The Giving Institute – Poised for Growth

The Giving Institute – Poised for Growth

by:  George C. Ruotolo, Jr., CFRE


The Windy City welcomed the Giving Institute’s Fall Meeting once again this week. Surrounded by old friends and new faces, we strengthened our commitment to develop extraordinary leaders in the field of philanthropic consulting along with other services to the nonprofit sector. As the founder of the third longest standing member firms, and former Chair of both the Giving Institute and the Giving USA Foundation, I was struck by three compelling observations that illustrate how far we’ve come and are now poised for continued growth.

  1. Each year I am increasingly excited how the leadership has evolved. During my time as Chair, GI had twenty-three to twenty-four member organizations. We now have more than doubled our size. Beyond the sheer numbers is the breadth and scope of the firms, from traditional fundraising consulting to inventive technology services for the nonprofit profession. I am pleased to see the openness among members to collaborate and create strategic relationships supporting our shared mission to enhance the philanthropic sector.
  2. I continue to see the measurable value of our Summer Symposium. Through its expansive programming, it stimulates the growth and innovation in our own practices while providing networking opportunities to embolden our partnerships. Exploring what’s next in our industry and challenging one another to continuously raise the bar of best practices elevates the service we provide to our clients.
  3. Finally, I applaud the work of the Mentor Series, designed for those with under four years of experience in the philanthropic service and consulting field. Seeing our talented and experienced members sharing their expertise with their younger peers is both important and inspiring. This engagement thoughtfully entrusts the values, mission, and impact of the Giving Institute with this next generation of leaders.

As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Ruotolo Associates, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of leadership. I’m proud of our history and connection with the Giving Institute. What I witnessed this week gives me great confidence in the future of our industry.


Pictured Above:  Rachel Hutchisson, Chair of The Giving Institute with RA’s Chair & CEO, George Ruotolo at the November Board Meeting held in Chicago, IL.