Understanding Why People Give
My career in philanthropy began with a position at the University of Louisville. That position was followed by stints at Florida International University, University of Charleston and Butler University. The main reason I worked at these universities was to constantly learn about my profession. I was fortunate to have access to a variety of materials, but my total joy was listening to fresh research on aspects of philanthropy presented in a lecture context.
I was blessed to attend the recent 12th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture titled "The Generosity Equation: Donors, Faith, and Avenues to Giving," presented by Christian Smith, Ph.D., a William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology plus director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame.
The Thomas H. Lake Lecture was sponsored by the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving. The Lake Institute was created by the legacy gift of Tom and Marjorie Lake, their daughter Karen Lake Buttrey, and the Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis. The institute specifically provides the community with the opportunity to understand how faith inspires and informs giving through research, education and training.
Statistically, more than one-third of all charitable dollars given annually in the United States is directed to religion, and research indicates that faith practitioners are the country's most generous donors. The Lake Institute helps clergy and lay leaders, for example, discern the religious dimensions of their giving. It is an important component of the nationally known Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of philanthropy.
The director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving is David P. King, Ph.D., an ordained minister who believes in the concept of blending theory and practice for complete understanding of philanthropy in society. King introduced Smith and led a panel discussion at the end of the lecture.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last nine years and has had the CFRE designation for the last 25 years. He has also been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for over 35 years. He received his doctorate from West Virginia University with an emphasis in philanthropy, masters from Marshall University with an emphasis on resource development and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with emphasis in marketing/management. Currently he is executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org.