as water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat.
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There are far too many dedicated non-profits to mention here.

If you have a personal passion you'd like to support, check-out Charity Navigator. The site's search function is awesome. It empowers users to discover worthy organizations based on name, location, cause, and other criteria. Give it a try!

Bonnie Hawksworth, non-profit leader and fundraising and engagement expert.

Bonnie Hawksworth

Bonnie Hawksworth is a fundraising professional and non-profit leader based in the Indiana Dunes. She has dedicated the last fifteen years to helping local non-profit organizations exceed their most ambitious goals. Bonnie is committed to giving back to her local community and growing awareness and support for the organizations that improve the quality of life in Northwest Indiana.

Be sure to read about some of Bonnie's most recent initiatives in her series of real-world case studies. She discusses fundraising, building community partnerships, managing virtual events, and more.

If you're interested in hearing how Bonnie can help your nonprofit, on a contract or full-time basis, she can be reached via email at