Giving generously, impactfully and strategically

Talking about giving is challenging. It’s deeply personal yet critically important to share. If we all band together to share our giving stories, we can make meaningful change in our communities. At the Christian Community Foundation, we’ve been carefully honing our language and defining our purpose. As we seek to create ways for our donors to share their giving philosophy, three words continue to rise to the forefront: generosity, strategy and impact. 

When these three words are at the center of your conversation about giving, the message shifts from one that can come across as braggadocious to one that is engaging, enticing and motivating. It takes the focus off the giver and places it onto the process. 

These three words will guide our conversations about giving through the Christian Community Foundation for years to come. We’re excited to share what they mean to us and how we talk about them so you can reflect this message in conversations with friends, family and people you love. 

Giving generously. 

If you’ve spoken with Rex Jones, CCF’s president, about giving (and we hope you have), you’ve likely heard him say, “God doesn’t deal in dollars and cents but in the condition of the heart.” That is the crux of generous giving. We seek for our family of donors to give in accordance to their personal conversations with God and their families. When you focus on generosity as a concept and not as a number, it makes giving accessible to all people. Being generous isn’t about the size of your donor-advised fund account. It’s about the personal sacrifices you make in accordance with your calling from the Lord. Speaking with others about giving in terms of generosity shifts the conversation from money to the condition of the giver’s heart.

Giving strategically. 

When the Lord lays it on your heart to make a gift, it may not always fit within your budget, especially if you don’t set aside money for philanthropy. From a practical standpoint, giving can stretch us. At the same time, it can feel odd to put aside a pool of money for giving. But the Lord tells us to prepare our fields for harvest, and one way to prepare your financial fields is to allocate money for giving in advance. If you’re prayerfully considering your giving, it is no less meaningful to invest in a donor-advised fund at the beginning of the year to meet needs than it is to write unbudgeted checks as you’re presented with an ask. As an added bonus, when you pour money into your donor-advised fund, that money can be invested and grow tax-free.

Giving strategically helps protect the condition of your heart in the giving process and allows you to answer God’s calling when a need arises without jeopardizing your family’s well-being. When we talk about giving strategically, it removes guilt from the process and allows donors to reconcile their desire to give with the financial needs of their family.

Giving impactfully.

All giving is impactful. We believe that gifts given in alignment with a believers heart are used by God in ways we may not be able to fathom. Like we’ve said earlier, giving isn’t about the amount of money on the check. But when you give generously and strategically through a donor-advised fund, one advantage is that your money grows tax-free until you give it away. This is an incredible way to increase your impact through giving – one that excites many of our donors. 

When you give generously, strategically and impactfully, you are ultimately creating an active giving process. You are prayerfully considering what you want to give away, are making financial plans that account for philanthropy and are creating opportunities for your gifts to grow. This is a powerful conversation that we believe can transform Memphis and the world for the Kingdom of God. Do you want to join us in this effort? You can start today by contacting us at 901-682-6201.

What are the best ways to invest in your donor-advised fund?

When you choose to open a donor-advised fund, you’re making a conscious decision to dedicate some of your assets to generosity. It’s an exciting path to embark upon! But there are a lot of questions that come along with opening a DAF. Most commonly, what fund sources can be used to build a DAF?

CCF recommends that you consult with your personal financial advisor before making any decisions related to your assets. However, we wanted to list common fund sources that many of our donors use to build their funds. Talk with your financial advisor about these options. 

Liquid assets

Many donors choose to populate their DAF with liquid assets. This is one of the easiest ways to start or add to your account. All you have to do is give our office a call and send the check in the mail. From there, we’ll process your request and quickly add the funds to your account. It’s that simple! 

Appreciated stocks

If you’ve seen gains in your stock portfolio, you can invest those tax-free in your donor-advised fund. It’s also a simple process. Talk with your personal financial advisor and let them know which stocks you’d like to send to your donor-advised fund. Then, call our office to let us know about the upcoming sale, noting the type of stock and number of shares we should anticipate. This will help us direct the proceeds of the sale to your account. 


