• Fred's Blog

    What are your intentions?

    I don’t think there is a topic more widely discussed and fretted about in family philanthropy than that of donor intent. Horror stories (both true and fabricated) are floated by institutions and endowments warning parents there is a high likelihood that their children will abandon their values and wishes almost as soon as both parents have been laid to rest. The classic example is that of the Ford Foundation whose trustees, according to the story, were so blatant about diverting from Henry Ford’s instructions that his son resigned from the Board in disgust, claiming the trustees had betrayed their responsibilities by funding causes that would have been abhorrent to his…

  • Fred's Blog

    What Then Is My Pay?

    In 1974 W.A. Criswell, the longtime pastor of First Baptist Dallas, announced that he was giving back “every penny” he earned in salary during his 30 years as pastor. An article in the Baptist Press reported Dr. Criswell as saying, “The first time I preached in a church, the deacons took up a collection and I was given $10. I gave it back to them and told them I did not preach for money.” At the time, he said he did not know how he was going to live without money, “but I had the tremendous feeling that I had given my life to God freely.” The account went on to…

  • Fred's Blog

    Putting Charity Out of Business

    I often wonder if philanthropy is one of those words that has either lost its traditional meaning (love of mankind) and never should have been used to define giving in the first place. In fact I wonder if our use of “love of mankind” actually is possible or even desirable. Yes, there are numerous examples where giving springs from sincere feelings about the poor or a genuine desire to alleviate suffering, spread the gospel, deliver health care, rescue young girls and boys from the bondage of trafficking, and restore dignity to people. No doubt these are good things. But are they really philanthropy? Are they charity? Are those actually two different things? Jeremy…

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  • Fred's Blog

    Looking Back

    Note: Two years ago I wrote this blog about my lifelong friends, Peggy and Bill Shipley. On Saturday, August 2nd of this year, Peggy passed away.  As a tribute to her, I wanted to share what I wrote again with you today. I’ve been watching the rise of mentoring programs for underprivileged young men. Donald Miller began The Mentoring Project because he grew up without a father. Duncan Campbell started Friends of The Children for very different reasons. Both Donald and. Duncan have come to the same conclusion: being a mentor takes a long time. Sometimes it is not just the underprivileged or low-income boys needing a caring adult and…