Conference Guidelines

Session Planning

To plan sessions at the Exponent Philanthropy National Conference, we send out a Call for Ideas the year before the event. We ask members and constituents: What do you want to learn? Who do you want to hear from? What would you like to do at the conference? This is not a call for session proposals, but one for topic ideas.

We issue this call to get your input in the development of the program. Your ideas inform the conference program so the program is created and built to meet your needs. Through the call we also hope to surface topics for the conference around which there is a lot of energy and curiosity.

After the Call for Ideas, a committee of members and staff carefully review and discuss all suggested topics through the lens of what we think will resonate most with our diverse conference participants and be best suited for a conference session.

Exponent Philanthropy staff then dig in to curate the conference program to include any topics that may have not come in through the call and to be sure there are sessions for people in different roles in philanthropy (such as those new to philanthropy and seasoned grantmakers, for donors and trustees and sole staffers).

The CONNECT conference is curated internally and we do not offer a Call for Ideas nor a Call for Proposals. That said, staff select topics that reflect member and sector interests, suggestions gleaned from National Conference evaluations, and themes conducive to longer sessions and deeper learning experiences.

Speaker Curation

Exponent Philanthropy conferences, webinars, and in-person programs have a 20+ year tradition of engaging both members and constituents to serve as faculty. We do our best to ensure we have diverse voices speaking at our events to connect our members to multidimensional expertise. We do not offer a call for speakers for our programs.

In securing faculty, we prioritize speaker candidates from among our membership so we can highlight peers' work in the field. If you’re a member who would like to speak, please reach out so we can learn more about you and your expertise. Contact Lauren Kotkin, director of educational programs.

We also work with trusted partners within the field of philanthropy who regularly work with funders who practice philanthropy in a lean fashion. These industry experts include our corporate partners, colleagues from other philanthropic support organizations, and leaders within the field of philanthropy. Their expertise complements the expertise of our staff and members and maximizes the learning experience our programs offer. If you think your expertise is a good fit, please reach out so we can learn more about you and your company. Contact Andrea Clay, director of corporate partnerships.

Once faculty are in place, our staff works with the presenters to develop session plans that address the subject matter and utilize various learning methodologies appropriate to the material and our audience. 

Non-Solicitation Policy 

All speakers – members and industry experts alike – present at Exponent Philanthropy conference in their roles as experts and educators and have agreed to our non-solicitation policy:

All Exponent Philanthropy programs are non-solicitation environments and shall not be used for commercial sales pitches, self-promotion or unwarranted criticism of a competitor. Exponent Philanthropy reserves the right to take action as necessary to address violations of this policy.