Good News - October 2023

COVER STORY 20 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition In March of 2003, Fort Lauderdale community leaders and hundreds of churches joined forces during Spring Break to host BeachFest, led by the late Evangelist Luis Palau, which attracted hundreds of thousands of attendees and resulted in more than 5,000 decisions for Christ. As this unprecedented event reached its crescendo after years of planning, Stephan Tchividjian, CEO and Co-Founder of the National Christian Foundation, said, “We began to ask, what has this started and how could we carry this momentum on?” That conversation led to the founding of what is now the National Christian Foundation of South Florida (NCFSF), a nonprofit organization that encourages whole-life generosity through donor advised funds. Collectively, NCFSF givers have donated more than $363.4 million to primarily Christian charities through individual donor advised funds since its inception 20 years ago. It’s the donor that advises NCFSF where and when to send the funds. Perhaps its biggest contribution, however, has been the building of relationships and collaboration among Christians within all sectors of our community that has allowed it to meet overwhelming needs and cultivate creative solutions together. The idea was prompted by Brett Stepelton, NCFSF CoFounder and a Stacy Foundation trustee, who was impressed by how a local community foundation had been able to rally top business leaders around secular causes and thought it would be great if there was a Christian community foundation that could do the same. “If you can bring together the churches and donors, cast vision and create unity, you can accomplish a lot and become a change agent or catalyst in the community,” said Stepelton. The Stacy Foundation brought in Bill High, from one of the largest and most successful NCF affiliates in Kansas City, as a consultant, and he helped build the original steering committee for the Community Christian Foundation of South Florida, which is now NCF South Florida. Tchividjian said some of the people who helped shape NCF South Florida in the early years include Scott Barrett, Mark Davis, Collins Forman, Wayne Huizenga Jr., Dr. Daniel Kanell, Chip Lafferty, Mark Mansour, John Offerdahl, Gita Santangelo, Tom Shelton, Steve Shelton, Mike Pappas, Luis Chiappy and Wayne Cotton, to name a few. The NCF model From this original vision, NCF South Florida has developed into an ecosystem designed to unleash whole-life generosity based on three interconnected pillars they call Invest, Equip, Unite. Through Invest, NCF South Florida builds relationships with generous givers who invest their assets into vetted nonprofit organizations through a donor advised fund that utilizes a variety of strategic giving solutions designed to maximize the dollars given to charity while reducing personal tax burdens. And 2021 was their largest grant year ever, with over 10,000 grants sent out from the South Florida family of givers to 1,260 charities. On average, each charity received $33,500 with an average grant amount of $4,200. Equip engages business leaders in personal and professional growth opportunities through Lifework Leadership and Convene to help them use their calling for God’s glory and the flourishing of our community. A 9-month class that inspires leaders to integrate their faith and work alongside other like-minded professionals, Lifework Leadership helps to bring greater meaning and purpose to their life’s work, and an abbreviated Lifework Journey meets one evening a month, making bite-sized versions of the content available to busy professionals. One of their newest programs, Convene offers a space for peer-topeer and executive coaching from a Christian perspective to connect, equip and inspire Christian CEOs and business owners to grow exceptional businesses and become higher-impact leaders who honor God and enrich our community. Also soon to be launched, Amplify will be a business accelerator designed to help young businesses accelerate their growth aligned to biblical principals Unite encourages collaboration through Church United and Mission Increase, inspiring church and nonprofit leaders to serve our community in creative ways together. Church United connects local churches together to foster evangelistic collaboration, provide for the soul care of pastors and change the perception of the Church in our communities to grow God’s Kingdom. Likewise, Mission Increase cultivates well-run nonprofits by providing professional content, coaching and consulting at no cost to ministries in an effort to strengthen local ministries and catalyze mutually beneficial relationships. NCF South Florida has also grown to include offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach and Southwest Florida, spreading their impact in the state coast to coast. Community impact H. Collins Forman, Jr., Esq. has served on the board of NCFSF since it was founded and feels one of the things it has brought to South Florida is a smarter giving community. National Christian Foundation South Florida Reflects on 20 Years of Impact Shelly Pond Good News Editor The NCFSF team and board members in Switzerland. Front row (ground): Darlene Wooldridge, Christine Auker, Susan Kassing, John Kassing, Laurie Farquhar, Stephan Tchividjian, Blesi Tchividjian, Lisa Tchividjian, Jennifer Forman, Sharon French, Ben Ross; Back row (standing on wall): Amanda Forman, Scott Auker, Emily Kreisel, Collins Forman, and Steve French Pastor Bill Mitchell