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2018 Call for Proposals and Timeline

The Call for Proposals for the 2018 Annual Conference will open in early January 2018. 

Please review the proposal guidelines and the deadlines outlined below. 

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 15, 2018.

How to Submit a Session Proposal

To submit a proposal, please click here to use our new online proposal form.

Session Designers

Individuals submitting proposals are considered Session Designers. Responsible for all aspects of the session content, Session Designers develop and finalize content, identify and confirm speakers, and identify appropriate supporting materials and handouts.

GIA staff and the national Program Planning Committee will work with Session Designers to ensure the presenters and moderators achieve the conference goals and objectives and standards of quality. 

Who May Submit Proposals

Only members of Grantmakers In Aging may propose conference sessions. Click here to inquire about membership in GIA.

Session Format

Sessions last 75 minutes.

We are seeking sessions that offer a highly interactive format and use innovative approaches.

Please limit the number of speakers in your session so that the conversation can go into greater depth rather than provide a superficial treatment of a wider range of issues or perspectives.

Proposals with these attributes will be given priority:

  • Clear lessons or ideas for other funders: Sessions should provide participants with understanding and/or practical tools that will help them grow as grantmakers and/or strengthen their work. In telling the story of the work, sessions should give a behind-the-scenes look at, for example, the rationale for the strategy, the lessons learned, and the transferability or implications for other funders. The choices and decisions that led to particular outcomes can be tremendously useful as peer grantmakers look to apply them to their own grantmaking.
  • Topical: We are looking for a wide range of topics that showcase new and emerging work and innovation and break-through models. Additionally, we look for sessions relevant to what’s happening in aging today and that anticipate future issues in the field.
  • Diversity: Aging is a subject ripe with possibilities ranging from housing, hunger, transportation, and health to art, sexuality, generativity, and purpose. Proposals that reflect America’s rich diversity of racial, socio-economic, cultural, identity, and disability status, both in their subject matter and their presenters, will be particularly welcome.
  • Relevant to different types of funders: GIA’s conference participants are a diverse group of grantmakers working on issues across the aging continuum–active aging to the frail elderly–with a wide range of strategies, budgets, and scope of geographic focus. 
  • Well-conceived learning format: Sessions should be designed with thoughtful, relevant learning objectives and then be crafted to meet them. Speakers should bring depth, experience, and energy. Moderators should be experienced and have a plan and the skill to keep speakers on time and the discussion flowing. Most important—participants must be engaged as active learners and be provided with significant and well-designed opportunities for open discussion and interaction.

Suggested formats for consideration:

  • Facilitated Discussion – session opens with speakers who frame an issue, followed by an open and thought-provoking discussion with session participants.
  • Hands-on Workshop – session is structured around hands-on exercises in response to a scenario or small-group discussions of a defined topic that might include problem-solving in response to a scenario or simulations.
  • Issue Deliberation – session offers opposing views using a talk-show format in which speakers are interviewed.

Associated Costs

Session speakers must pay the 2018 conference registration fee, at the reduced GIA member rate. Speakers are responsible for costs associated with travel and accommodations.

Session Designer Responsibilities

  • Make any necessary refinements based on recommendations by the planning committee.
  • Invite and confirm presenters and provide GIA with contact information and bios (GIA will follow up with logistical information).
  • Plan and participate in call(s) with each other and GIA staff.
  • Identify and share session resources/slides with GIA for distribution.
  • Register and attend the 2018 GIA Annual Conference. 

Selection Process

All proposals will be reviewed by the national planning committee, composed of representatives from GIA member organizations and GIA staff. The conference program includes conference intensive sessions, short talks, and more informal roundtable discussions. While proposal submission does not guarantee selection, we will explore opportunities to include the wealth of expertise represented in proposals received. The conference planning committee will choose a final slate of sessions.

Notification of Acceptance

Session designers will be notified of the status of their proposal on or about May 11. Please note, GIA may request alterations to a proposed session so that it more closely reflects the goals and objectives of the annual conference. If two session proposals are similar, the designers may be contacted to determine if they would be willing to collaborate.


Please contact AK Consulting Group at (850) 523-4200 or at amyk@akconsultinggroup.org.  

Call for Sessions 2018 Timeline


March 15, 2018 Deadline for submitting session proposals
By May 11 Session designers are notified about the status of their proposals
May 11-25 Session designers work with GIA to make any necessary refinements, confirm speakers, and finalize session description for promotion
May 2 Final session description and speaker information due to GIA
  Additional deadlines will be provided to the designers of selected sessions



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