We’re committed to serving you with all of our experience.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
The J.F. Smith Group is a project management firm in fund-raising. We emphasize the term “project management” because we become a member of your team. Our associates are extremely hands-on and help manage every phase of a feasibility study and/or capital campaign. Instead of cheering you on from the sidelines, we are in the game with you, assisting you every step of the way.
The J.F. Smith Group believes in a staff-driven approach to fund-raising. While volunteers do play a vital role in any fund-raising effort, JFSG puts the leadership and responsibility in the hands of our associates and the key players from your organization. Unlike some consulting firms, our senior staff is directly involved in every campaign we conduct. As part of this staff-driven approach, JFSG conducts in-depth solicitation training to members of your organization using a proven 5-step approach. One of our main goals is to leave you better equipped in the areas of development after our time together has come to an end.
We are so confident in our ability to provide able counsel to your school, that we offer you a guarantee: The J.F. Smith Group will work diligently to assist the client in reaching the recommended campaign goal determined by the feasibility study.
We encourage you to contact any of our current or former clients. We are confident that each and every one will share positive remarks in reference to our time working together. We have a consistent, proven plan that works, and we look forward to the opportunity of sharing that plan with your organization.
Who we are
Jerry F. Smith has always enjoyed building – starting with nothing and having nowhere to go but up. That’s how the J.F. Smith Group came into existence in 1991.
Jerry’s career began when he started the first track program at Livingston University (now University of West Alabama) in 1965. At the time, they had no track, equipment or team. Jerry spent seven years coaching and building the track program at Livingston, competing with the best teams in the South.
In 1971, Jerry moved to Auburn University in Auburn, AL, where he had similar success helping them rebuild their track and field teams to a championship level. When Jerry arrived back on the AU campus, Auburn had only one All-American in track. When he left in 1977, Auburn had 157 All-Americans.
Jerry moved over to the AU Alumni and Development Office in January of 1977, and the university immediately began laying the ground work for Auburn’s first major capital campaign. The goal was $61.7 million, and AU raised $110 million with the help of three development officers.
These three stops in Jerry’s career illustrate his passion for being part of something that is growing and constantly improving. The J.F. Smith Group was founded in the same way. In 1991, Jerry was asked to speak to the board of trustees of a large Christian school in Birmingham, AL, to offer advice with regard to a possible capital campaign. At the end of the meeting, Jerry was asked if he would take the job.
Since 1991, JFSG has grown from two employees to twenty. The basic philosophy the J.F. Smith Group started with is still the same – provide quality service, do more than we are paid to do, and build long lasting relationships with the clients we serve.
“To enable our clients to fulfill their dreams through a unique, educational, professionally-directed development partnership.”
Provide quality service, do more than we are paid to do, and build long lasting relationships with the clients we serve.
Jerry F. Smith Presentations
Testimonials & clients
“As senior Associate Athletics Director for Development at Auburn University, I have worked closely with Jerry F. Smith for the past two years. Throughout the capital campaign, which we are currently conducting, as well as during the planning phases of the campaign, Jerry has provided professional advice and useful strategies for our development team.”Jay Jacobs
Former Athletics Director | Auburn University
“It was a pleasure working with the JFSG, Inc. during our recent Advancement Audit and Feasibility Study. Each member of the firm we dealt with was knowledgeable and very professional. Their reports were quite beneficial. We have engaged the firm to provide counsel for our capital campaign.”Joe Serviss
Vice President of Institutional Advancement | Jacksonville State University
“Everyone associated with the project, from our staff to the Foundation Board, was extremely impressed by the expertise your group exhibited. The detailed process used to develop the plan resulted in a document (Advancement Assessment) that is very professional and can be used as a guide for our fund raising efforts for some time.”Clemit Spruiell
Vice President for Advancement | University of West Alabama
“I must honestly say that at the onset we knew absolutely nothing about fundraising. But, with the help of the J.F. Smith Group we slowly began to learn. To say that our campaign was a huge success would be an understatement. We would not be in this position without the professional guidance given by the J.F. Smith Group.”Jerry Williams
Administrator | Providence Academy
“At Harding, we value integrity, service, and excellence, and I commend you for projecting these qualities in the professional manner in which you worked with us during our capital campaign.”Tom Dickson
President | Harding Academy
“At Gaston Christian School we have recently had the privilege and good fortune of having J. F. Smith Group to give us direction as we carried out our first capital campaign. The early apprehensions we had about a capital campaign we never realized: instead we found the whole experience to be very pleasant and one that benefited the school in more ways than just raising funds.”Opal Parks
Head of School | Gaston Christian School, Inc.