Nonprofit co-founder steps down

Family advocate looks to volunteer after 20 years as organization leader

GREENFIELD — One of the founders of a local nonprofit dedicated to serving children with disabilities is taking a step back from her role as development director.

Amy Borgmann isn’t going very far, however.

Borgmann, who co-founded Families United for Support and Encouragement, which provides information, support and resources to families of children with special needs, stepped down from a leadership role with the organization she helped found some two decades ago, but she still plans to offer her time and talents to the cause.

“I am looking toward my future,” she said. “I think I will still be able to make a pretty good impact as a volunteer.”

Borgman and Denise Arland started FUSE when they both were new mothers of children with disabilities 20 years ago. Their first meeting, at the Greenfield Ponderosa restaurant, included about a dozen other people. Now, the organization serves about 1,200 central Indiana families per year, hosting support groups in Hancock and Shelby counties, providing support for an adaptive swimming class and a special needs guard group, among other events.

Borgmann, who spearheaded the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts as development director, said her decision stemmed from a desire to focus on her real estate business and her family; she will continue to donate office space at her business to FUSE for its meetings, she said. And she’ll be just steps away from Arland, and the nonprofit’s new development director, Sara Cummins, if needed.

It’s difficult to let Borgmann take even that small step back, Arland said, because the pair has worked hand in hand since the beginning, and Borgmann has been a vital part of the group’s growth.

Borgmann expanded FUSE’s annual operating budget from about $20,000 to $130,000, creating a base of donors since she became development director in 2007.

Borgmann feels good about the contributions she’s made.

“In that way, I feel like I’ve grown the organization,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ve given it some ability to be sustainable long after I’m gone.”

She’s also confident she’s leaving her work in good hands.

Cummins has worked with FUSE for two years as a development associate, working side by side with Borgmann, Arland said.

Cummins got involved with FUSE after she became a mother to a son with a rare genetic condition and had little support. After researching the condition, she found FUSE and quickly began volunteering for the organization, she said.

She looks forward to taking up Borgmann’s torch as development director and hopes to grow the donor base so FUSE might impact more families, she said.

“It’s bittersweet because we don’t want to lose Amy, but we will have her behind us every step of the way,” Cummins said. “I hope to just continue … to keep empowering and encouraging families of children with special needs.”

If you go

Inspiring Abilities Expo

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Greenfield Intermediate School, 204 W. Park Ave., Greenfield.

The Inspiring Abilities Expo offers families and professionals an opportunity to network with organizations and service providers who meet the unique needs of children with disabilities.

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.