Welcome to the AFP LEAD 2023 Call for Session Proposals


LEAD is AFP's annual leadership conference for fundraising professionals. This year, AFP LEAD 2023 will be held October 19-21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As part of our efforts to expand and diversify our pool of speakers and topics, we are currently accepting proposals for education sessions to augment existing sessions. Ethics and IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) are both pillars of the AFP Strategic Plan. As these ideals are core to our work and, therefore, to AFP LEAD, we ask that you think about your session topic through an Ethics lens and an IDEA lens and incorporate the principles/ideals of each into your proposal.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to share your knowledge and for taking the time to submit a session proposal.

(1) Allow yourself the time (approximately 30-45 minutes) to complete the submission form.
(2) All proposals must be submitted by Friday, March 3, 2023, at 11:59 PM (CST).

(3) To view a sample version of the proposal before you start the process, please click here.

**Please review the information carefully in this document before submitting your proposal.**

AFP LEAD is focused on leadership and nonprofit management skills for nonprofit professionals, while AFP ICON is focused on tactical fundraising skills. With that in mind, proposal submission for LEAD should focus on topics such as but not limited to:

  • Authentic Leadership
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Remote Workplace
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Managing Up
  • Employee Wellbeing/ Mental Health
  • Effective Communication
  • Building, Managing, and Retaining Teams
  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Ethics
  • IDEA
  • Creating employee experiences
  • Change Management
  • Emotional Intelligence

The following criteria will be taken into consideration:

• Current relevance to the profession and contribution to the conference program in terms of topic, sector, and experience level
• Evidence of innovative thinking and fresh insights
• Research-based content (where appropriate or relevant)

• The incorporation of diverse ideas and perspectives across difference
• Knowledge and expertise of the speaker
• Previous speaking experience and session ratings

• Inclusion of adult learning principles, including interactivity/engagement with session attendees. To learn more about the Inclusion of adult learning principles, click here.

• Demonstrated thought leadership in the field

Diversity of speaker background, experiences, perspective, and ideas

SCORING RUBRIC: To view the scoring rubric used by the AFP LEAD Education Advisory Committee in rating each proposal, click here.


Please note the following guidelines:

(1) Proposal Submission Method and Deadline -- Proposals must be submitted -- by Friday, March 3, 2023, at 11:59 PM (CST).
(2) Eligibility to Submit Proposals:

AFP welcomes proposals from members and non-members.
• AFP encourages new and experienced speakers to submit proposals, including those speakers who can provide diverse perspectives.
• AFP welcomes proposals from international speakers to highlight the innovative and impactful work occurring in nonprofit leadership and management worldwide.
• Potential speakers must disclose any affiliations with for-profit organizations, and, if selected, are expected to speak as private individuals and not representatives of the organization. To present a session on behalf of a for-profit organization, potential speakers should contact AFP Professional Development Department at ProfessionalDevelopment@afpglobal.org to inquire about sponsored sessions.
• Speakers may propose up to three (3) co-speakers in addition to the lead speaker as part of the session proposal.
• Consultants are encouraged to include practitioner(s) as speakers in their proposed session(s).
• Complimentary Registration (Limited to 4 speakers per session) -- Conference sessions are generally considered contributions to the profession. Speakers who abide by all obligations and deadlines will receive complimentary registration to the full conference.
AFP is unable to provide financial compensation to speakers beyond the complimentary conference registration; however, we have set aside a limited pool of dollars to help defray travel expenses for those who express a need.

• By participating in the conference, speakers agree that their session(s) may be recorded and/or streamed and sold by AFP, with no monetary benefit or revenue share accruing to the speaker.
• Speakers may not promote their organization, products, or services as part of their presentations. Sessions and session content—including sponsored sessions—must be of an educational nature only.

(3) Speaker Profiles – All speakers must provide a professional biography (100-word limit) with the proposal. A lead speaker should be identified as the primary contact for proposals with more than one speaker. Note that any changes to proposed speakers or the session itself must be vetted by the Committee and approved by AFP staff.

AFP will notify you of the status of your proposal no later than June 1, 2023. After notifications are sent, AFP will provide reviewer feedback on proposal submissions to the lead speaker (the lead speaker is the individual that submitted a proposal). Note: Each year AFP receives more proposals than can be accommodated in the schedule. There are various factors considered in selecting sessions, including but not limited to: quality of the proposal, the number of other sessions on the same topic, and hot issues impacting/influencing the leadership and management and/or the sector at the time.

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