Year: 2012

Once Burned Twice Shy

  There has only been one article written about The Gathering since we began in 1985 – and that one had a negative slant.  It was titled “Hush-Hush: What Makes Christian Philanthropy Christian?”  This was the opening paragraph: “Two years ago they gathered at the swank Four Seasons in Seattle. Last year they gathered in Cancun. Next week to the Ritz-Carlton P ...[Read More]

Scrooge Repents

  I know you may be expecting me to write about the true meaning of Christmas today – but I'm not. Instead I am thinking about something more personal because I have never liked Christmas. For whatever reasons ” I have never found myself in the "Christmas spirit.” While I would not say I have been Scrooge” I have come close. In fact the whole period between Th ...[Read More]

The Place Where Young People Go To Retire – Portland

  Every year we take small groups of Gathering participants on trips outside the country to visit work being done by people who are involved with The Gathering. Earlier this year we went to Cuba and decided we would do something inside the United States in December.  We had read about Portland through a series of articles in Christianity Today titled "This Is Your City" that ha ...[Read More]

The Second Act

  Some friends who have seen Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” have come away disappointed that the film did not emphasize his faith as much as they had hoped. To that objection Stephen Mansfield wrote an insightful review in USA Today: “The challenge is that Lincoln lived through widely differing stages in his journey of faith. There is always the temptation to see his ent ...[Read More]

Whatever Happened To National Ministries?

  Thirty years ago three men (Larry Burkett Terry Parker and Ron Blue) started the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF).  This year the foundation is recognizing making billions of dollars of gifts here in the United States and around the world. NCF serves more than 9 000 donors. They recently hosted a 30-year celebration in Atlanta Ga. ” and I attended as a friend of Ter ...[Read More]

Guilt-Free Gratitude

  My daughter Haley ” is a student at Fuller Seminary and was part of a group recently that sponsored a panel of professors talking about money and stewardship. I asked her afterward for the three or four topics that were of greatest interest to those attending. “Guilt for what we have compared to the rest of the world” was near the top of the list. A close friend of mine to ...[Read More]

Would You Be My Mentor?

  What is your criteria  for choosing a mentor? Today’s blog was written by my father, Fred Smith, Sr.  Dad continued mentoring through into his late 80’s giving great insight into the selection process of mentoring. He passed away in 2007 leaving a legacy of wisdom, integrity, strength, and insight.   It’s important to find the right mentor. Over the yea ...[Read More]


One of the best five books I've read on business management was written by marketing consultant Al Ries. The book is “Focus “” and right from the start Ries states a premise that he repeats throughout:  "The key to results is concentration. Economic results require that managers concentrate their efforts on the smallest number of activities that will produce the lar ...[Read More]

The Giving Game


Five Challenges of Family Philanthropy

If you sometimes feel the joy of giving is eluding you, you are not alone. Over the past 20 years, we’ve had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of individuals couples and families in working with the issues that affect their philanthropy. While each individual and family’s situation is unique, we have found the following five challenges to be almost universal. Discuss it with your family an ...[Read More]