In Episode 003 of the Stronger Philanthropy Podcast, we meet an unusual and thoughtful philanthropist from Washington DC. Brian Bakke is the Regional Director for the Americas of the Mustard Seed Foundation. His focus is coming alongside local churches with matching grants for congregations in selected urban hubs of the western hemisphere – from Bogotá to Los Angeles, Mexico City to Toronto.
Hear the story of how the Bakke-Harvey clan developed this inspiring focus, the evolution of their foundation since 1983, and how multiple generations of two families have united around strategic and thoughtful generosity. Brian addresses such diverse concepts as the curse of wealth, the dramatic and challenging cuts made to staff during a downturn, and their strategic granting focus – from local, small churches reaching out to their neighbourhoods to elite educational grants for world class Harvey Fellows. He ends with surprising stories of how the foundation has creatively incorporated teenaged family members into granting decisions.
Quote of the podcast:
“So instead of saying the world is bad and the city is going straight to hell, we’re saying: Here are all these points of light everywhere, and look how beautiful God is doing this, putting His people right in the middle of that mess.” –Brian Bakke