While property donations are less common, we have donors who like to give in this way. If you have property you’d like to invest in your DAF, talk with your personal financial advisor then give us a call. We can talk with you about the process and how to proceed. 

Ultimately, choosing to give is an excellent decision, no matter the type of assets you choose to donate. If you want to make an impact through giving, creating a donor-advised fund is a great way to get started. We’d be honored to help you as you consider your giving options. To connect with the Christian Community Foundation, you can call our office at (901) 682-6201.

Meet the board!

Behind every great organization is a board that helps guide the way! The same can be said about Christian Community Foundation. CCF is blessed to have a board that prayerfully considers decisions and uses the Word as a guiding light. It is the board’s mission to create a path forward for CCF, one that follows God’s vision for the organization while empowering donors to give strategically and impactfully.


Here is a list of our board members, past and present:

Current board members:

  • Roshun Austin
  • Brad Crawford
  • John Dudas
  • Tom Dyer
  • Ken Edmundson
  • Mark Forrester
  • Robert Frazee
  • Lee Greene 
  • Sarah Haizlip
  • Shelley Hill
  • Hamp Holcomb
  • John Laughlin
  • Larry Lloyd
  • Bill Martin
  • Bryan Miller
  • Douglass Skipworth
  • Ben Smith
  • Harry Smith
  • Michael Stockburger
  • Kemmons Wilson, Jr.
  • Stephanie Wilson


Past board members

  • Kirk Bailey
  • Nancy Coe
  • Howard Eddings
  • Kim Gaskill
  • Lee Gibson
  • Stuart Harris
  • Ashley Remmers
  • Jimmy Sexton
  • Lauren Young


What’s the role of our board?

The board’s role is to collectively guide the organization in a way that furthers the Kingdom and encourages Biblical stewardship. Our board members are a part of internal committees that work together toward a common goal in a specific portion of the organization. For example, the event committee works to organize and plan CCF events such as the Annual Power of Giving Celebration, and the education committee works to deepen connections and understanding of CCF among financial partners. Our board serves as a guiding light with our donors’ best interests at heart.

As a donor, do they know who I am?

Anonymity is an important pillar of CCF’s. We never share our donor list, even with our board members. While the board reviews grant requests, they are not told who requested any of the grants. This is to protect your anonymity – ensuring your privacy and allowing you to focus on the giving. Our board members are not privy to any information regarding donors.

How can I get to know the board?

While getting to know the board isn’t essential to your CCF experience, they can serve as a great resource to you if you do choose to engage with them. If you’re interested in reaching out to our board members, please contact CCF’s director of donor relations Stephanie Jones at Stephanie will happily relay any messages, comments or concerns to our board and put you in touch with them if necessary.

Congratulations to this year’s board members, new and returning. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish for CCF and Christ’s kingdom.


Giving locally versus giving globally

There are many ways to donate and make a difference around the world or in your backyard, but which is calling to you? Christ commands us to love each other and offer ourselves to those in need, whether they are in our community or across the world.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:8-11)

God’s word calls us to give faithfully, but let your heart lead you to where you’re called to give. Local donations support your community and can have an impact on your day-to-day life. Memphis is a city filled with opportunities to give your time and money in an effort to make a difference in community lives. 

When you give locally, you have the opportunity to see the firsthand implications of your donation. You see where your donations are used, you employ locals, create positive relationships and more! 

Choosing to donate outside of your community still impacts your heart and the lives of others. Giving more globally can mean that your monetary gift goes much further and depending on the location, your donation could make a larger tangible impact. Choosing to donate outside of your community also gives you a wider range of nonprofits and causes to support. 

If you decide to donate money nationally or globally, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to invest locally! Community service and volunteerism has just as much of an impact as monetary donations. You can support organizations abroad while still investing time in your community. 

