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 [...]

Brace Yourself

Listen to “Brace Yourself” by Fred Smith   Last week was Thanksgiving followed by Black Friday. We know the majority of Americans were shopping over the long weekend with 20 [...]

More Than Enough

Listen to “More than Enough” by Fred Smith   My wife, Carol, was sleeping in the passenger seat as we drove past the exit sign for Tyler, Texas. It was 1977 and we were on our [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Gospel Drone

Listen to “The Gospel Drone” by Fred Smith   In 1967 film maker (and devout Christian) Irwin “Shorty” Yeaworth  produced “The Gospel Blimp” as a send-up of the craze [...]

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 [...]

I Am Somebody

Listen to “I Am Somebody” by Fred Smith   Two times in the Gospel of Luke the disciples are caught asking who will be great in the Kingdom. It’s not a bad question. In fact, [...]

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 [...]