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Summer Symposium

Summer Symposium 2016 

July 7-9
Silverado Resort and Spa
Napa, California
"Great Philanthropy. Great Wine. Great Times"
View photos

Summer Symposium 2016 concluded in Napa, California on July 9. Attendees enjoyed breathtaking surroundings, world-class wine, and the best in philanthropy education and thought leadership. 

Educational sessions at the 2016 Summer Symposium:

  • Presence with Purpose
  • Philanthropy and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Profile of a Farm Worker - A Case Study in Effectively Serving the Underserved
  • Giving USA 2016: Stories behind the latest giving trends (panel discussion)
  • The Secret of Continuous Improvement
  • The Return of Character for Non-profits
  • Contemporary Firms Serving Contemporary Clients (panel discussion)
  • Building Trust: Creating Philanthropic Impact through Strong Nonprofit

View session abstracts, speaker details, and complete your speaker evaluations on our mobile-friendly platform.


Future Summer Symposiums

Summer Symposium 2017
July 13-15, 2017
Detroit, Michigan

Past Summer Symposiums 

Summer Symposium 2015
July 9-11, 2015
W Boston in Boston
"Achieving the Leading Edge"

Summer Symposium 2014
July 24-26, 2014
Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside in Vancouver, BC, Canada
"Philanthropy: The Future, The Firm"

Summer Symposium 2013
July 25-28, 2013
Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA
"Advocacy Talent Impact Global"

View past Summer Symposium final programs and resources (members only). 


The Giving Institute (formerly The American Association of Fundraising Counsel) began planning the first Summer Institute for Consulting Professionals in 1991. They perceived the meetings as an opportunity to:

  • Give leading consulting professionals in the philanthropic sector a chance to identify and discuss the most important issues facing not-for-profit organizations in their fund-raising endeavors.
  • Initiate ongoing review and discussion of the technologies employed in the fundraising profession.
  • Provide an opportunity for professional leaders, inside and outside the AAFRC, to interact collegially, and to look at new ideas and methods in the profession.
  • Offer a national setting for the exchange of ideas about the profession.
  • Explore standards and changing practices.
  • Augment the training of younger professionals.

The first Summer Institute was held in July of 1992 in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Over the years, the Summer Institute topics have allowed participants to explore aspects of the industry in depth.

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