About Lake Institute

Lake InstituteLake Institute was created from the legacy gift of Tom and Marjorie Lake, their daughter Karen Lake Buttrey and Lilly Endowment Inc. Lake Institute exists to honor the philanthropic values of the Lake family and blesses the community with a space for public inquiry and hands-on training in the service and study of faith and generosity.

Lake Institute explores the relationship between faith and giving in various religious traditions. We honor the philanthropic values of the Lake family through strategic priorities that continually examine how faith inspires and informs giving. Through years of intentional community building, we have nurtured an environment for public inquiry and crafted hands on training that assists faith communities and donors in the pursuit of their philanthropic passions.

Studying, teaching and understanding the religious motivations for giving allows for more effective fundraising and outreach across the non-profit sector.

Lake Institute offers programs and customized training focused on faith-based giving across all religions such as:

  • Thomas H. Lake Lecture
  • Lake Distinguished Visitor Program
  • Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity
  • Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising
  • Spiritual Values and Philanthropic Discernment
  • Faith and Fundraising

Through its programs, Lake Institute helps participants comprehend how philanthropy coincides with the practice of faith and spirituality by acknowledging the religious dimensions of their giving. This understanding helps participants find a more fulfilling approach to their philanthropy.


Register for the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising program

For inquiries about the program, please email leadership@div.duke.edu with the subject line: Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising.

Questions We Answer

We know that you grapple with many difficult questions as a Christian leader. We want to help. Complex concerns about ministry can’t be fully addressed here, of course, but we provide a starting point for engaging the deep issues.

Learn More »