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News & Press: Member Insights

Why we are also Relief Workers

Wednesday, September 13, 2017  

Dear Giving Institute Members, 

I hope this message finds you well and safe. I say this in all seriousness as I, along with a number of other members located in Texas and the Southeast, plan our recovery efforts following the recent hurricanes leaving catastrophic damage in their wake.

Planning can be complicated as it involves not just managing the disruption to our own lives, but also ensuring we are effectively supporting those people and organizations who rely so deeply on our services. As Giving Institute members, we all have this in common. We share, in the philanthropic marketplace we collectively serve, a commitment to help our customers serve their customers, to quickly scale when donors act en masse or see a critical need, to be there as wise counsel when the flood waters abate and strategy needs to be set.

During times of disaster, when Mother Nature challenges us to be flexible about that control we thought we had over our lives and work, I often find myself reflecting on the fact that many of the nonprofits we serve deal with different forms of disaster every day. These disasters aren’t broadcast on CNN, and no newscasters step in to do the fundraiser’s job. I guess that means that we, as active participants in this ecosystem of good, have all been deputized as long-term relief workers.

All relief workers need support, so I hope you are making plans to attend the November Board Meetings and educational sessions planned for November 7-8 in Chicago. I know I find these meetings thoughtful and rejuvenating, times when I gain insight and new energy from fellow members to continue the important work we all do. Remember that the November Board Meeting will also include our Gurin Forum, focusing on the new Giving USA Special Report on Giving to Religion to be released at the end of October. Register here for the meeting.

Please also mark your calendars for the March Board Meetings in Dallas at the Four Seasons at Las Colinas. We picked the city and the property, a mere 15 minutes from the Dallas airport, to help you attend with relative ease.

Thank you to everyone who is working on Giving Institute initiatives. We have a number of potential new members in the pipeline, are moving forward with the formation of a Working Committee and a Resource Advisory Council for the “national conversation on philanthropy,” initiating work on the Summer Symposium in Charleston, and so much more. That’s all because of you, so thank you and be well.


Rachel Hutchisson
2017-2019 Board Chair
VP, Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy, Blackbaud, Inc.


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