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2023 Learning Conference

Join us at GEO's 2023 Learning Conference from May 22 - 23, 2023 in Washington, DC, with select virtual livestreams.

Event Details

The 2023 Learning Conference is designed to expose participants to cutting-edge practices in equity-informed, community-driven grantmaking while giving them the knowledge and tools to apply learning in all aspects of their work. The conference will offer a range of perspectives and new ideas to go beyond the basics and support grantmakers in engaging in more intentional learning practices both inside and outside of their organizations.

Start: Monday, May 22, 9:00 AM Eastern

End: Tuesday, May 23, 3:00 PM Eastern

The 2023 Learning Conference will be held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC and virtually.

Register Here

Registration Information

Priority Registration (Tuesday, January 17 - Tuesday, Febraury 7)

  • GEO members, conference supporters, session presenters, WRAG members
  • In Person Rates
    • $900 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $1,000 for WRAG members
  • Virtual Rates
    • $400 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $500 for WRAG members

Early Registration (Wednesday, February 8 - Wednesday, March 8)

  • All eligible participants
  • In Person Rates
    • $900 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $1,000 for WRAG members
    • $1,200 for nonmembers
  • Virtual Rates
    • $400 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $500 for WRAG members
    • $650 for nonmembers

Regular Registration (Thursday, March 9 - Thursday, April 20)

  • All eligible participants
  • In Person Rates
    • $1,000 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $1,100 for WRAG members
    • $1,350 for nonmembers
  • Virtual Rates
    • $400 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $500 for WRAG members
    • $650 for nonmembers

Late Registration (Friday, April 21 - Conference)

  • All eligible participants
  • In Person Rates
    • $1,100 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $1,300 for WRAG members
    • $1,550 for nonmembers
  • Virtual Rates
    • $400 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $500 for WRAG members
    • $650 for nonmembers

Our Regional Partner


Founded in 1992, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is a nonprofit membership association comprised of over 100 of the Greater Washington region's leading foundations and corporate giving programs. Dedicated to improving the health and vitality of the region and all who live here, WRAG provides a robust arena for grantmakers to collectively learn, problem-solve, and develop cross-sector solutions to achieve greater community impact.

Learn more about WRAG

Conference Planning Process

Interested in GEO's conference planning process?

Program Highlights

A detailed version of our conference program with session titles and descriptions will be available in early 2023.

GEO’s 2023 Learning Conference will center the theme of courageous unlearning.

Philanthropy continues to be in a time of racial reckoning. A time of reflection and examination of the roots of our grantmaking practices and our capital, and a time of unlearning what our field has traditionally accepted as business as usual. This is a time to be courageous in naming our role in upholding the status quo and in creating barriers to the change we seek. Philanthropy can and must do better – and learning and reflection are critical tools to that journey. In the 2023 Learning Conference, we aim to offer a range of perspectives and ideas about learning and evaluation. We welcome presenters from a variety of roles and perspectives to support an expansive view of what the tools of learning can achieve.

As a community of funders committed to transforming philanthropic culture and practice, GEO is convening the 2023 Learning Conference to support peer sharing of emergent learning practices. Through a mix of session formats, presenters from inside and outside our sector, structured networking and informal discussions with peers, participants will explore ways to use evaluation and learning in service of greater impact for the communities we serve.

We want to lift up the bold steps funders are taking alongside their communities and innovative ways they are shifting or unlearning practices. We want to hear the courageous stories of learning in partnership with communities and bringing boards of trustees along in that journey.

This is your chance to engage with and learn from your grantmaking peers, share the shifts you’re making, and see them amplified across our field.

The conference program will feature a mix of session formats, structured networking, and time for community building:

Breakout Session: 60-minute presentations or panel discussions designed by members of the GEO community that expose participants to new ideas centered on courageous unlearning. 

Framework Presentation: A new short-form presentation to share specific resources, frameworks, templates and tools that help implement learning and evaluation practices. 

Emergent Space: A new session format that offers participants a full-immersion experience through a blend of interactive conversations, community-building activities and peer-to-peer connection. 

