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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

Hosted in partnership with Philanthropy DMV (formerly Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG)), our 2023 Learning Conference centered the theme of courageous unlearning. The conference offered 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 through a mix of session formats, speakers from inside and outside of philanthropy and a virtual livestream component to engage conference participants both in person and virtually.

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.

Registration Information

The In Person Conference is sold out. You can still register for the virtual livestreams.

Priority Registration (Tuesday, January 17 - Tuesday, February 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
  • Virtual Rates
    • $400 for GEO members, session presenters, conference supporters
    • $500 for WRAG members
    • $650 for nonmembers

Our Regional Partner


The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) believes that a racially just and equitable region must be the vision for all of philanthropy – across all funding priorities, geographic scopes, types and sizes of giving vehicles. WRAG convenes, mobilizes, and advocates with regional philanthropy to foster lasting systems change. WRAG’s updated 2021 strategic framework can be viewed below.

Learn more about WRAG's strategic framework
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Conference Planning Process

The request for 2023 Learning Conference session proposals is now closed. Learn more about our conference planning process. Our request for proposals for our 2024 National Conference will open in summer 2023.

Learn more here

Program Highlights

As a community of funders committed to transforming philanthropic culture and practice, GEO convened the 2023 Learning Conference to support peer sharing of emergent learning practices. At the 2023 Learning Conference, we sought to offer a range of perspectives and ideas about learning and evaluation. We welcomed presenters from a variety of roles and perspectives to support an expansive view of what the tools of learning can achieve. Through a mix of session formats, presenters from inside and outside our sector, structured networking and informal discussions with peers, participants explored ways to use evaluation and learning in service of greater impact for the communities we serve.

We lifted 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.

The conference program featured 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 exposed participants to new ideas centered on courageous unlearning.

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

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

Community Building: Community building events offered an opportunity for peers to gather during the GEO conference separate from the formal conference program.

Plenaries: Our plenary mainstage showcased a variety of speakers, highlighting works from individuals in philanthropy, movement spaces, arts and culture, and beyond, to dive deep and provide both big ideas and actionable takeaways on our theme of courageous unlearning. These plenaries were also livestreamed to virtual conference participants.

Short Talks: We held three Short Talks, engaging 10- to 15-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 on our plenary mainstage.

To view a full list of our breakouts, emergent spaces, and tool & framework presentations, check out our schedule at a glance here.

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Conference Policies

We have developed the following policies to guide conference participation.

Learn more here

Land and Labor Acknowledgement

GEO acknowledges that the land on which we gather for this conference, at the Washington Hilton, occupies the present ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) people and over time neighboring Piscataway and Pamunkey people, who are so called Washington, D.C. and Maryland’s first families. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and extend our gratitude for their stewardship of this land.

Learn More Here

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.

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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.

See the sponsorship packet

Safety & Care Policies

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) considers the wellbeing of all those on-site at our 2023 Learning Conference a top priority and the conference is designed with this in mind. 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.

All in-person conference participants, speakers, vendors and GEO staff will be required to certify that they have received a negative COVID-19 within the past 24 hours before attending any conference programs. Participants are encouraged to test in advance at home or are welcome to utilize free rapid tests available onsite.

We also strongly encourage those who are able to stay up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations including bivalent boosters. Masks are encouraged and available at no cost at the registration desk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions here. If you need additional information or support, please contact


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

Conference Supporters

  • Amalgamated Bank
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Arabella Advisors
  • Ascendium Education Group
  • Bainum Family Foundation
  • Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • BoardDev
  • CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
  • Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
  • Community IT Innovators
  • DC Bar Foundation
  • Diverse City Fund
  • Emergent Fund
  • Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
  • Greater Washington Community Foundation
  • Hill-Snowdon Foundation
  • Horning Family Foundation
  • if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation
  • The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • Public Welfare Foundation
  • Resilia
  • United Way of Greater Atlanta
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Travel and Accommodations

Please do not make travel arrangements until you have registered for the event and received confirmation from GEO’s registration team.

Venue and Accommodations

The Washington Hilton Location: 1919 Connecticut Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20009 Phone: +1 202-483-3000

Airport Arrivals

The conference will take place at the Washington Hilton, about 6 miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) or 30 miles from the Dulles International Aiport (IAD), or 34 miles from Baltimore/Washington International Aiport (BWI). All conference programming will take place at the Washington Hilton.

Cassie Maxwell, events assistant, GEO


Contact Cassie Maxwell

Email Cassie
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