Welcome to our December-January issue that’s chock full of stories and columns about philanthropy, a pursuit that Memphis embraces. The people in our fair city donate almost twice as much as the national average, kind of a blend of grit, grind, and give. The state of philanthropy in Memphis is dynamic. Donors are changing methods, from the big foundations to the employee who gives by payroll deduction. All want to do good, but there are myriad ways to achieve that and to make sure the contributions are getting the desired results.
We spoke with Robert M. Fockler of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis about the current and future state of giving in the region. We also assembled a roundtable of professionals, four women who are the next generation of philanthropic leaders and with a deep knowledge of how things work for donors and nonprofits.
Tom Jones’ Smart Business column says there’s a revolution in philanthropy and gives us a much-needed perspective on the history of giving in Memphis, from the early philanthropists to today’s ambitious dreamers.
David S. Waddell, meanwhile, has insight on how the world of nonprofits could benefit from more for-profit involvement.
We also talk with Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited, who knows a thing or two about big-time fundraising.
Our respected historian Vance Lauderdale gives us a look at Abe Plough, one of the city’s most consequential philanthropists. And the 2018 Crystal Awards honors some of today’s notables in the philanthropy field in Memphis.
Meanwhile, Andy Meek takes a look at the blockchain revolution, a technology that’s rapidly being adopted by many businesses, and talks with Mark Pryor of The Seam who explains it all.
Frank Murtaugh’s Leadership feature puts the spotlight on architect Jimmie Tucker of Self+Tucker, whose commitment to community goes well beyond brick and mortar.
And the Office looks at the creative workspace of Ballet Memphis’ Dorothy Gunther Pugh.
Next May is the city’s Bicentennial, so we looked to the past (and present) to find the entrepreneurs who have made a lasting contribution to Memphis.
Jay Myers of Interactive Solutions, Inc. had an opportunity to hire a group of millennials for his tech firm. He recently spoke to a gathering from the Society of Entrepreneurs and told them he’s glad he did, and shared some advice for working with this dynamic generation.
Philanthropy on the cover: Mighty Lights, a privately funded LED installation on the Hernando de Soto Bridge and the Big River Crossing, was unveiled in October. The project had the financial help of no fewer than 20 individuals, corporations, and foundations.