Deciding where to give can be both exciting and overwhelming, which is why we are here to help you navigate the path toward giving. If you have any questions about deciding where to give or how you can get started, please contact us at (901) 682-6201.


Finding the best fund for you

At the Christian Community Foundation, we have many ways for you to easily invest in the community. While traditional donor-advised funds are the most popular option, there are several options that might better suit your unique giving desires. When you’re planning to start a new fund, our team can help you identify the fund-type that is best for you. Here are the two most popular options you can pursue through CCF:

Legacy Fund

A legacy fund through the Christian Community Foundation ensures that your charitable donations live on. Upon your death, your legacy fund will continue to make charitable donations on your behalf to the nonprofit organization(s) of your choice. This fund creates more than a lifetime worth of support – it creates a charitable legacy for your family, friends and loved ones to continue in your honor. If your account is designated as a donor-advised fund – don’t worry. The parameters you outlined at the onset of your relationship with CCF will apply in the event you should pass. If you’d like to update or revise plans related to your DAF, reach out to CCF. 

Scholarship Fund

Investing charitable dollars into education is one of the greatest gifts you can leave to future generations. Many of our donors choose to develop a scholarship fund at the university, college or school of their choice. We can connect our donors to the appropriate school department to manage the scholarship development process directly with the university. If you choose to pursue this arrangement, you can make scholarship contributions directly out of your existing donor-advised fund account. However, you can also create a dedicated scholarship fund through the Christian Community Foundation if that is your wish. Contact our team to learn more about this account type. 

While these are excellent options, there are many more funds to consider when you’re seeking to start your philanthropic journey. The Christian Community Foundation makes it easy for you to answer God’s call to give. If you have any questions about which fund is best for you or how you can get started, please contact us at (901) 682-6201.


Stephanie Jones joins Christian Community Foundation as director of donor relations

Christian Community Foundation is excited to welcome Stephanie Jones as the new director of donor relations! With more than 20 years of experience in budgeting, financial analysis and accounting, she makes a wonderful addition to our team.

Stephanie received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Memphis. After serving as a Principal Analyst, Controller, and Accounting Manager for multiple organizations, Stephanie began praying for a career change. She couldn’t put a finger on it but, she had a feeling that she was being called elsewhere. Her commitment to healthy living led her to frequent the gym during her lunch break, where she met CCF’s president, Rex Jones. Fast forward three years later, Rex called with a proposition – for her to join CCF.

As director of donor relations, she is most excited about the overall vision of the organization. “Since stepping into this role, I’ve seen Christian Community Foundation impact lives for the good of the Kingdom,” Stephanie said. Her goal is to educate people about what it means to be a Kingdom giver in a way that is authentic and transparent.

In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her high school sweetheart and husband of 21 years, Malvin, and their three daughters Autumn, Ashley and Sequoia. She also enjoys exercising, reading, sewing and traveling.

We’re blessed to add Stephanie to our family and army of givers!

Do I have to be wealthy to give?

What is generosity? Societally, generosity typically is associated with giving away money or objects. In a culture centered around wealth and success, how do you adopt a generous mentality without connecting it to the amount you can give financially?

There are common misconceptions about generosity – the largest is that generosity is defined by monetary value. We tend to measure our generosity by how much money we are able to give and miss other ways to give by doing so. You don’t have to donate a large sum to be considered a generous person. The true power of generosity radiates from the ability to let go of what we value and give back to others.

When you put generosity into practice, the impact you have on the recipient is unparalleled. Generosity toward others encourages generosity from others, and this effect builds over time. You can exercise generosity by taking small steps instead of a great leap, and that’s OK. Try putting aside $10 every month, then at the end of the year, you’ll have $120 to donate to an organization!

