If generosity is good for the giver—and research shows it is—then why don’t more people give?
This paradox and why people are or are not generous are among the issues Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, will address during the 12th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture on March 12 in Indianapolis.
In his remarks, “The Generosity Equation: Donors, Faith & Avenues to Giving,” Smith will analyze religious factors that increase generosity, examine the personal benefits of giving, explore how charitable support is increased, and discuss donor and beneficiary obstacles to philanthropy.
“It is an honor to have Christian Smith, a foremost expert on issues of generosity and giving, deliver our 2015 Lake Lecture,” said David King, the Karen Lake Buttrey Director of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “The wealth of insights and empirical data he brings to these questions from extensive surveys and in-depth interviews sets his work apart and should make us stop to consider the factors that lead people to practice generosity.”
The annual event is an opportunity for community exploration and discussion of issues related to faith and philanthropy. This year’s event may be of interest to faith leaders, donors, development professionals and nonprofit leaders, and anyone concerned with questions of how generosity is connected to living a better life.
A panel discussion will follow Smith’s address, featuring:
- Jay Geshay, Senior Vice President of Community Impact and Fundraising, United Way of Central Indiana
- Sara Konrath, Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
- Brian Steensland, Professor of Sociology at IUPUI and Director of Social Science Research at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture
Smith’s research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture. He previously was Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and his B.A. from Gordon College.
About the Thomas H. Lake Lecture
Thomas Lake was a man of profound religious faith, a man dedicated to knowledge, understanding, and the power of faith and giving to bring about real change in communities. Through events such as the annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving engages the community in thoughtful discussions about philanthropy and religion.
About Lake Institute on Faith & Giving
Lake Institute on Faith & Giving exists to foster a greater understanding of the ways in which faith inspires and informs giving through research, education and training. The Institute offers customized programs that translates data and giving trends into practical tools. We support the development of research designed to explore the broad context of religious giving. Through public forums we engage practitioners, scholars and the community in thoughtful conversation and reflection. Learn more. Follow us on Twitter @LakeInstitute and “Like” us on Facebook.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change in the world. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy and “Like” us on Facebook.