About the Friends

Who we are & where we are going


The Friends of the White River exists to protect, preserve, and promote our vital resource for communities in Central Indiana by connecting people to the White River.


Friends of the White River advocate for a clean, healthy river ecosystem. We secure the necessary resources to educate, inform, and collaborate with the community including individuals, educators, government, business and other organizations.  Our goal is to sustain the long-term viability of the White River for future generations.

Core Values

  • We believe it is our duty to share a vision of a clean, healthy river ecosystem.
  • We believe in providing opportunities for access & education through direct, hands-on experiences and responsible oversight of sponsored programs.
  • We believe in stewardship through careful management of resources, direct leadership of cleanup events, and participation in strategic advocacy initiatives.
  • We believe in fostering sustainability.

Strategic Growth

Friends of the White River’s three programs work towards at least one of these objectives:

  • Enhancement of equitable public access for paddling, fishing, and boating
  • Improvement water quality and restoring native habitat
  • Prevention of illegal dumping
  • Promotion of river safety and recreation
  • Protection of the White River’s watershed

Friends of the White River supports out three programs by improving four Support functions: Administration, Digital Marketing, Fundraising, and Personnel.

  1. Increase opportunities for racially and ethnically underrepresented communities to participate in paddling, fishing, and boating on the White River and its tributaries.
  2. Reduce the environmental impact of homelessness along the White River through interventions in solid and human waste management.
  3. Organize regular River Cleanups while seeking definitive solutions to illegal dumping in neighborhoods adjacent to the White River in Marion County.
  1. Organize and lead 60 River School Program Days per year, 45 for paying clients (generating $35,000 annual) and 15 for Training, Membership, Partner Support, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
  2. Provide safe, fun, and engaging on-the-water educational experiences that enhance personal connections to the White River and the natural world.
  3. Engage the Friends of the White River membership with rewarding training, leadership, and ongoing volunteer opportunities.
  1. Reduce soil erosion and sediment pollution by providing technical planning assistance, cost estimates, and volunteer crews to remove invasive plant species along the White River and tributary streams.
  2. Restore stream banks zones along River School routes to educate participants about the differences in active management versus passive management.
  3. Create agreements with landowners to ensure restored streambanks are maintained in perpetuity.
  1. Ensure accurate record keeping and accounting of income, expenses, payments, reimbursements, and fundraising through Quickbooks, Bloomerang, Paypal Invoicing, and other software suites.
  2. Streamline the River School client booking and scheduling procedures through the use of an online web calendar integrated into the FOWR website.
  3. Reduce IT and logistical other barriers to programmatic implementation.
  1. Create and maintain a website that drives leads to convert into FOWR members, volunteers, donors, and clients for River School program days.
  2. Record video and still images from all program days for use in a pre-planned social media strategy designed to increase overall charitable giving to the organization.
  3. Advocate for Environmental Justice through the design, implementation, and management of DEI informed social media, video content, and other outreach materials in multiple languages.
  1. Engage all members of the Board of Directors, Fundraising Committee members-at-large, and Staff in fundraising campaigns through lead generation, event planning, direct asks, direct mail, donor recognition correspondence, and social/digital media.
  2. Implement four revenue-generating campaigns each fiscal year: Program Sponsorships, River School sales, a Golf Outing, and Membership Renewal.
  3. Diversify organization’s funding base through grant-seeking, major gifts development, planned giving, and endowments, to reach a baseline operating budget of $350,000 by 2027.
  1. Ensure an active and energetic Board of Directors which participates in fundraising, program delivery, public policy, and advocacy for Organization’s objectives.
  2. Facilitate communication and regular updates through Basecamp software to all Board Members, Committee Members, Staff, and Volunteers.
  3. Recruit and train the next generation of conservation leaders through internships, volunteer training, committee assignments, and fostering a diverse Board of Directors and staff composition

Sponsor Friends

Help make this vision a reality

Commitment to Diversity

Friends of the White River is committed to providing an equal opportunity for employment to individuals regardless of age, race, color, creed, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other similarly protected status in accordance with federal, state or local law, ordinance or regulation.

Public Policy Stands

Friends of the White River sometimes takes a public stand on an appropriate public matter, per this policy enacted by its Board of Directors.


Privacy Policy

Friends of the White River are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We may use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, unless necessary to fulfill your request.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about activities, events, or other news related to our organization or the White River. You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time.


In Review