GEO 2023 Learning Conference Policies

GEO’s 2023 Learning Conference is creating a vibrant, supportive space where we can Courageously (Un)Learn together. To help guide us in this work, we have developed the following policies to guide conference participation. Please contact us with any questions!

Participant Eligibility

GEO conferences are open to current GEO members; all staff and trustees of grantmaking institutions; staff of philanthropy-supporting infrastructure groups, such as regional associations of grantmakers and affinity groups; and staff of academic institutions and programs focused primarily on the study of philanthropy and the practice of giving.

GEO conferences also have limited seats available to consultants who support grantmaking institutions and nonprofits. There are 25 in-person registration tickets available to consultants at the nonmember rate on a first come, first served basis. Organizations are limited to a maximum of two in-person registration tickets per organization. Once the 25 tickets are sold, consultants can either register for the virtual livestreaming at the nonmember rate or join a waitlist and will only be sold a ticket as one becomes available per GEO’s waitlist policy.

Limiting participation to organizations that are eligible for GEO membership creates a space where participants can speak openly and candidly about challenges within their work.

To achieve this, GEO conferences are not open to nonprofits and grant seekers unless invited to speak at the conference.

Please visit our membership page for additional information on GEO membership and conference participation eligibility.

Your name and organization affiliation are pulled from your registration form. GEO will only print organization affiliations that are in accordance with our eligibility policy. GEO has the discretion to edit your submission, in accordance with our policies, and will alert participants to any changes.

Conference Registration Verification

GEO will confirm or deny participant registrations per GEO’s eligibility policy. Participants will receive a confirmation email within two (2) business days. If confirmation is not received after two business days, please contact It is recommended that participants check spam folders if they have not heard from us within this time, and we encourage you to add to your allowable list to receive all future conference communications. GEO also strongly recommends waiting for confirmation before booking travel or accommodations.

Cancellations and Substitutions Policy

GEO incurs immediate expenses when a participant registers for a conference, including but not limited to registration system fees and payment processing charges. To recover these expenses, all requests to cancel a confirmed conference registration are subject to a $100 service fee. All cancellations must be submitted in writing on or before Friday, March 31.* No requests for refunds will be granted after this date or for no shows.

Participants may also choose to transfer their registration to a colleague or peer with the same membership level or transfer their registration to virtual. Transfers must be requested by March 31, 2023. No refunds will be issued for transferred registrations.* The individual submitting the registration transfer request is responsible for ensuring that all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with that registration are met and that contact information for the new participant is updated with GEO’s registration team.

Requests for cancellations and substitutions must be submitted in writing to Refunds will not be offered for virtual registrations.

Through the registration process, participants have the option of choosing to donate additional funds to GEO. This donation is non-refundable.

*In line with our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses at our in-person conference, we are offering an exception to this policy only for those who test positive for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or have a close contact in the days leading up to the conference. Eligible participants will be transferred to a virtual conference registration and have the option of choosing a refund. Participants will be asked to submit a signed attestation indicating their COVID- and/or symptom-status in order to be reimbursed the cost difference between virtual and in-person conference registrations. Participants have the option of not seeking reimbursement and instead donating the additional cost to GEO to reduce the administrative burden on GEO’s team.

Preferred Method of Payment:

Our preferred method of payment is via credit card paid through the CVENT application at the time of registration. Should you need to pay by check or ACH, please reference the confirmation number on your registration in your payment method and copy

Payment by Check

Please send all offline payments to:

Attention: Conferences Grantmakers for Effective Organizations 1310 L Street NW, Suite 650 Washington, DC 20005

Memo: Participant Name 2023 Learning Conference [Confirmation number]

Payment Deadline & Cancellation

All participants need to submit payment within two weeks of registration. Registrations with an outstanding balance as of Thursday, April 20, 2023 will be cancelled. In that situation, GEO will contact the registrant and seek to obtain payment before cancelling the registration.

