Q&A with Travis Smith

Meet Travis Smith

Travis is the new director of development and gift planning at CICF. In this role, Travis works with fundholders to create new donor-directed funds in various ways, including various gift planning vehicles.

What excites you about your new role?

What excites me most about my role is the ability to be a “utility player” for the CICF. Being a frontline fundraiser, I have the opportunity to work directly with individual fundholders and community organizations to help them achieve their philanthropic goals and interests to make an immediate impact on Central Indiana. In the gift planning space, I am able to help equip professional advisors to be a resource to their clients, and educate our fundholders on the lasting impact they can make through the unique giving vehicles that gift planning provides. The duality of this role allows me to continue learning everyday!

In this past year, what book, movie or album resonated with you in the strongest way and why?

During quarantine, I took the opportunity to re-read The Alchemist. I was first introduced to this book my first year out of college and have used it anytime I feel I need to hit “reset” on my path. Anyone who reads it can easily see themselves as Santiago, so desperately wanting to see the world and find meaning in the path they are currently on. Each time I read it I am reminded of what I have, what I’ve accomplished, and that with patience and clarity I will find meaning in what lies ahead.

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?

I’m learning to ask for help when I need it. I am an adult that has been diagnosed with ADHD. The reason I mention that is because I’m also learning to be vulnerable so I can be comfortable asking for help when I need it. Being a father to two toddlers, moving to a new city, and supporting my wife as an entrepreneur, has shown me that I need to focus on my mental health, ask for help, and not expect myself to be perfect in all areas of my life.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?

I used to find solace in running after a busy or stressful day, but now that time is spent coming home to my beautiful and energetic toddlers! When I am unable to sneak away somewhere on my own, I will usually play guitar for as long as the kiddos will let me. When I am able to leave, I found going to the driving range and working on my golf game helps me end my day with a sincere sense of accomplishment.

Whatever I do to unwind, I try to make sure I am doing something that will help me be a better version of myself.

What’s your most recent act of equity?

I have been working to immerse myself in the vast library of resources provided to me to continue my equity journey. In my work, I have always said that it is crucial to have a respectful understanding of where another person comes from and how their opinions and views were formed. In order to do that effectively, I find one or two resources a day (podcasts, journal articles, books, etc…) to become a stronger and more informed ally.

Leave A Comment