News & Press: Institute News

July Letter from the Chair

Thursday, July 19, 2018  

Dear Giving Institute Members,

What a pleasure it is to write this on the heels of a wonderfully successful Giving Institute Summer Symposium. To have almost 100 people gathered in Charleston this past week for three days was more than special. When I think about why, I find myself realizing it’s the combination of many ingredients: engaging content, southern hospitality, collegiality and a collective spirit. All of these, plus a lot of hard work by co-chairs Brenda Asare and June Bradham, along with their dedicated committee and the Sentergroup team, led to a thoroughly enjoyable, insightful time for all.

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who played a role in planning this year’s Summer Symposium. You did a terrific job and really showed how and why this annual event is not to be missed. I also want to thank each of you who attended and participated in committee meetings, the board meeting and/or the Summer Symposium. When we finished on Saturday, I remarked that it was wonderful not only to see so many new members in the room (welcome, again!), but also to have many new faces from longer-term firms. If you are from a firm that brought along someone new, thank you. The spark we gain from welcoming others to what has become such a connected community is vital to the energy that moves us forward.

Erin and the Sentergroup team have sent a follow-up survey that I encourage everyone who attended to complete. I know in my own experience, sometimes the bets ideas come when you are fresh from the experience. Kate Roosevelt from Campbell & Company, who has graciously agreed to serve as the chair of the 2019 Summer Symposium in Seattle, is eager to hear what you thought and the ideas you have for content. If you’d like to get involved in the planning, just let us know!

To all our new members, both those who were able to join us and those we hope to formally welcome at the November board meeting in Chicago, know how eager we are for you to get involved. Each time someone new comes to the table, at a committee meeting or in a board discussion, we gain as a community. If you have questions about where you might serve, please do reach out to me so I can help navigate. I say it all the time, but it’s our members who make us what we are and getting involved is the best way to get the deepest return from the investment you are making in the Giving Institute.

Finally, I want to share my best wishes and deepest appreciation for Aggie Sweeney, who just completed her term as Chair of the Giving USA Foundation. Aggie, who will be retiring from Campbell and Company in the coming months, has decided the time has come to step away from the Giving USA Foundation and The Giving Institute. Keith Curtis will stay on as the Giving USA Foundation’s Immediate Past Chair. I don’t know a Giving Institute without Aggie, first with Collins Group and now with Campbell and Company. Like many of you, I have learned so much from her and truly admire the dedication and passion she has for research overall, and specifically her work on Giving USA. Thank you, Aggie, for being you!


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

November 6-7
Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago

July 11-13, 2019
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle 
Seattle, Washington 

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