Staff Spotlight: Sarah Weaver

CICF’s vice president of development and strategy, Rob MacPherson, recently sat down for a conversation with Sarah Weaver, director of charitable gift planning & legal counsel.


ROB: Knowing you for five years and watching how much you’ve developed CICF’s planned giving initiatives, I’d love for you to share with others how gift planning work is fulfilling to you.

SARAH: I love charitable gift planning because it allows me to see someone’s philanthropic journey throughout their life and beyond. When you know what’s important to someone philanthropically, you feel like you know them on a deeper level. The other piece of charitable gift planning that is really important to me is helping people understand that anyone can leave a planned gift, that we are actively trying to eliminate barriers that previously restricted philanthropy to only the upper-most echelons of our community. We want to make lifetime and planned giving accessible to everyone. You don’t have to leave a multimillion-dollar estate to make an impact– you can carve off a small portion of one or more assets in your estate plan and with our investment tools and some compound interest, your gift can live on, growing in perpetuity.

ROB: With the foundation’s mission change and the addition of IMPACT Central Indiana—our new social impact investing venture—there’s so much more than charitable estate planning and opening donor-advised and scholarship funds for you in your new role. Help us understand more about your work in that area.

SARAH: From the outset, I want to know what’s important to our donors, what causes or organizations are most meaningful to them. And now, thanks to IMPACT Central Indiana, I have more of an active role to play in the conversation. I can share more about our equity learning journey and about the many aspects of our Marion and Hamilton County’s strategic plans or about recycling philanthropy through impact investing. While we always defer to the donor’s wishes, we also have so many more options to offer beyond our typical donor-advised funds and planned giving vehicles. To have more dynamic, meaningful and engaging conversations with prospective donors is the goal of every charitable gift planner.

“I want to know what’s important to our donors, what causes or organizations are most meaningful to them.”

ROB: Finally, I’ve heard you talk about the intentional lifestyle change that this job provided you from the law firm world. What’s the trade-off been and remind us about what you like to do outside of work.

SARAH: You know, I don’t think not-for-profit professionals work any less than our for-profit friends–we just work differently. I still have my running to-do list going through my mind after normal business hours, but the to-do list is just comprised of different things. That being said, the culture of CICF and my job responsibilities allow–and frankly, require–me to show up as my authentic self, that “I’m Sarah the lawyer, Sarah the wife and mom, Sarah the charitable gift planner and Sarah the colleague and friend” all at the same time. There is something so special about a work environment where my coworkers and I are invested in each other not just as a means to a professional end, but as friends and often, more like family. Outside of work, being the mom of a toddler keeps me pretty busy! Owen is two and a half, and when I’m not navigating potty training or tantrums, he is the absolute light of my world. My husband, Bill, and I love taking Owen to the Indy Zoo and the Children’s Museum, and playing with our dogs, Riesy and Ozzie.

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