You may be wondering, what about future generations? How do you instill the value of generosity in your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren? Here’s where the NexGen Fund comes in. If you already have a donor-advised fund through Christian Community Foundation, you can create a NexGen fund with no minimum donation requirement. It includes solutions for a wide-range of customizable strategies and can be created in the name of someone to encourage charitable giving for the next generation.

Even still, giving a monetary donation, no matter the size, can be challenging. Even if you can’t write a check, there are numerous ways to increase giving and encourage philanthropic efforts. Instead of giving money, think about giving your time or your skills. Join a board or seek volunteer opportunities at churches, hospitals or other local organizations within the city. Generosity knows no bounds.

Are you inspired to give but not sure where to begin? Contact us to start your journey at 901-682-6201!

Ministry Spotlight: Memphis Teen Challenge Expands

Brother Cameron came to Memphis Teen Challenge broken and homeless. Crack cocaine had taken everything from him. His family had disowned him and his friends had abandoned him. Cameron came to Teen Challenge in need of a change. While in their residential program, Cameron rededicated his life to Christ at one of the ministry services. A missionary came and spoke at a chapel service and Cameron felt a call to the mission field. Over the course of the year-long program, God did a tremendous work and Cameron graduated, free from addiction. Executive Director Jonathan Lindberg talked to Cameron just last month. “He is now in the middle of his second year of Bible College, studying for a degree in world missions. He is living free from addiction, serving the Lord wholeheartedly and he is filled with hope for his future!”

That is the power of change that only Christ can give.

Over the past forty years, Memphis Teen Challenge viagra sans ordonnance (33 North Cleveland) has served as a leading faith-based solution to the drug problem. Thousands of men (ages 18+) have come to Teen Challenge and experienced a life changed through an encounter with the grace of God. Teen  Challenge believes change happens from the inside out. This Christ-centered approach to addiction has led to an 85% national success rate among all Teen Challenge graduates after five years.

There is hope for those caught in the web of addiction. Christ is the answer!

In 2013, Memphis Teen Challenge will be expanding their campus with a new ministry building. This new ministry building will allow Teen Challenge 15 more beds (raising the total capacity to 45 beds) as well as re-entry apartments for graduates. Each bed at Memphis Teen Challenge represents a life broken and in need of restoration. It also represents a family torn apart by drugs and alcohol or children and mothers who have been abandoned because of addiction. Their prayer is that God uses this new ministry building to make a greater impact in the Memphis community and a lasting impact on lives in eternity.

For more information or to help get involved with Memphis Teen Challenge, email Executive Director Jonathan Lindberg or call 901.272.2308.


above article was published in the 2012 Fall Hope Newsletter and was submitted by Memphis Teen Challenge Executive Director Jonathan Lindberg]

2012 Winter Newsletter: MTR, American the Generous, Alan Barnhart


Recently Christianity Today published an article highlighting Memphis Teaching Residency in their This Is Out City segment. Hope is proud to sponsor MTR and share its success story in Memphis.

Training teachers in urban education is Memphis Teaching Residency’s (MTR) main goal. However, unlike other teacher-training organizations, MTR staff realize that a great teacher is only part of the answer. When they leave acheter viagra the school building, students return to the cycle of poverty, drugs, and violence. One teacher in one classroom for one year can only do so much.

Thus, from the beginning, MTR chose to focus on four Memphis neighborhoods known for failing schools and high crime rates. Each MTR resident is strongly encouraged to take a job at one of the 15 schools in the four neighborhoods. With well-trained, caring teachers filling up the schools, a child is more likely to have a consistently positive experience in the classroom.

“We’re only willing to do education reform within a community development approach,” says Montague, “so that a child can be born in [a given neighborhood] and have a great teacher from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.”

Resident Kevin Mattice, a transplant from Ohio, says that during his months at MTR, he’s learned “the power of being there for the kids and them knowing what they can expect from their teacher, the power of staying in a city for more than a year or two, and in a new way.”

