Is It Too Much to Ask?

Listen to “Is It Too Much To Ask?”   It’s not just me but a growing number of people have made comments about a theme running through commencement speeches for the last several [...]

What’s The Outlook?

Listen to “What’s the Outlook?” by Fred Smith   The difference between weather and climate is important. Weather alters constantly while climate changes are slow but the [...]

Paper Dolls

Listen to “Paper Dolls” by Fred Smith   There is no topic more widely discussed and fretted about in family philanthropy than that of donor intent. Horror stories (both true and [...]

The Family Farm

Listen to “The Family Farm” by Fred Smith   I’ve had many conversations over the years with friends about the dangers of leaving wealth to children only to ruin them. It’s taken [...]

Finding Gladness

*There is no audio recording of the blog this week. Fred will be back next week!   I suppose the unexamined life is not worth living may be right for the most part. However, is it possible [...]

Freely Given

Listen to “Freely Given” by Fred Smith   On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress declared war on Germany. With the same declaration they created the War Chest and [...]

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 [...]

Small Things

Listen to “Small Things” by Fred Smith After years of pursuing high impact philanthropy and broad systemic change this is a time for many to resist being swept away by the enormity of [...]

Our Secret Inquietude

Listen to “Our Secret Inquietude” by Fred Smith   After my father died we were sorting through his papers and found a stock certificate for 100 worthless shares. They were all [...]

Gifts Of A Lifetime

Listen to “Gifts of a Lifetime” by Fred Smith   It’s a familiar scene made even more so by movies and novels: the reading of the last will and testament. The somber family [...]