News & Press: Institute News

August 2020 Letter from the Chair

Friday, August 7, 2020  
Posted by: Joy Merten

Ted Grossnickle

Dear The Giving Institute members,

Since mid-March, the Institute has observed and made many changes like each of our member firms. The pace and urgency for innovation continues to accelerate. We are looking beyond stability and rethinking how we grow and provide even higher value to our members. How do we provide thought leadership and convene the best ideas in philanthropy in a world that is increasingly virtual?

Our first virtual Summer Symposium on July 9 was a great start, with well-attended board meetings and two terrific educational sessions on key issues currently affecting our member firms. If you missed these sessions or want to go back to them, we have recordings and slides available (member login required). The success of Summer Symposium encourages us to plan for an expanded offering of remote and in-person meetings even after the pandemic is over, like our upcoming "Short-Term Impacts and Long-Term Changes to Philanthropy" webinar on August 12.

The end of July also marked the conclusion of Rick Dunham’s term as Chair of Giving USA Foundation. On behalf of all of our members, I thank Rick for his leadership of the Foundation the past two years and welcome our new Giving USA Foundation Chair, Laura MacDonald, CFRE. Rick has been instrumental in broadening the reach of the Giving USA Annual Report and its Special Reports as well as encouraging the thought leadership of Giving Institute member firms. Laura brings unique perspective and deep experience to her leadership role.

Thanks to those of you working on a new strategic plan for the Institute and Foundation. Thanks also, in advance, to all members for your participation in an upcoming Member Survey. This survey will have several focus areas, will help guide strategic planning, membership recruitment and programming in the near term. Your feedback is crucial. You’ll be hearing more very soon – in coming weeks- about this and I ask that you give it your best attention.

While these are challenging times, we aim to make them the best of times. Thanks for your continued dedication and support.


Ted Grossnickle
2019-2021 Chair, The Giving Institute
Senior Consultant and Founder, Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates

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