About the 2018 National Conference

Preview the information & the Call for Sessions content in this PDF.

2018 National Conference 
Exponent Philanthropy’s biennial National Conference is the largest gathering of foundations, families, and individuals who give with few or no staff. Our national conferences have a strong reputation for engaging the head and heart, providing meaningful opportunities to connect and learn collaboratively, and radiating a welcoming culture that makes everyone feel part of a supportive community.

The 2018 National Conference is designed specifically to:
  • Inform and inspire through first-rate content.
  • Celebrate and champion the outsized impact of our vibrant community.
  • Foster personal and professional connections with colleagues, advisers, and field leaders.
Educational content spans the philanthropic landscape and is delivered through provocative keynote talks, interactive sessions, site visits, and informal idea exchange. Sessions are designed to address the specific challenges faced by funders with few or no staff by building and strengthening core skills, examining advanced topics, and exploring trends. The conference also offers multiple opportunities for participants to connect with each other and build relationships that last beyond the conference experience.

A portion of the 2018 National Conference will be designed by you, Exponent Philanthropy members and constituents, and we invite you to submit your session ideas. 

We expect attendance of 1000 individuals, including donors, trustees, and staff from all types of foundations; individual donors and philanthropic families; donor advised fund holders and managers; philanthropic support organizations; philanthropic service professionals; and thought leaders in the field of philanthropy.

This call is soliciting proposals for our breakout sessions which typically see, on the lower end, 40-50 participants, and on the higher end 75-90 participants.

Submission Requirements
This call for sessions will be open to all constituents, including member and non-member funders, partners, sponsors, and colleague organizations.

An organization or individual may submit a maximum of two proposals. All proposals submitted by different individuals from the same organization count toward the limit.

No deadline extensions or exceptions can be granted, and late submissions cannot be accepted.

Evaluation Criteria
The call for sessions is open to any philanthropy topic that addresses the needs and strengths of lean funders, Exponent Philanthropy’s core audience. Specifically, the session proposal should do one of the following:
  1. Take a fresh look at a common practice
  2. Have potential to improve practice
  3. Offer a unique perspective on a trend in philanthropy
 Exponent Philanthropy’s Programs & Services Committee and key staff will review all submissions and select those that are most relevant to the Exponent Philanthropy audience and meet the above criteria. The committee will review all session proposals name blind, that is, solely on the strength of proposal in meeting the criteria.

Furthermore, the committee will give preference to sessions that do one or both of the following:
  1. Provide an interactive, action-oriented environment for learning
  2. Showcase diverse voices and perspectives