James Giessler

Currently serving as Executive Director of The Wellness Community – Central Indiana, Inc., James has been a professional fund raiser since 1993. Having had a varied back­ground in business—including insurance, incentive marketing and advertising—James entered the fund raising profession as an event planner for an AIDS service organization.


During his tenure with Indiana Cares, James helped the group double the net profit on their annual fund raising event and successfully launched the organization’s first direct-mail fund raising appeal. Upon leaving the world of grass-roots fund raising, James took a position in the Development Office at Butler University where he held several positions before being promoted to Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations—a position he held until May 2000. While at Butler, James helped faculty and administrators secure significant grant dollars, including two multi-million dollar grants and several six-figure awards. James received the designation of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in October 1999 and served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.


In preparation for a career in fund raising and not-for-profit management, James chose a likely academic track completing both an undergraduate degree  (B. A., Judson College, Elgin, IL) and a graduate degree (M. Mus., Butler University, Indianapolis, IN) in music—vocal performance and choral conducting to be exact! So that all his education isn’t entirely wasted, James continues to be active in the music world and currently directs the music program at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Indianapolis where he is about to start his ninth season.


As a choral technician, James has led choral workshops for churches in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana. Having sung professionally with Light Opera Works of Chicago, Pro Arte Chorale of Chicago, Indianapolis Opera, Christ Church Cathedral Festival Singers, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, and others too numerous to mention, James has scaled back his performance schedule in recent years, but remains available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals.