Celebrating Faith-Inspired Philanthropy and its Impact on People’s Lives

“Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.” – C.S. Lewis

April means spring has sprung. It’s a somber and yet joyous month as people of faith around the world prepare for Passover and Easter, while others celebrate the beginning of spring.

Spring holidays represent new life, though the sobering reality of these holidays, memento mori, is Latin for “remember you must die.” Though many of us will be hiding matzoh or Easter eggs in our homes or fasting, we are forced to acknowledge our humanness. And our frailty.

It is this humanness and frailty that remind us of the historic stories which ground this holiday season. People of faith remember that 2,000 years ago the death angel passed over Israelite homes covered by blood on the doorpost as an oppressed people found freedom from Egyptian slavery. Christians remember that years later, a rescuer died on a cross to bring new life and hope to a people marred by separation from God. Muslims remember the revelations of the Quran which were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. We remember death. We celebrate life and freedom.

As people of faith reflect on these values, we at Philanthropy Roundtable celebrate philanthropists who are inspired by faith values to invest in their local communities and beyond. We recognize their investments in communities throughout our country and world and their efforts which help improve millions of people’s lives.

We acknowledge the following philanthropists for their significant generosity and commitment to philanthropy, each reflecting their unique expressions of faith commitments in their respective giving priorities. Please note this is not a comprehensive list but a sampling of those within the Roundtable community whose philanthropy is inspired by their faith.

Connelly Foundation: Founded in 1955 by John and Josephine Connelly, the Connelly Foundation awards grants to nonprofits in the Philadelphia area that demonstrate outstanding performance in meeting community needs. Inspired by its Catholic heritage, the Connelly Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the Philadelphia region by supporting charitable organizations in the areas of education, human services, culture and civic life that strengthen resilience and help people to flourish.

Gianforte Family Foundation‘s vision is to see individuals and families in Montana flourish spiritually and economically, and their mission is to support organizations that equip people to improve their lives in a sustainable way. Their giving focus is to support Christian organizations engaged in outreach work, strengthening families and helping the needy; organizations in Montana that work to improve education, support entrepreneurship and create jobs; and a limited number of organizations that enhance the local communities of Bozeman and Helena, Montana.

Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Foundation’s mission is to catalyze and accelerate the development of quality Christ-centered K-12 education so that families and culture flourish. Its vision is for families and culture to flourish through quality Christian education. The legacy of Stanley Herzog’s career centers around making national transit ecosystems accessible and sustainable. Likewise, the legacy of his philanthropy centers around making the ecosystems of Christian education more accessible and sustainable for families across the nation.

Murdock Charitable Trust: A co-founder of Tektronix, Inc., Melvin J. “Jack” Murdock was an entrepreneur who believed strongly in civic engagement and collaboration to serve the common good. Since 1975, Murdock’s legacy has led to significant investment in the communities of the Pacific Northwest through the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Using a faith-friendly approach to its work, the Trust provides support both financially and with time and resources, through grantmaking, enrichment programs and convenings that strengthen the region’s educational, social, spiritual and cultural base in innovative and sustainable ways.

The Rees-Jones Foundation: Founded in 2006 by Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, The Rees-Jones Foundation is a private foundation that works with nonprofit organizations, primarily in North Texas, to serve others and improve their quality of life in tangible ways. The vision of the foundation is that the love of Christ is experienced in practical ways by those in our community who lack opportunity or who are suffering spiritually, physically or emotionally. The mission of the Foundation is to serve God by serving others, sharing his resources in ways that provide opportunities for the disadvantaged, relief for the suffering and encouragement in the growth and well-being of children and families.

Learn more about how Philanthropy Roundtable can support how you can combine your values in your philanthropy here.