Wait List

Demand for GEO conferences typically exceeds the number of available seats. In the event that the conference reaches capacity, GEO will open a wait list and interested individuals may add their names to the list. There is no charge to join the wait list, and you will not be charged for the conference until you are cleared from the wait list; however, payment will still be due Monday, May 15.

GEO will review the wait list on a weekly basis and notify individuals from the wait list as space becomes available, with priority going to GEO members. All individuals on the wait list will be alerted of their status no later than Friday, May 5, 2023.

Please do not book travel or accommodation until your seat at the event is confirmed.

GEO’s Meetings Sustainability Plan

GEO strives to be a good steward of our environment. To reduce the impact of GEO events on the local host community, GEO has implemented a conference sustainability plan. This plan guides GEO’s efforts to prevent wasteful practices at all events.

Some prominent features of the plan include:

Reducing the use of paper by: a. Limiting the number of printed materials to a print program and name badge b. Utilizing electronic communications to share information with event speakers and registered participants c. Providing electronic resources including the participant roster, session resources and facilitator bios, online prior to and after the conference. d. Reducing the number of promotional items that organizations ship to conference sites e. Collecting and recycling paper and beverage containers used at the conference as available f. Promoting ride share efforts and public transportation for travel between local airports, hotels and the conference venue

On-Site Communication and Social Media

For the most current information on the conference, visit GEO’s website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. The official social media hashtag for the 2023 Learning Conference is #GEOLearn.

Photography/Video/Audio Taping Release

GEO strives to capture the community, peer-learning environment of our conferences. To do so, we photograph and record various aspects of the conference, and your image and voice might be captured. Furthermore, we may use these photographs and videos for future distribution and promotional purposes in our print and online communications materials. By participating in this conference and/or being present at the venue, you authorize GEO to use and reproduce any photographs taken, without compensation. All negatives and positives, photographic prints and digital photo files shall constitute GEO property, solely and completely. If you would like to opt-out, please contact

No Solicitation Policy

GEO’s 2023 Learning Conference aims to create a welcoming and brave space. We encourage relationship building and honest, vulnerable conversations between funders and partners including non-profit and community leaders. We ask all conference participants to refrain from soliciting other participants for business while at the conference. Any for-profit organization participants found in violation of this policy will be ineligible to attend future GEO events.

Participant Roster

We want to ensure that all conference participants can network and build connections at the conference. Before the conference begins, we will create and share a participant roster with all registered participants. The roster provides participant contact information but is for networking purposes only and should not be used for solicitation of any kind. If you do not wish to have your contact information included in the conference participant roster or feel that you have been contacted in violation of our non-solicitation policy, please email

Code of Conduct

GEO conferences are spaces dedicated to learning. For learning environments to be effective, the dignity of all participants must be consistently respected. GEO is committed to creating a harassment free environment for everyone.

We do not tolerate harassment of anyone including conference participants, conference staff, hotel staff, vendors or volunteers in any form.

GEO appreciates your partnership in ensuring that the learning environment we share is one defined by mutual respect and inclusiveness, where dignity and diversity are valued. If you experience or witness harassment of any kind, please alert any member of the GEO staff or use the anonymous hotline available during the conference.

Consequences: in the event someone intentionally or unintentionally violates the code of conduct, a member of the conference team or hotel security will intervene with appropriate action that may involve community accountability, ways to mediate, or necessitate expulsion from the event with no refund.

COVID-19 Policies & Protocol

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 present proof of a negative rapid test before attending any conference programs. Tests will be made available at no cost on site. We also strongly encourage those who are able to stay up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations including bivalent boosters. Masking may be required at the conference. 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.

Not yet a GEO Member? Interested in joining?

Join GEO now. Simply complete the membership interest form here, and we will contact you to process your new membership. More information about GEO membership and rates are available here. If you have questions or would like to speak to someone directly, please contact Bo Dorsey, Membership & Development Manager at or 202-355-9544.