#TFN2023 is a Wrap!

Thank you for making TFN’s 2023 Annual Conference a success!

A quick note about our 2024 schedule: As part of our goal to foster a smooth and productive transition for TFN‘s new president and CEO, we will be taking a break from hosting our Annual Conference in 2024. We truly value and enjoy the opportunity to gather at our Annual Conference every March. But given that TFN President and CEO Pat Smith will retire at the end of this calendar year, we recognized the need to afford the network’s new leader the grace and space to settle into their new role. We nonetheless look forward to several opportunities to gather in person during 2024. Stay tuned for updates!


About #TFN2023


Due to high demand and venue capacity, we are no longer accepting registrations for #TFN2023.


TFN Annual Conferences bring together diverse and thought-provoking voices to explore philanthropy’s potential for meaningful impact in our regions and communities, including protecting people and planet, building inclusive economies and addressing injustices.

The theme for our 2023 Annual Conference is Ignite Action, which recognizes the need for all of us — as a sector and as individuals — to light the way toward systemic change with urgency and purpose.

Philanthropy holds tremendous power to leverage its financial, moral and reputational capital.

  • How can we help energize and sustain the movements that are pushing us toward racial, economic and environmental justice?
  • How can we extinguish the systemic inequities that touch every aspect of our shared world — the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places where we live, work and play?
  • How can we best unleash philanthropy’s potential in ways that spark ideas, fuel collaboration and ignite action?
  • How can we save and strengthen our democracy?

Our communities are grappling with the impacts of a worsening climate crises, a widening racial wealth gap, and increased assaults on our civil liberties and bodily autonomy. The time to act is now.

Our Venue

TFN’s 2023 Annual Conference: Ignite Action will take place March 20-22 at the historic Hotel Monteleone, nestled in the heart of the city’s French Quarter. (Learn more about the history of this landmark, family-owned hotel in this video.)

TFN has reserved a block of rooms at a special rate for our conference attendees. Click below to book your room for #TFN2023!

PLEASE NOTE: The hotel has sold out all of TFN’s reserved block of rooms. But there are plenty of other options in the area within walking distance, such as:

Meet Our Co-chairs

Thank you to our TFN 2023 Annual Conference Co-chairs for sharing their time, insight and support. We are grateful for your efforts, as well as those of the many funders and partners who have taken part in the planning and execution of #TFN2023.

Read a message from our TFN2023 Co-Chairs here.

Shawn Escoffery
Executive Director
Roy and Patricia Disney
Family Foundation

Dan Favre
Director of Environmental Programs
Greater New Orleans Foundation

Nathaniel Smith
Founder and Chief Equity Officer
Partnership for Southern Equity

TFN 2023 Annual Conference Planning Committee

We want to extend a huge thank you to the individuals who served on our planning committee. Because of their commitment to environmental, economic and racial justice, we will be able to create an intentional, inclusive and diverse program agenda.

COVID Contingencies

Given the uncertainties of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including the spread of the variants, TFN remains committed to prioritizing the safety of our members, our team and the communities we serve. Please refer to our #TFN2023 Health & Safety section for information on COVID-19 vaccine and testing protocols for attendees, and other measures we are putting in place to ensure our event is a success.



Due to high demand and venue capacity, we are no longer accepting registrations for #TFN2023.

We hope you join us for TFN’s 2023 Annual Conference: Ignite Action, March 20-22!

Your registration fees help support the network’s over-arching mission to leverage philanthropy’s unique potential to help create communities and regions that are sustainable, prosperous and just for all people.

These fees help offset programmatic and operational costs incurred in the planning and production of our signature annual event, including honoraria for invited nonprofit speakers and equitable payment to local vendors. Your contributions also help underwrite complimentary registration for our 2023 PLACES Fellows and discounted rates for PLACES Alumni.

Who can attend?

Registration is open to donors, staff, directors, and trustees of all grantmaking institutions.

What does TFN consider a “grantmaking institution”?

Like our membership criteria, TFN Annual Conferences are open to all foundations, giving programs, philanthropy serving organizations, intermediaries, units of local government, regional associations of grantmakers, funder collaboratives, corporate grantmakers and non-profit instutions engaged in grantmaking activities.Contact Maureen Lawless,  executive vice president, at maureen@fundersnetwork.org if you have questions about your organization’s eligibility for membership or attendance at TFN events.


Early Bird Rates (ends Feb. 18)
TFN Member: $750
Non-member: $1,250

Regular Rates
TFN Member: $850
Non-member: $1,350

Day Rates
Monday: $500
Tuesday: $500
Wednesday: $250

Group Rates

Group rates are available for TFN member organizations with three or more attendees. TFN member organizations will see group rate options on the registration form.


Discounted Rate:

Members of TFN’s 2023 PLACES Cohort will receive a complimentary registration.

