National Conference Policies

GEO 2020 National Conference

Conference Policies

GEO’s 2020 National Conference is the perfect opportunity for grantmakers to explore timely, relevant topics as they connect with like-minded peers, To help us create a vibrant, learning space, 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.

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. Similarly, consultants are not eligible to attend GEO events unless they are invited to speak or are registered to represent a current client foundation. Should consultants wish to attend on behalf of a current client foundation, GEO requires confirmation from the client foundation confirming the consultant’s affiliation, and consultants should be registered as part of or by the client foundation. The consultant’s name badge will reflect their affiliation with the client foundation, and it cannot be changed.

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 registration@geofunders.org. It is recommended that participants check spam folders if they have not heard from us within this time, and we encourage white listing of registration@geofunders.org to receive all future conference communications. GEO also recommends waiting for confirmation before booking travel 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 $50 service fee. All cancellations must be submitted in writing on or before Friday, March 27, 2020. No requests for refunds will be granted after this date or for no shows.

Refund fees are scheduled as follows: • Cancellation on or before Friday, March 27 – full refund minus a $50 service fee • Cancellation on or after Saturday, March 28, or for no shows – no refund available

Participants can avoid the $50 cancellation fee by transferring their registration to a colleague or peer, either within or outside the participant’s organization, who is also eligible per GEO’s eligibility policy. 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 registration@geofunders.org.

Payment by Check

Please send all offline payments to:

Attention: Conferences
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

1310 L Street NW, Suite 650
Washington, DC 20005

Payment Deadline

Should the conference sell out and enter a wait list, registrations with an outstanding balance as of Friday, March 27, 2020 will be cancelled and offered to someone on the waitlist. In that situation, GEO will contact the registrant and seek to obtain payment before offering a space to a person on the waitlist. If registration is still available after March 27, payment for registrations must be received no later than 10 days from the date of 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.

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, March 27, 2020.

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

Pre-Conference Workshop Registration

Conference workshops offer participants the opportunity for more hands-on learning of relevant frameworks, models and/or tools. There is a $150 fee to attend a pre-conference workshop, and space is limited. If you have already registered for the conference but wish to attend a pre-conference workshop, please log into your registration record and modify your registration. If you encounter any issues, please contact GEO’s registration team at registration@geofunders.org.

Once a workshop reaches capacity, GEO will accept names for a workshop wait list. GEO will move individuals from the wait list on a first come, first served basis as space becomes available, with priority going to GEO members.

GEO’s Meetings Sustainability Plan

GEO strives to be a good steward of our environment. In an effort 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 have a positive impact on the environment by preventing wasteful practices at all events.

Some prominent features of the plan include:

  1. 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.
  2. Recycling plastic name badge holders by collecting them at the registration counter and all exit points for reuse at future events
  3. Reducing the number of promotional items that organizations ship to conference sites
  4. Collecting and recycling paper and beverage containers used at the conference as available
  5. 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 twitter hashtag for 2020 National Conference is #2020GEO

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.

No Solicitation Policy

GEO strives to create a welcoming, collegial conference atmosphere. We ask conference participants to refrain from soliciting other participants for business or grants while at the conference. Any 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 are able to 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 registration@geofunders.org.

Code of Conduct

GEO conferences are spaces dedicated to learning, but participants can’t learn if they don’t feel safe. GEO is committed to creating a harassment free environment for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of anyone including conference participants, staff, vendors or volunteers in any form. GEO appreciates your partnership in ensuring that the professional 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.

Conference Resources Table

GEO makes available a resources table at our events, but—in accordance with our meetings sustainability plan—asks that you limit any items you share to no more than 50 pieces. GEO is not responsible for receiving, displaying or returning your shipment. You will be responsible for coordinating shipping arrangements and pick up, and any hotel costs associated with shipping should be paid by you. Please notify registration@geofunders.org if you plan to ship materials to the conference, and GEO will connect you with the hotel so that you can coordinate shipping details.