National Conference Policies

GEO strives to offer a high-quality experience for all who participate in GEO events. By outlining our conference policies, we are better able to deliver exceptional customer service by treating conference registrants and participants fairly and consistently. We encourage you to closely read our policies, and we welcome any questions — you can reach us at We look forward to seeing you at the 2018 National Conference.

Code of Conduct

GEO conferences are spaces dedicated to learning, but participants can’t learn if they don’t feel safe. So 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 sincerely 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.

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 safe space where participants can speak openly and candidly about challenges within their work. To achieve this safe space, 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 cannot be changed.

GEO will verify eligibility for all participants. Please see for additional information on eligibility for GEO membership and conference participation.

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 23, 2018. No requests for refunds will be granted after that date or for no shows.

Refund fees are scheduled as follows:

  • Cancellation on or before Friday, March 23, 2018 – full refund minus a $50 service fee
  • Cancellation on or after Saturday, March 24, 2018, 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 registered participant’s organization. However, the new registrant must be 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 registrant is updated with GEO’s registration team.

Requests for cancellations and substitutions must be submitted in writing to

Payment Deadline

Because registrants are not officially confirmed for a conference until payment is received in full, we ask that all registrants remit payment by Friday, March 23, 2018. Should the conference sell out and enter a wait list, any registration with an outstanding balance as of March 23, 2018, may be cancelled and your space given to someone on the wait list. Should this situation arise, GEO will contact the registrant and seek to obtain payment before releasing the seat.

Wait List Policy

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 release 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 30, 2018. Please do not book travel or accommodations until your seat at the event is confirmed.

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.

Photography/Video/Audio Recording

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.

Name Badges

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.

Member Rate

GEO values our members and, as part of their membership, offers a deeply discounted registration rate for GEO conferences. In order to receive the member discounted registration rate you must be affiliated with a current member organization and register using your affiliation with that member. GEO will verify eligibility and membership status for all participants, and will adjust registration fees if necessary. If you have any questions, or wish to join GEO to take advantage of the discounted rate, please reach us at

Welcome Reception Guest

Each conference participant is allowed to bring one guest to an evening reception for an additional cost of $60. This charge is fully used to cover food and beverage for the guest, and does not yield any profit to GEO. We ask that you please limit your invitation to an unregistered peer or colleague, spouse/partner, child, family member, and/or friend. Per GEO’s No Solicitation policy, we ask that you and any guest you bring please refrain from soliciting other participants for business or grants. Please contact if you have any questions about this policy or wish to register a guest.