The Dumb Tax

Listen to “The Dumb Tax” by Fred Smith   “Where’s the elevator?” The donor looked up the empty shaft in the nonprofit’s new building his family’s foundation had [...]

Hands Off

Listen to “Hands Off” by Fred Smith   For me, as someone having founded and co-founded several organizations, few things are more satisfying than spending time with men and women [...]

Is The Glitter Gone?

Listen to “Is the Glitter Gone?” by Fred Smith   In 1929, in the grip of a global depression, Americans flocked to theaters to escape the harshness of their lives and catch a [...]

Songs of Joy

Listen to “Songs of Joy” by Fred Smith   Studies are showing that giving, especially smaller gifts, has increased substantially during the pandemic. In fact, donations to food [...]

Losing Our Powers

Listen to “Losing Our Powers” by Fred Smith   In a recent New York Times article, “When a $1,000 Gift is Better Than $1 Million” Paul Sullivan writes about Donna and Benjamin [...]

I Want Your Job

Listen to “I Want Your Job.”   People often ask how they can get a position as a grantmaker with a foundation. It seems sensible that donors with foundations would want help in [...]

A Guide to the Perplexed

Many years ago, a friend and I set up a new fund for our giving to ministries. While both of us had our favorites, we wanted to do something other than simply write checks to those select few. We [...]

Stop Ministering to Donors

I believe there has been a good deal of misinformation floating around for years about the idea of ministering to donors. I am not arguing with the overall concept of caring for people – [...]

Defensive Giving

Earlier this summer I was hurrying to a meeting with our chief of police and was pulled over and given a ticket for going too fast through a reduced speed zone. Yes, I did think about mentioning [...]

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