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.