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Welcome to the AFP ICON 2025 Call for Session Proposals



(1) Allow yourself the time (approximately 30-45 minutes) to complete the submission form.
(2) To save your proposal and edit later, you must select the "Save and Edit Later" option before exiting the portal.
(3) You must complete all edits to your saved proposal by May 12, 2024, at 11:59 PM (CST).
(4) To finalize your proposal submission to be reviewed by the ICON Education Advisory Committee, you must select the "Submit" option before exiting the portal.
(5) The Call for Session Proposals submission portal will close on May 12, 2024, at 11:59 PM (CST).

Thank you for your interest in submitting a session proposal for the AFP ICON conference, to be held April 27-29, 2025, in Seattle, Washington. AFP ICON is the world's largest gathering for professional fundraisers, offering the best educational and networking opportunities. We will accept proposals for pre-conference workshops and education 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 ICON, 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 expertise with our network of fundraising professionals and the time devoted to submitting a session proposal.

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

To view a sample PDF version of the proposal form, click here. This is for informational purposes only. To be reviewed, ALL proposals must be submitted via the online proposal portal.

AFP SESSION TRACKS (These tracks correspond to the fundraising knowledge domains.)

Current and Prospective Donor Research (which includes: Donor Acquisition, Donor Retention, Donor Giving Patterns, Data Analysis Techniques, Data Gathering Techniques, and Data Management Systems)
Securing the Gift (which includes: Direct Mail, Case Statement, Gift Agreements, Proposal Writings, Special Events, Social Media, Sponsorships, Annual Giving, Capital Campaigns, Bequests, and Major Gifts)
Relationship Building (which includes: Cultivation and Stewardship, Communications, Incentives, Culture of Philanthropy, and External Spheres of Influence)
Volunteer Involvement (which includes: Recruitment, Governance Principles and Models, Skills Training, Value of Diversity and Community Representation, Board/Staff Roles in Governance and Management, and Organizational Culture)
Leadership and Management (which includes: Strategic Planning, Fundraising Plan, Financial Management, Marketing, and Public Relations Principles, Human Resource Management, and Effective Leadership)
Ethics, Accountability, and Professionalism (which includes: Accountability and Ethics, Advocacy and Public Policy, Accounting, and Investment Principles, Transparency, and Continuing Professional Development Opportunities)


Proposals are selected by AFP staff based on recommendations from the ICON Education Advisory Committee ("Committee"), a team of volunteers that represents the diversity of AFP's Global membership.

The Committee meets as many times as needed, 2-3 times per year, to review and recommend proposals to be included in the ICON conference program. The following criteria are among those 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.
• Diversity of speaker background, experiences, perspective, and ideas
• Demonstrated thought leadership in the field

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

REVIEW PROCESS: For more information on the review process and the factors considered in selecting sessions for AFP ICON, click here.


AFP will notify you of the status of your proposal by August 31, 2024. Note: AFP receives more proposals than can be accommodated in the ICON schedule each year. There are a variety of factors considered in selecting sessions, including but not limited to: the quality of the proposal, the number of other sessions on the same topic, the expected level of interest by attendees, gaps in sessions related to fundraising knowledge domains, and hot topics impacting/influencing the profession and/or the sector at the time. After notifications are sent, AFP will provide reviewer feedback on proposal submissions to the lead speaker (the lead speaker is the individual who submitted a proposal).


Please note the following guidelines:
1) Proposal Submission Method and Deadline -- Proposals must be submitted online by clicking on the "Start" button below. The call for conference session proposals portal will close on May 12, 2024, 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 a proposal, including those speakers who can provide diverse perspectives.
• AFP welcomes proposals from international speakers to highlight the innovative and impactful work occurring in philanthropy 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 to inquire about sponsored sessions. Current participants in the AFP Partner Program should NOT apply through this process.
• Members of the current ICON Education Advisory Committee are not eligible to submit proposals while serving. However, AFP reserves the right to select Committee members to speak to fill gaps in programming as needed.
• Speakers may submit up to two (2) proposals for consideration (as a lead speaker or co-speaker).
• 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 co-speakers in their proposed session(s)

3) Speaker Profiles – All speakers must provide a professional biography (100-word limit) along with a professional headshot in 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 must be vetted by the Committee and approved by AFP staff.

4) Session Day and Time – Sessions are scheduled throughout the conference, and speakers cannot be given a preference or choice regarding their day and time slot. Sessions will be scheduled during the following times:

Friday, April 25, 2025

8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Pre-Conference Workshops only)

Saturday, April 26, 2025

8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Pre-Conference Workshops only)

Sunday, April 27, 2025

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Education Sessions only)

Monday, April 28, 2025

8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Education Sessions only)

Tuesday, April 29, 2025

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM (Education Sessions only)


5) Session Format – AFP encourages different session formats and styles to share information and engage attendees (not the traditional podium and PowerPoint presentations). Interactivity is key!!

6) Session Technology – AFP provides a laptop, LCD projector, screen, and microphone in every session room; availability of Internet connections will vary by conference site. All education sessions (except pre-conference workshops) will be audio-recorded.

7) Session Slides & Handouts – Speakers must use the approved AFP template for session presentation slides. Speakers are required to submit PowerPoint slides in PDF format and session handouts in advance of the conference so that attendees can view and print them ahead of time. AFP does not enable onsite copying or other distribution.

8) 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 for the duration of the conference.

9) Additional Guidelines – All speakers must abide by the Speaker Policy and Guidelines and electronically agree to the Speaker Policy via the Speaker Service Center (SSC).
• 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.
• Book authors may use and reference their books during sessions but may not sell anything. Any author wishing to make direct sales must rent exhibit space.
• If the content being presented is not original, the speaker's sole responsibility is to get permission from the owner to present at AFP ICON.
• AFP cannot 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.