SLA and Indiana Public Radio Team Up to Spotlight ECI Nonprofit Organizations

May 28, 2013, Muncie IN – The Shafer Leadership Academy (SLA), East Central Indiana’s community leadership institute, recently announced its collaborative partnership with Indiana Public Radio (IPR). This collaboration will focus specifically on nonprofit organizations, volunteerism and community involvement throughout the East Central Indiana region.

With SLA functioning as the engine that runs the nonprofit organization search and selection, beginning June 6th, 2013 IPR will launch “Community Connection” as an original program created to profile a local not-for-profit agency; including interviews with employees, volunteers and people who have been served by the organization. The program will air in the East Central Indiana markets, for which IPR serves, to spotlight a specific organization each month and include 4 (four) 4 ½ -minute segments per month.

IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann will serve as the producer of the program, with Kristen Bitzegaio as the host. Community Connection will air weekdays at 11:00am during Morning Musicale and 5:45pm during All Things Considered.  The program will also air at noon on Saturdays, leading into Splendid Table. For June, IPR is spotlighting Rebuilding Together of Delaware County. Accompanying the program will be the IPR website and SLA’s CONVERGE website where there will be volunteer profiles, photographs, and a link to the organization’s website; plus the organization’s current available volunteer openings.

The CONVERGE website is designed to function as a “volunteer job board” with post and search capabilities for volunteer opportunities in East Central Indiana. This website offers individuals an online database of hundreds of volunteer openings currently available in the region based on location, organization type, opportunity type, and commitment length. Volunteer openings are posted free of charge by the organizations and the site is open to all registered non-profit organizations in Delaware, Grant, Jay, Blackford, Madison, Randolph, and Henry Counties. Visitors to the site can review profiles of these non-profit organizations, individual volunteers from throughout East Central Indiana, and to more easily find the opportunities that fit their own passions and skills.

Likewise, the Shafer Leadership Academy hosts the CONVERGE event each year. This event is similar to a large job fair in that it allows folks who are interested in volunteer opportunities through-out the region a chance to meet (face to face) with representatives from non-profit organizations who would like to find willing volunteers whose interests match their needs.

“The Shafer Leadership Academy has an existing network of nonprofit organizations that utilize their leadership training programs, as well as a high level of participation at the yearly CONVERGE volunteer fair; plus year-round activity on the CONVERGE website. All of which is the ideal network to leverage for this program,” said Bitzegaio. “With research showing that public radio and television audiences tend to be more giving of their time and money to nonprofit organizations, IPR’s Community Connection will provide nonprofit organizations throughout East Central Indiana an opportunity to engage a crucial audience: consumers of public media. This local, original program will connect the IPR listeners with community organizations that can utilize the profusion of time, talent, and treasure.”

To learn more about the Shafer Leadership Academy, the CONVERGE event and website, visit  or call 765-748-0403. To learn more about Indiana Public Radio and the Community Connection program, visit or call 800-646-1812.