As an independent and innovative voice in a rapidly expanding field, Dads Inc. has quickly become a nationally-recognized expert and leader in the field of fatherhood development and involvement.
Dads Inc. was founded on June 17th, 2005 (the Friday before Father's Day) by a small group of fathers and community activists dedicated to advancing actively engaged fatherhood in Central Indiana. Incorporated within the State of Indiana on November 28th, 2005, Dads Inc. is a community-based non-profit organization that received its 501(c)(3) status from the IRS on May 17, 2006. Until that point, the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, located on Indianapolis' near-Westside, had generously agreed to serve as the fiscal agent and organizational mentor for Dads Inc. until its infrastructure was in place. The Center continued to provide administrative office space for the Dads Inc. headquarters through July 2008.
After being awarded an AmeriCorps*VISTA project from the Corporation for National & Community Service and a capacity-building grant from the Indianapolis Foundation over the ensuing summer, Dads Inc. hired its first Executive Director, Founder Christopher Maples, and began to bring on AmeriCorps*VISTA members in September 2006. The staff worked tirelessly through the fall to raise money and build the infrastructure of the organization, and Dads Inc. began to officially offer its full portfolio of programs in January 2007.
As the organization launched, the need for it quickly became evident. After consulting with several local family & youth development experts, the staff had set a goal of working with 100 dads for that first year. By the end of that first year, Dads Inc. had worked with 196 Central Indiana dads, and the pace has never slowed. That number jumped by over 20% in 2008, and with the help of a major marketing campaign and a commitment to advertising, that number only looks to grow exponentially in the future.
On January 1, 2010, Dads Inc. merged with The Villages of Indiana, Inc. Now operating as a Division of The Villages, Dads Inc. has achieved a level of sustainability which few non-profit start-ups reach. With a broad network of supporters, myriad resources, and an innovative spirit, Dads Inc. is poised to lead the way in Indiana in building generations of involved dads and thriving children!