We recognize that many organizations are facing challenges during these uncertain times. If cost is a barrier to participating in this event, please reach out to Maureen Lawless, executive vice president, at maureen@fundersnetwork.org.


Opening Plenary | Ashé Cultural Arts Center:
Celebrating the Music, Movement & Magic of the African Diaspora

Join us for an exuberant Opening Plenary celebration curated by the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, a New Orleans gathering space that uses art and culture to support human, community, and economic development. We’ll begin with the Kumbuka Drum & Dance Collective and one of its founding members, Ausettua Amor Amenkum, with a performance of drumming, dance, blessing and ancestor call. Then, healer, performer and choreographer Mama Jamilah Peters-Muhammad will lead the convening in an altar installation honoring our respective origins and intentions. We’ll also experience a traditional New Orleans “second line” led by Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes, drummer Luther Gray, and Mardi Gras Indian tambourine players. Local poet Sunni Patterson will end the session with a spoken word piece reflective of and written during our time together.

TFN @ The Movies | Presented by Wyncote Foundation

Our popular movie night returns for #TFN2023!

TFN’s Annual Conference: Ignite Action will feature a special screening of the documentary film Hollow Tree, which follows three teenagers coming of age in their sinking homeland of Louisiana. For the first time, they notice the Mississippi River’s engineering, stumps of cypress trees and billowing smokestacks.

Their different perspectives — as Indigenous, white, and Angolan young women — shape their story of the climate crisis.

Join us to watch this timely, thought-provoking documentary as well as Q&A with those involved in the making of the film — along with plenty of movie-friendly treats and beverages.

This year’s TFN @ The  Movies is presented with the support of the Wyncote Foundation, which works to further a thriving public media ecosystem that is vital to animating and sustaining democracy’s public sphere. 

➡Watch the Hollow Tree trailer here!

TFN Mobile Workshops

TFN is committed to sharing and amplifying local stories and strategies as part of our conference learning agenda — both to better understand the unique character and challenges of our host city, as well as to take home lessons that can be applied to your work as grantmakers and changemakers.

This year, we are expanding our popular Mobile Workshops to include a full day of learning from the places and people of our host city of New Orleans, with an emphasis on community power-building and community-led solutions.

Please note: Attendees will need to select one of the Mobile Workshops listed below via our Swapcard conference app, which will be available at the end of February. Full workshop descriptions are available in Swapcard or in the Agenda section of this website.

Mobile Workshops:

  • Preserving Tribal History, Culture and Land
  • Fighting Urban Flooding: Scaling Up Community-Driven, Nature-Based Solutions
  • Uplift, Empower, Support: The Children of Central City
  • Fighting Environmental Racism in “Cancer Alley”
  • Institutional Partnerships to Ignite Action
  • Tremé by Bike: Focus on Equity and Sustainability

Eat Here! Culinary Showcase | Presented by Share Our Strength

Who’s hungry for a taste of New Orleans?

Our annual dining extravaganza, Eat Here! will return for TFN’s Annual Conference: Ignite Action, which takes place in New Orleans from March 20 to 22.

This culinary event will feature local New Orleans vendors serving tapas-style dishes — appetizers, entrees, and desserts — representing the region’s rich diversity of cultures, exploring points of entry into the food system and highlighting locally sourced fare.

This year’s event takes place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 at the Ashé Cultural Arts Complex, which uses art and culture to support human, community, and economic development in New Orlean’s Central City neighborhood. (Bonus: New Orleans-based DJ Legatron Prime will join us to spin her musical magic!)

This year’s Eat Here! is presented with the support of Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

Please note that while Eat Here! is included in your conference fee, you’ll see an option to provide additional financial support for this event when you register for #TFN2023. This will help us offset the costs of this gathering, as well as help us ensure local vendors and food service workers are equitably compensated.

Closing Plenary | Taifa Smith Butler, President, Dēmos

Fund Us Like You Want Us to Win: A Call to Action for Philanthropy

Taifa Smith Butler is the president of Dēmos, described as “the think-and-do tank” for the racial justice movement.

“Fund Us Like You Want Us to Win: A Call to Action for Philanthropy” grew out of a conversation co-led by Dēmos staff and grassroots movement leaders recognizing the compounding crises of 2020 disproportionately impacting Black and brown communities.

Join us to learn why we need to reaffirm the importance of investing in building power for Black and brown people as we face historic opposition on multiple fronts. White supremacy has shown us that it will not easily accept losing power and use every tactic to solidify its control, even undermining our democracy. Philanthropy plays a vital role in supporting strong, vibrant movements and communities to defend and expand democracy.

PLACES Alumni Gathering

PLACES Alumni are invited to gather for a day of learning, reflection and connection on Sunday, March 19, immediately preceding TFN’s Annual Conference. This event is free of charge for all alumni, but registration is required. Please note that this event is for PLACES Alumni only.



