48th Annual Conference

Join us in Kalamazoo October 18-20 for the 48th Annual Conference.

The CMF Annual Conference is the largest gathering of philanthropists in the state. Staff and trustees from CMF member foundations come together to learn from one another, deeply explore trends in the field and tackle the most pressing and challenging issues of the day. This three-day event also features an inclusive space to build community through unique networking and collaboration opportunities.   

The CMF 48th Annual Conference will be held October 18-20, 2020 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. Registration will open in July 2020.

Information and materials for sponsors and exhibitors are currently under development and will be shared soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions or are interested in serving as a sponsor or exhibitor please contact Dave Lindberg or Stephanie Foster.

Call for Proposals 

This year’s conference will continue our collective learning journey centered on equity. As part of that commitment, CMF has launched a Call for Proposals to open the opportunity to lead a conference breakout session to the thought leaders across our membership and beyond. Staff and trustees from CMF member foundations and our regional and national partners are invited to submit a session for consideration in our 2020 conference learning lineup. 

Let’s build the 48th Annual Conference together! 

Timeline and Selection 

The 2020 Call for Proposals is open through February 17, 2020. Proposals will be accepted via our online submission form available here. Only one proposal is needed per session concept; multiple speakers can be identified on a single form. Required fields include the contact information and bios for all presenters as well as the following session details: title, description, topic, intended audience, learning outcomes and format. 
Approximately 25-30 sessions will be selected for presentation at the Annual Conference; we anticipate receiving more submissions than we can accommodate. Session submissions will be peer reviewed by the CMF Annual Conference Programming Committee. All notifications will be made by mid-April.   

Session Design 

We are looking for dynamic sessions in our 2020 conference learning lineup that meet the following goals: 

  • Sessions will explore and deepen understanding of the latest knowledge, trends and issues facing the philanthropic sector.  

  • Session content will be grounded in a commitment to equity. 

  • Sessions will be interactive and engaging, considering adult learning principles. (We will select only a limited number of panel presentations.)   

  • Sessions will leave attendees with takeaways, tools and techniques to implement in their own work, or share thought leadership that inspires attendees and ignites our thinking. 

  • Presenters will be diverse in their backgrounds and will bring a diverse set of views and perspectives. 

  • The final schedule will provide a variety of learning opportunities for our community of philanthropy in terms of their roles, region and foundation type. 

Additional Information 

  • We structure the conference to ensure learning experiences are provided across foundation types, size, regions, roles and skill levels. In your session proposal, you will be asked to identify your intended audience. The conference typically welcomes 500-600 total attendees; individual breakout session attendance varies.  

  • Sessions will be 60-, 75- or 90 minutes long. CMF will develop the final schedule (including date, time and length of selected sessions) with input from the Program Committee. You will have the opportunity to indicate your preferred length in your proposal form.  

  • CMF will work with session leaders to consider room set-up from among several layout options.  

  • CMF communications staff will work with session leaders to modify proposed titles and descriptions as needed for marketing the Annual Conference. We look forward to engaging session leaders in promotion of the Annual Conference.  

  • Session speakers are expected to cover expenses for sessions they propose. Limited resources for travel are available for speakers who come from organizations with constrained budgets. Travel support will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. 

Submit Annual Conference Session Proposal

Looking for 47th Annual Conference session materials?

Materials supplied by our speakers have been collected in our Knowledge Center.

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