In her insightful new article, Ashley May at Philanthropy Roundtable provides an inspiring, comprehensive look at today’s Christian generosity movement, with profiles on some of the most interesting and influential givers and organizations making a difference around the world – including NCF.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the article …
Daryl Heald, Todd Harper, and David Wills (former NCF President, who still works with NCF in Texas) noticed that hearing the story of one generous giver often seemed to spark munificence in others. They wondered if peer-to-peer charitable encouragement could be offered more systematically.
“It was the late ’90s and wealth was exploding,” says Harper. Each of the three men knew faithful people like Hugh Maclellan who were giving far above the mean, but also others whose giving was “frozen.”
Could something be learned from radically generous men and women that would help others unlock their giving?
The trio decided that the best way to support generosity would be to help donors answer three important questions:
- Why should I be generous?
- How do I do that?
- Where should I give?
Harper and Heald agreed to take on the first question, of why. They would make the case for living a generous life (largely through the organization Generous Giving). Wills focused on the second matter, the how [eventually joining Terry Parker at NCF]. The issue of “Where should I give?” was left to donors to decide for themselves….
When Wills arrived at NCF in 1998, he began to focus on processing unique donations, and hosting donor-advised funds that give maximum flexibility to givers. He assembled a team of savvy lawyers and finance experts. He streamlined procedures for clients. Generous Giving referred guests to NCF when they wanted to take action; NCF referred clients to Generous Giving for education and inspiration.
NCF exploded in size.
In 2018, the organization steered its ten-billionth dollar to charity. It now serves about 25,000 givers, and sends funds to 63,000 separate charities. Those unconventional non-cash gifts that Wills wanted to unlock – the real-estate, business shares, and so forth – totaled $680 million last year.
NCF now has local teams in 30 U.S. cities. In 2017, the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked the foundation as the nation’s 8th largest fundraiser, above the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Harvard University, and St. Jude Hospital.