TFN COVID Health & Safety Protocols


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, The Funders Network (TFN) is committed to implementing appropriate policies and taking necessary actions to create a safe and comfortable meeting environment, and to the extent possible, protect the health of everyone who attends or participates in TFN events.

TFN has adopted the following health and safety protocols for all upcoming Network gatherings and events, including convenings of our working groups, PLACES Fellowship and Alumni Network, and TFN Board of Directors.

These COVID Health & Safety Protocols will also be in effect for our 2023 Annual Conference: Ignite Action in New Orleans, La., including pre- and post-conference activities sponsored or organized by TFN and held on-site at The Hotel Monteleone or elsewhere.

TFN reserves the right to implement additional measures or make other changes to the protocols to support a successful gathering and safeguard the health and safety of all individuals involved in Network events. TFN’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols apply to every person attending or participating in TFN events, including but not limited to, registered and unregistered attendees, speakers, and TFN staff, consultants and volunteers. TFN reserves the right to prohibit entry to any individual who fails to abide by these protocols, including providing required documentation.


TFN requires that every person attending or participating in Network events be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and its variants, and up to date with any boosters recommended by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Proof of vaccinations must be provided. Acceptable vaccines are those that have been authorized by the FDA for use in the United States or by the World Health Organization.


TFN will waive its vaccination requirements, including recommended boosters, for religious or medical reasons. To request an exemption, please use this online form.

Proof of Vaccination:  Attendees and participants must show proof of vaccination before entering events. TFN will not retain copies of vaccination records.

Accepted forms of vaccine documentation: The event coordinator/program lead will share the preferred documentation method in advance of the gathering.


TFN requires proof of negative COVID-19 test (rapid, self-administered) results taken within 24 hours of the start of the event, regardless of vaccination status. Thereafter, daily testing is strongly encouraged, but not required. TFN will make a limited supply of rapid antigen tests available for on-site testing, but encourage people to test prior to checking in.

Negative antibody COVID-19 tests results will not be accepted

Accepted forms of testing documentation:  The event coordinator/program lead will share the preferred documentation method in advance of the gathering. TFN will not retain copies of COVID-19 test results.


Attendees are encouraged but not required to wear an N95, KN95 or KF94 mask during TFN2023 indoor events, unless eating/drinking or presenting.   

If you have any questions related to COVID-19 and the location, venue or vendors for the event you plan to attend, please contact the event coordinator directly. (Contact information will be in your registration confirmation or meeting packet.)


Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within a week of the event start date may request a refund, minus registration fee.


In addition, every person attending or participating in TFN events must comply with any applicable CDC, state or local COVID-19 mandates and guidance that are more stringent than TFN’s Protocols and in effect at the time of the event. Please contact Maureen Lawless (maureen@fundersnetwork.org) if you have any questions about health and safety measures at TFN’s Annual Conference in New Orleans.


The COVID-19 pandemic is an unpredictable and rapidly evolving situation. You should become familiar with, and monitor for, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and its variants.

No person may participate in TFN event while waiting for the results of their COVID-19 test, or if they become ill, or exhibit any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before or during the event. TFN reserves the right to refuse entry to any participant who exhibits any symptoms of illness or who refuses to present any required documentation.

While TFN will strive to safeguard the health and safety of all those involved in our events and will make every reasonable effort to mitigate possible exposure to COVID-19 and its variants during Network activities, TFN cannot guarantee that attendees and participants in the event will not be exposed to, or become sick from exposure to, COVID-19 or its variants.

When registering for TFN events, attendees and participants must agree that they will knowingly and voluntarily:

  • Accept and agree to comply with TFN’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols and any applicable CDC, state or local COVID-19 mandates and guidance that are more stringent than TFN’s Protocols and in effect at the time of the event. (For information on local recommendations and other information, visit the departments of health for the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans.)
  • Acknowledge and assume any risks and dangers associated with possible exposure to, or illness from COVID-19 and its variants while attending or participating in the Event.
  • To the fullest extent permissible by law or in equity, waive and discharge any and all liability, claims, and demands of whatever kind or nature against TFN and its affiliated partners, vendors and sponsors, including without limitation, their directors, officers, employees, volunteers, and agents, including but not limited to illness, bodily injury, or other economic loss, which arise or may hereafter arise from my attendance or participation with the Event.

Please contact covid@fundersnetwork.org immediately if you experience any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during or within 5 days after the TFN event. This contact information will be located in your registration confirmation email or meeting packet.

Upon receipt of notification of possible exposure to, or illness from COVID-19 and its variants, TFN will notify all individuals who participated in the event as soon as possible via their preferred email address listed on the event registration form or service contracts (without personal attribution of the positive result). TFN will encourage everyone to consult with a physician and follow CDC guidance regarding testing, self-care and quarantining.

Thanks for Your Support!

We’re grateful to our conference sponsors whose contributions help offset conference costs, ensure equitable compensation for vendors and other contributors, and support TFN’s broader mission to inspire and engage the field of philanthropy.