B.A., Auburn University, Auburn, AL

M.S., Livingston University, Livingston, AL

Author, lecturer, teacher and fund-raising consultant Mr. Jerry F. Smith founded the J.F. Smith Group in 1991. His mission in fund-raising—to enable clients to fulfill their fund-raising dreams through a unique, educational, professionally-directed development partnership—has proven successful in now over 31 years of business.

Following a successful development career as Executive Director of Alumni and Development at Auburn University (including a $110 million dollar capital campaign, ending in 1985) Smith was asked to speak to the Board of Trustees of a large Christian school in Birmingham to offer advice with regard to a possible capital campaign. At the end of the Board of Trustees meeting, Smith was asked if he would take the job. Since then, the J.F. Smith Group has conducted feasibility studies and capital campaigns for clients all across the country—from Edmond, Oklahoma, to Washington, D.C., and from Chicago, Illinois, to Orlando, Florida.

Jerry has also authored four books on fund-raising. His most recent book, titled Think Up!…And Achieve Your Fund-Raising Goals, was published in 2018. He is a popular and respected convention presenter. Jerry has conducted seminars on an assortment of fund-raising topics both here in the United States, for Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and Blackbaud, and in Germany for the Catholic Fundraising Institute. He has taught fund-raising courses at Troy State University and Auburn University and was the recipient of the 2000 NSFRE Award for Civic Philanthropy.

In 2012, Jerry was appointed to the Board of Trustees at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama, and in 2016 he was elected President of the Board. In 2015, Jerry was appointed to the Foundation Board at Marion Military Institute. Jerry was awarded Auburn University’s prestigious Walter Gilbert Award in 2017, which is given annually to former Auburn athletes who have distinguished themselves through achievements after graduation from Auburn. Most recently, Jerry was honored with a star on the Tiger Trail, which line the pavement of downtown Auburn, and honor outstanding figures in the history of Auburn athletics.