By Pat Smith, President and CEO of The Funders’ Network

As we continue to prepare for our Annual Conference this month in San Diego, we know that many of you are asking about the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Please know we are still looking forward to seeing our members, partners and other friends in a few days. Here are some frequently asked questions about #TFNSanDiego and coronavirus that we hope will be helpful . We recognize that the situation continues to develop, and we will continue to provide updates as needed.

Note: This post was updated March 6 with information about the U.S.-Mexico Post-Conference Tour cancellation. See below for more info.

#TFNSanDiego FAQs

  • Is the conference cancelled? As of today, we are moving forward with our 2020 Annual Conference in San Diego. If anything changes, you will hear directly from us. Please follow us on Twitter at @funders_network for the latest news; we will also share with our members and partners directly via email. We will also post updates on the TFN blog.
  • What precautionary steps are you taking? As we finalize preparations for our Annual Conference, we are keeping the health and wellbeing of our TFN members, staff and other conference attendees a top priority. The TFN team is closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local health agencies, and encourage our attendees to take sensible precautions help protect from illness, especially while traveling. Our conference team is working closely with our vendors in San Diego to ensure appropriate precautions are in place at our hotel and other venues scheduled to host #TFNSanDiego events.
  • What if I cannot attend? We recognize the situation continues to evolve, and many of our attendees and their organizations are still formulating their own responses, such as whether to limit non-essential travel. We ask that if your plans change and you are unable to attend, to please let us know as soon as possible by emailing Yleinia Jobe (, especially if you are slated to participate as a speaker or moderator.
  • Will cancellations impact my session or other conference programming? Our conference team is working diligently to ensure sessions, workshops and other conference offerings move forward as seamlessly as possible. That includes contingency plans for sessions that may be impacted by cancellations. If you are a presenter, moderator or session designer and have a question about possible impacts to your session, please reach out to Lesmarie Nicholson ( who can provide an update and any planned contingency plans. UPDATE: We have cancelled our Post-Conference Tour across the U.S.-Mexico border. While TFN’s 2020 Annual Conference is not cancelled, we are mindful of the particular logistical challenges and other uncertainties posed while coordinating an international tour at this time. Read our message about the border tour cancellation here.
  • Are you offering refunds? For those unable to attend, we are able to offer refunds upon request. However, we hope that you will  consider the amount a donation to TFN if you are unable to attend. TFN has already incurred considerable costs in planning the event and securing our venue, and also relies on conference fees to support our overall mission.
  • I saw that California recently declared a state of emergency. What does that mean?  An emergency proclamation builds on work already underway across state government to protect public health and safety and includes increased protections against price gouging, offers more assistance to local governments and allows health care workers to come from out of state. Read the full statement from the governor’s office here.
  • What if I have additional concerns not addressed here? Please feel free to reach out to me at or a member of the TFN team if you have any additional questions. In case you missed it, I’m also sharing my most recent message regarding coronavirus and our conference, which also includes links and resources that may be helpful to funders and others in the sector. I

Pat Smith, President and CEO of The Funders’ Network