Community Building: Community building events offer an opportunity for peers to gather during the GEO conference separate from the formal conference program. Check out our community building form during registration for more

Plenaries: Our plenary mainstage will showcase a variety of speakers, highlighting works from individuals in philanthropy, movement spaces and beyond, to dive deep and provide both big ideas and actionable takeaways on our theme of courageous unlearning.

Short Talks: Short Talks are engaging 20-minute, keynote style presentations that challenge current philanthropic culture and practice or inspire participants to think about the topic, their work and/or lives differently

Conference Policies

We have developed the following policies to guide conference participation.

Virtual Access

Participants are invited to attend GEO’s 2023 Learning Conference by joining us in Washington D.C. or by tuning into livestream sessions and interactive discussions from home.

In 2020 when the world was disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, many events scrambled to become virtual as it was the only way to safely convene; however, members of the disability justice community had long advocated for virtual convenings. While we are eager and excited to convene members of our community in person in Washington DC, we must not forget that for many, in person conferences were never truly accessible.

As COVID-19 remains a threat for many of our peers in the immunocompromised and/or disability community, GEO is committed to ensuring portions of our conference are accessible virtually. For GEO’s 2023 Learning Conference, virtual conference participants are invited to view conference livestreaming of our mainstage, as well as participate in interactive virtual talkbacks on the learnings provided by our plenary discussions and short talks.

GEO’s commitment to interactive, accessible virtual programming is year-round through our many peer communities, remote learning opportunities, webinars, member calls, and more. We always invite feedback on how we can continue to ensure our programming is accessible to all. A full virtual schedule will be available when registration launches in early 2023.

Conference Supporters

Looking for more ways to support GEO? Sponsoring the GEO conference is one way to invest in real change for the philanthropic sector.

Safety & Care Policies

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) considers the wellbeing of all those at our 2023 Learning Conference a top priority and the conference is designed with this in mind. All participants are asked to comply with our COVID-19 Policies & Code of Conduct.

All in-person conference participants, speakers, vendors and GEO staff will be required to present proof of a negative rapid test before attending any conference programs. Tests will be made available at no cost on site. We strongly encourage those who are able, to stay up to date on their COVID vaccinations including bivalent boosters. GEO reserves the right to update our policies at any time. Please continue to refer back to the conference website to remain up to date.

GEO’s commitment to maintaining reasonable COVID-19 protocols is deeply rooted in our values of racial equity and accessibility. The COVID-19 pandemic has targeted the most vulnerable among us, leading to disproportionate deaths in Black and Indigenous communities as well as heightened vulnerability for members of our community with disabilities and/or chronic illness. By offering a virtual component and taking appropriate precautions at our conference, we are seeking to live out our values and ensuring our conference is as accessible as possible while still providing meaningful community building for all participants whether in-person and virtual.


Conference Host Committee

  • George Askew, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
  • Tamira Benitez, Diverse City Fund
  • Kimberlin Butler, Mathematica
  • Rebecca Cisek, The Bainum Family Foundation
  • Rick Cruz, Arabella Advisors
  • Caitlin Duffy, Amalgamated Bank/Foundation
  • Aracelis Gray, DC Bar Foundation
  • Candice Jones (Chair/Co-chair), Public Welfare Foundation
  • Rella Kaplowitz, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
  • Jackie Kaye, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
  • Ruth LaToison Ifill (Conference Partner), Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
  • Hanh Le (Chair/Co-chair), if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility
  • Mardell Moffett, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • alicia sanchez gill, Emergent Fund
  • Tonia Wellons, Greater Washington Community Foundation
  • Nat Williams, Hill-Snowdon Foundation
  • Leslie Wingender, Humanity United

Conference Program Committee

  • Temi Bennett, if, a foundation for radical possibility
  • Anna Cruz, The Kresge Foundation
  • Stacey Easterling, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
  • Lorrie Fair Allen, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project
  • Efraín Gutiérrez, Center for Evaluation Innovation
  • Karris Jackson, POISE Foundation
  • Fontane Lo (Chair/Co-chair), Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • Robert Medina, Sobrato Philanthropies
  • Katrina Mitchell, United Way of Greater Atlanta
  • Mary Mulcahy, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • Rory Neuner, Barr Foundation
  • Trish Tchume, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
  • Brandi Yee, ACT for Alexandria
Cassie Maxwell, events assistant, GEO


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