How did The Gathering begin? In 1985, five people met for the first time in Arlington, Virginia, with a very simple agenda. They were all engaged in Christian philanthropy and wanted to create a group of like-minded individuals to serve as a resource, a source of spiritual encouragement and a sounding board of peers. They wanted to set aside a time each year to find a safe, neutral place to relax, talk and learn - and to hopefully bring their families. And so The Gathering began.
The mission and purpose of The Gathering has now grown to include our annual conference of several hundred people, as well as regional get-togethers and mission trips throughout the year.
What are the qualifications to attend The Gathering? To attend a Gathering event, we ask that each individual, family or private foundation be giving a minimum of $200,000 each year to Christian ministries - or have the capacity to do so. The Gathering also welcomes the staff and trustees of our participants' foundations.
We welcome a conversation with you about these qualifications. Please feel free to call our president, Fred Smith, or our conference manager, Melea Edwards, at 903-509-9911.
Is it a requirement to have a private foundation in order to attend? Many of our participants have family foundations, but just as many do not. The profile of The Gathering community ranges from three year olds attending our GenNext kids' camp to grandparents bringing three generations to learn more about family giving! We do offer classes to guide our participants with their private foundations, but it is definitely not a requirement for you to have a foundation to be a part of The Gathering.
Will I be surrounded by people raising money for their causes? We have had so many Gathering participants share with us that the conference is the only “safe place” where they feel free to talk about their giving and learn from others - without the fear of being approached for funding. The Gathering is a time for you to develop relationships and friendships with others who are like-minded with you in their desire to give to the best of their God-given ability.
Are children allowed to attend The Gathering conference? Yes! The Gathering community now spans three generations, and we are excited to offer our GenNext Kids' Camp during the conference for your children and grandchildren ages 3 to 18 years of age. The experts from Pine Cove Christian Camps lead GenNext in teaching biblical truth and moral character - not to mention leading our kids in having fun!