• Fred's Blog

    A Better Life

    Listen to “A Better Life.”   As I handed him the check for the work he had been doing for us he paused before folding it neatly and putting it in his shirt pocket. “Are you happy with your current lifestyle? Would you like to know about a business opportunity that could help you get more income and be able to afford a better life?” I knew what was next and, fortunately, I had a prepared answer that stymied him completely. “I really don’t want any more money than I have. In fact, I probably have more than I need right now.” I had the feeling that was a response…

  • Fred's Blog

    All In Good Time

    Listen to “All In Good Time.”   It’s a familiar scene made even more so by movies and novels: the reading of the last will and testament. The somber family is seated quietly around the table in the law office. The attorney reaches down into his briefcase and pulls out the file. He puts on his glasses, clears his throat and starts slowly reading the wishes of the deceased. Of course, in the back of every mind is the obvious question, “How much did he leave me?” It’s not unnatural or even greedy. It’s perfectly normal behavior. Everyone has some vague notion or hope, and then the attorney says, “Your…

  • Fred's Blog

    The Great Divide

    Listen to “The Great Divide.”   While guaranteed to be controversial, Michael Gerson’s essay The Last Temptation in the April issue of The Atlantic has captured 150 years of evangelical history as well as anyone could. As I read it, I thought about the sidebar of evangelical philanthropy and how it has evolved in the same pattern he outlines. Throughout most of the 19th-century evangelicals were focused on combining evangelism, preaching the Word and social action. During the Second Great Awakening and under the preaching of Charles Finney, the issues of prison reform, women’s rights, and the abolition of slavery were not separated from personal salvation. However, in the latter…

  • Fred's Blog

    When the Lights Go Out

    Listen to “When the Lights Go Out.”   One of my treasures is a framed picture of Peter Drucker, Bob Buford, Tom Luce and myself outside Peter’s house in Estes Park in the early 1990s. Underneath it Bob wrote, “The Beginning of the Social Entrepreneur Network.” It was an idea we had been working on for several years and one that was close to Peter’s heart as it combined two of his basic concepts – the value of the entrepreneur as a creative force and the social responsibility that entailed. I’ve been thinking about this recently because like the word “philanthropy,” the phrase “social entrepreneur” has morphed over the years.…

  • Fred's Blog

    What Would Billy Do?

    Listen to “What Would Billy Do?”   One of the sadly comical and widely reported details of the second 2016 Republican debate was the number of times each candidate quoted Ronald Reagan or tried to present himself as assuming Reagan’s mantle. Mentioned by name 45 times, many viewers were left with the impression that either the candidates had no fresh ideas of their own or were hoping to get a posthumous endorsement. Moderator Jake Tapper said before one of the breaks, “Coming up, Ronald Reagan looming large over this debate.  So how Reaganesque exactly are these Republicans? We will find out next.” Will we experience something of the same following…