GIA Conference Session Guidelines

Conference Sessions

Conference sessions are developed by the conference committee and preconference committees, and via proposals from members during the open submission period. These 60-, 75-, and 90-minute sessions are intended to be expository in nature and include at least 30% of session time for interactive participation by attendees. Off-site sessions are 90-minute sessions hosted at arts-related venues outside the hotel.

Sessions may include no more than two presenters per 60-minute session, and three presenters per 75-minute or 90-minute session. A session's facilitator/moderator is not included in the presenter limit.

Honoraria and Registration

GIA provides $200 honoraria and day-of conference registrations to presenters who are not eligible for GIA membership, such as artists, academics, representatives from nonprofit organizations, and others who are invited to present during conference sessions. GIA members, as well as staff and trustees of organizations eligible for GIA membership, do not receive honoraria or complimentary registrations.

Travel & Lodging Reimbursement

Session organizers are expected to cover the travel and lodging costs of any presenters in their sessions who are not GIA members; for those organizations that are not able to cover these costs, limited funds are available from GIA by application. GIA member presenters do not receive travel and lodging reimbursement for presenting in conference or preconference sessions.

Session organizers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the talent and expertise in the greater Denver area. Engaging local presenters may also eliminate or greatly reduce session-related travel costs and carbon impact. GIA staff and the 2019 conference committee are available to assist in recommending potential local presenters.

Conference Audio/Video

Each session breakout room at the main conference site will be equipped with 1) a small table for session organizer’s and/or presenters’ use, 2) an LCD projector and screen, 3) a flipchart with markers, and 4) an easel. A CD player or audio speakers for laptop audio feed can be made available upon request. Session organizers and/or presenters are responsible for providing their own laptops for PowerPoint presentations or any other computer-based displays. Presenters with Mac computers must also bring the appropriate computer-to-projector A/V adapter.

Low bandwidth Wi-Fi access may be available but should not be depended upon for session use. Presenters should plan to download any videos or webpages used in their presentations directly onto their hard drives.

GIA will submit the final A/V order to the conference hotel on September 3. After this date, any new A/V requested will be pending availability and may be at the session organizer’s expense.

General Guidelines

GIA Conference Guiding Principles and Practices

Grantmakers in the Arts has a long-held commitment to engaging the community in each city where the annual national conference is held. In planning and producing the GIA Conference, GIA employs a set of principles and practices which seek to create a positive impact for both conference participants and the local community.

No Solicitation Policy

To preserve the capacity for open discussion, all attendees must refrain from fundraising or solicitation. Organizations that solicit funds should be represented by individuals whose roles involve programming and/or policy, and not by fundraising or development staff.


Audio and video recording of conference sessions, presentations, and performances by session organizers and other conference attendees is strictly prohibited. However, GIA may tape or transcribe conference proceedings in accordance with venue A/V policies and with explicit contracted agreement with artists and presenters.

Sharing Resources

In keeping with GIA’s commitment to sustainability, we do not offer a resource table for distribution of materials at the GIA conference. GIA regularly provides current reports, research, and materials of interest and relevance to the GIA membership on our website news feed. Please email links or digital copies to Carmen Graciela Díaz at for consideration for inclusion in the GIA news feed.


Eligibility to attend the GIA conference, or to serve on a conference or preconference committee, is the same as eligibility for GIA membership:

  • Organizations legally incorporated as private foundations, community foundations (including donor-designated funds within community foundations), corporate giving programs, and entities of national, state, county, local, or tribal governments are automatically eligible for membership.
  • Nonprofit organizations whose primary activity is grantmaking must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. Grantmaking represents at least 30% of the organization’s total budget
    2. Grants are made to benefit the nonprofit arts sector, individual artists, and the general public and not to solely benefit organizations or individuals connected to the grantmaking organization (example: funds to individual artists to exhibit in the nonprofit organization’s gallery space, or to performing artists to produce product for the grantmaking organization)
    3. Grantmaking as a program is prominent in the organization’s mission, literature, and website

Why is this conference only open to funders?

The annual GIA conference is the sole opportunity for arts funders to meet in an environment conducive to exploratory, frank conversations about their work. The content of the conference is designed specifically to benefit funders and improve their professional practice.

Each conference includes a number of representatives of arts nonprofits, artists, and other individuals who are not funders, but who are specially invited to share their expertise in sessions, in preconferences, and as keynote presenters and performers.

Costs and Deadlines

All GIA members, including those organizing or participating in sessions, may register for the conference at the following rates.

Early Registration Rates

Early Registration applies to payments received by midnight EDT on August 31, 2019.

  • GIA Members: First individual from an organization: $650
  • GIA Members: Additional individuals from an organization: $575
  • Non-Members: $775

Standard Registration Rates

Standard Registration applies to payments received after midnight EDT on August 31, 2019, including on-site reservations at the conference hotel.

  • GIA Members: $700
  • Non-Members: $825
  • Single-Day Rate: $375

All Full-Day Preconferences: $175

Preconference registration is open only to individuals registered for the main conference.