GEO's 2016 National Conference
Equity as an Effectiveness Imperative plenary at GEO's 2016 National Conference.

2016 National Conference

Nearly 800 grantmakers gathered to explore the smarter grantmaking practices that lead to stronger nonprofits and better results.

Event Details

Nearly 800 grantmakers gathered at GEO’s 2016 National Conference to explore the most relevant topics in the philanthropic field and share learning about smarter grantmaking practices that lead to stronger nonprofits and better results. This year’s conference featured inspiring plenaries on culture and equity; Short Talks from those working in today’s most pressing issues; and opportunities to connect through Site Visits, a welcome reception, and a new Conversation Salon.

Start: Monday, May 2, 12:00 PM Central

End: Wednesday, May 4, 1:30 PM Central

Hosted in partnership with the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Participant Roster

Almost 800 grantmakers came together in Minneapolis-St. Paul to learn with and from each other.

Program and Resources

Each session on the conference program provided participants with information, resources and connections to build knowledge and improve practice in areas that are most critical to nonprofit success. Breakout sessions were identified by the following content tracks:

  • Collaborating for Greater Impact. Conference participants had the opportunity to dig into the experiences of collaboration practitioners across a variety of issue areas and contexts.
  • Leading Change in Philanthropy. Participants gained exposure to different vehicles that grantmakers can use to accelerate the pace of social change.
  • Learning for Improvement. Participants discussed how evaluation and learning can be used to make real-time improvements and to nurture a learning culture within an organization.
  • Supporting Nonprofit Resilience. There were a number of opportunities to delve into the kinds of support that contribute to strong and effective nonprofit organizations.
  • Strengthening Relationships. Conference participants examined what can be done to build trust with grantees and others, obtain and apply authentic feedback, and incorporate key stakeholders more purposefully in their work.

Detailed Program

You can access the full program — and all session resources — here.

Scroll down to read conference session titles, listed in chronological order. Click on the blue, hyperlinked titles for information about specific sessions or use the search fields (such as speaker name, session date/ time or keywords).

Culture and Equity

Culture and diversity, equity and inclusion were front and center at the 2016 National Conference. Participants looked inwardly and talked honestly about creating an effective organizational culture as well as bringing equity to the forefront of grantmaking. You can find resources on culture here and resources on equity here.

Session Videos

Watch what happened at the most popular sessions

GEO recorded a number of sessions at the 2016 National Conference, ranging from Short Talks to full-length plenary sessions. Get a taste of the conference and, especially if you were a participant, consider sharing these videos with your colleagues.

Watch all session videos
Members network at a GEO conference.

Event Photos

We've collected a handful of photos of all the great sessions and events at the 2016 National Conference. Check them out to get a sense of the action!

See all photos here

Media and Blog Posts

A number of participants shared what they took away from the 2016 National Conference online — including as part of a partnership with Social Velocity.

See all posts here.

Conference Planning Committee

  • Bob Uyeki, Y & H Soda Foundation (Chair)
  • Ted Chen, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • Arelis Diaz, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Greg DiDomenico, Community Memorial Foundation
  • Cindy Eby, ResultsLab
  • Trista Harris, Minnesota Council on Foundations
  • Grace Hou, Woods Fund of Chicago
  • Tom Kelly, Hawai'i Community Foundation
  • Jeff Kutash, Peter Kiewit Foundation
  • Justin Laing, The Heinz Endowments
  • Lindsay Louie, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Quynh-Anh McMahan, The George Foundation
  • Kate Shirah, John Rex Endowment
  • Ana Lisa Yoder, formerly of The Philadelphia Foundation

Conference Host Committee

  • Jennifer Ford Reedy, Bush Foundation (Co-chair)
  • Kate Wolford, The McKnight Foundation (Co-chair)
  • Diana Anderson, Southwest Initiative Foundation
  • Kathy Annette, Blandin Foundation
  • Meghan Barp, Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • Paul Busch, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • Mark Dienhart, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
  • Jacob Gayle, Medtronic Foundation
  • Amy Goldman, GHR Foundation
  • David J. Fraher, Arts Midwest
  • Trista Harris, Minnesota Council on Foundations
  • Saanii Hernandez, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
  • Dana Jensen, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation
  • Carolyn Link, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
  • Marina Munoz Lyon, Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Denise Mayotte, The Sheltering Arms Foundation
  • Mary Jane Melendez, General Mills Foundation
  • C. David Nelson, The Carlson Family Foundation
  • Gayle Ober, George Family Foundation
  • Kim Price, 3Mgives
  • Carleen Rhodes, The Saint Paul Foundation
  • Susan Bass Roberts, Best Buy Foundation
  • Holly Sampson, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • Tony Sertich, Northland Foundation
  • Patrick Troska, The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
  • Kevin Walker, Northwest Area Foundation

Thank you to our sponsors!

$50,000 and above

  • Bush Foundation
  • Margaret A. Cargill Foundation
  • The McKnight Foundation

$25,000 to $49,999

  • General Mills Foundation

Up to $24,999

  • 3M Gives
  • Best Buy Foundation
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
  • California HealthCare Foundation
  • Delta Dental of Minnesota
  • Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • George Family Foundation
  • GHR Foundation
  • Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
  • Medtronic
  • Minnesota Initiative Foundations
  • Northwest Area Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
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