This alone seems like a vast vision: to give children not only a great teacher, but a series of great teachers throughout a school, and to challenge young teachers to care more about renewal than about themselves. MTR desires not only great teachers, but great Christian teachers who do their job well and love the children they teach. Yet, Montague insists that even this vision is limited. “What we’re trying to do is redeem the city for God’s glory; and to redeem the city you redeem the community; and to redeem the community you redeem the person.”

With this goal in mind, Montague, brother Robert, and Drew Sippel, executive director of Cornerstone, a Memphis preparatory school, identified public sectors they consider key to revitalizing a community: education, youth, housing, and health. With information from public-education nonprofit Strive Initiative in Cincinnati, they considered statistics like test scores, graduation rates, crime rates, teenage pregnancy, and HIV rates, creating a metric to measure what a Memphis neighborhood growing toward health looks like.

Practically, this means that several organizations work together in one neighborhood. Two or three tackle education from early childhood through graduation. Other organizations provide youth programs, mentoring, and job training to teenagers. Perhaps two more work on improving housing conditions and removing blight. Finally, at least one organization monitors the health of the neighborhood, providing free or cheap care to residents. As the neighborhoods begin to improve, neighbors begin to know each other, to look out for each other, and to care about their neighborhoods again. And, more importantly, they are empowered to make their own changes.

This article originally appeared on on Jan. 24, 2012 by Monica Shelby. Be sure to go and read the full article on Christianity Today. Find out more about Memphis Teaching Residency online.

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Despite the economic hardships of so many Americans, the nation remains charitable. According to a recent report from the Britain-based Charities Aid Foundation, America is by far the most charitable country on Earth. We give about 2% of our national income to charity; most other countries give 1% or much less.

According to the study of more than 150,000 interviews conducted in 153 countries, people were asked about their behavior in the previous month, including whether they had donated money to charity, volunteered time to an organization or helped a stranger. Sixth-five percent of respondents in the U.S. said they had given money; 43% had volunteered; and 75% had helped someone they didn’t know. The top-ranked U.S. was followed by Ireland Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

Adam Meyerson of the Philanthropy Roundtable commented, “In America people don’t wait for the government to solve problems. We step up and solve problems ourselves.“ He added that charitable giving also helps the U.S. maintain a thriving civil society. It is the “life-blood” of our public discourse, he said. “Name a great issue that we’re wrestling with today – the role of government in our health care, pensions, retirement security, same-sex unions, school choice, all these issues. It’s charitable giving that has made possible a vigorous debate on both sides.”

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When we talk about spending money with our kids, we use tool and toy terminology. A toy is something we would buy for our own pleasure, comfort, or fun. A tool is something we would buy that God could use in His service. We try to minimize the investment in toys and maximize the investment in tools.

One of the tools we have spent a fair amount of money on for our kids is international travel. They’ve been able to see what God is doing all over the world.

It has been a blessing for my children to not grow up as rich kids. They have the privilege of sitting around our dinner table with people from dozens of different countries as they come through the U.S. to hear what God is doing in Libya, in Iraq, or in China. They have grown up hearing about how great God is and seeing firsthand what He is doing all over the world. I think that is so much better than video games, trips to Disney World, or the things that they’ve not been able to do.

Several years ago, when we went through the process of basically giving our company away, it was not a traumatic experience for them. They were totally on board with it. My oldest son said, “Thank you, thank you for doing this. This saved me a lot of potential heartache.”

We don’t indulge their every desire, but that’s freeing for our kids. We spend a lot of time with them, and we opened their eyes by taking them around the world.

The Bible says to leave a rich inheritance for your children, and I think that has little to do with money. I want to leave a rich inheritance of faith, education, ability, and motivation.

Alan Barnhart and his wife, Katherine, have six children. Alan was a recent speaker at the Hope Foundation’s Celebrate Generosity in Memphis 2009 Fall event. To view Alan’s testimony along with other Stories of Hope, please visit