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Summer Symposium

Summer Symposium 2017

Summer Symposium 2017

Re-Imagining Philanthropy
July 13-15
Detroit, Michigan
Westin Book Cadillac

Registration rates

Type By June 1 After June 1
Member $1,050 $1,150
Nonmember $1,150 $1,250
2nd Staff Member $850 $950
3rd Staff Member $750 $850

We have big plans for Summer Symposium 2017, 
Re-Imagining Philanthropy, in the fascinating and ever-evolving city of Detroit. With a full slate of educational programming and social events, you are sure to leave Summer Symposium 2017 enlightened. As you see and experience an old American city transforming before your eyes, you will re-imagine philanthropy and your role within it.


Guest Track and Special Activities

We have plenty for your spouses, partners and guests to do in the Motor City. Explore our organized outings and a curated list of the best spots in the city.


Discover Detroit

As philanthropy experts, you'll be interested to read this September 2016 article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy"Back from the Brink: Hundreds of grant makers are looking for lessons in how foundations were able to breathe new life into Detroit."

Watch this video to see how the city has been rapidly changing in the past few years.


Past Summer Symposiums

Summer Symposium 2016
July 7-9, 2016
Silverado Resort and Spa
Napa, California
"Great Philanthropy. Great Wine. Great Times"
View photos

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).

History of Summer Symposium

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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