Membership Qualifications

Membership in The Giving Institute is the hallmark of high ethical standards. Fundraising consulting and nonprofit services firms interested in joining the Institute must meet the following qualifications.

  • The member primarily provides services to advance the mission of nonprofit organizations.

  • The member has been in business for five years or more serving the not-for-profit community.

  • The member shows satisfactory references from a comprehensive list of clients.

  • The member agrees to complete a survey every five years in order to maintain Giving Institute membership status.

  • While the Institute does not prescribe any particular method for calculating fees for its members, fundraising consulting members should base fees on services provided, not a percentage of funds raised.

  • The organization should base its fees on high standards of service, and should not profit, directly or indirectly, from materials or services billed to the client by a third party without disclosure to the client. Members should not offer or provide services of professional solicitors.

  • The member agrees to the bylaws of Giving Institute and conducts its business in accordance with the Giving Institute Standards of Membership and Professional Conduct.

  • The member is asked to assign a representative to the Giving Institute Board of Directors. While the member organization and its employees are members of Giving Institute, this Board Director will hold the sole voting rights for the organization and will need to attend board meetings, which take place three times a year.  Per the Bylaws, any voting director that fails to attend three (3) consecutive annual meetings of Giving Institute shall automatically cease to be a member organization at the conclusion of the third consecutive annual meeting. In-person attendance at board meetings is encouraged, but phone attendance meets this requirement.

For more information, please contact us via e-mail at

225 W. Wacker Drive | Chicago, IL | 60606