RFP: Event Planner for GSP’s 2023 Biennial Convening


*UPDATE (Feb 1, 2023): This position has been filled. 

RFP: Event Planner for GSP’s 2023 Biennial Convening

RFP Summary:
Grantmakers for Southern Progress (GSP) is seeking an experienced event planner to support the planning, coordination, management, and implementation of our 2023 Biennial Convening being held from August 30 – September 1, 2023 in the Orlando, FL area (exact location TBD). Submissions must be complete by December 2, 2022 for consideration.


GSP hosts a bi-annual, regional gathering of its members, funding partners, and practitioners to share and discuss the opportunities, challenges, and best strategies for supporting structural change and advancing equity in the Southern region of the United States. This convening will have an action-oriented agenda that provides opportunities to learn, discuss, critique, and develop tools that support movement and power building in the South. By convening both philanthropic representatives and practitioners, we can learn from and make commitments to the best thinkers and doers in the region.


History, Mission, and Vision:
GSP’s mission is to help achieve significant and sustained progress in the economic, social, and political outcomes of those who are least well off economically, politically, and socially in the South. Founded in 2010, this network of Southern-based and national funders is committed to fostering thriving communities in the Southern United States, by advancing structural change that results in equitable outcomes. We envision a region that is just and caring, where all people truly have the power to live healthy, prosperous, and whole lives free of fear and marginalization. GSP believes as these transformative changes are achieved in the South, it will lay an indelible foundation for the achievement of lasting equity and justice in the country overall, for “As the South goes, so goes the nation.”

Broad Convening Goals:
As we build the agenda for this convening, we want to challenge the dominating narrative around the South as being morally bankrupt and ultimately disposable.  We will intentionally celebrate the brilliance and resilience of the South, its most vulnerable communities, and the grassroots organizations leading transformative work which keeps these communities whole and thriving. Funders should walk away from the convening understanding how to get connected with the structural change work happening in and around the South and to the programming of GSP.  This convening will be the touchpoint for moving philanthropic leaders and practitioners into collective action that directs financial and physical resources to Southern communities to strengthen the social justice movement building infrastructure in the region.

The broad goals of this convening are:

  • Learning from the Field
    • Create opportunities for funders to learn from Southern leaders, both within philanthropy and from practitioners on the ground, as the best thinkers and doers around what success looks like in the region
  • Learning Together
    • Bring together national and regional funders within the GSP network as a mutual learning community, particularly around structural change and racial equity. Key issue areas covered at the convening will include Climate Justice, LGBTQ+ Issues & Rights, Immigrant Justice, & Criminal Justice.
  • Moving Forward Together
    • Explore and discuss how we, as a collective of individuals, institutions, and practitioners, define what progress looks like within a Southern context.


Scope of Work:
This convening will be held August 30 – September 1, 2023 in the Orlando, FL area.  The event will take place at various locations in the surrounding area. It is anticipated that approximately 150-165 people (paid registrants, GSP staff and members, presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, etc.) will attend over the 2.5 day event. The selected consultant, firm, or team will be required to supply personnel who have a track record of success in the professional services and activities of conference planning, support, execution, management, and coordination. As directed by GSP, the consulting services will include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Work as a thought partner with the planning committee to develop program content and overall flow/design of convening;
  • In collaboration with GSP’s Operations Manager, organize, perform and manage tasks necessary to support GSP’s Director, staff and consultants, GSP’s Planning Committee and the GSP Host Committees in meeting the convening goals and objectives;
  • Assist with the development, management and execution of the master event logistical plan and timeline, assign/delegate tasks to volunteers/session managers/planning and host committee;
  • Arrange, coordinate, and schedule all meals including refreshment breaks;
  • Determine AV needs for each session and make arrangements with the hotel to provide all necessary conference space and any required AV equipment. Necessary AV equipment may include LCD projectors, computers for PowerPoint presentations, overhead projectors, microphones, data port connections, and video playback equipment, as well as technical support to ensure smooth program implementation;
  • Manage the following event details:
    • Décor,
    • Hiring and Coordinating cultural vendors
    • Cultural expressions, entertainment, healing/meditative space
    • Staging equipment
  • General project management
  • Other pre-conference or post-conference duties as assigned.

Eligibility Requirements:
GSP is seeking an experienced conference planning consultant with the following qualifications. When submitting to this RFP, please respond specifically to these qualifications:

  • Provide the professional background and the experience of each administrative and/or project staff person that will be assigned to this project. Indicate each person’s capacity to manage convening activities, including logistics and communications or the ability to staff up the organization to manage this workload for the length of the project;
  • Consultant must show a proven positive track record of a minimum of three years’ experience in all areas of planning, financial management, and executing successful conferences;
  • Positive Track Record narrative should include:
    1. Ability to perform the work on schedule;
    2. Management capacity, knowledge, skills, and experience to oversee the implementation of conference agenda, planning timeline and budget;
    3. Experience with all aspects of meeting/event planning implementation.

Please note: Preference will be given to consultants who have an analysis around race and gender equity.

Submission to RFP:
RFP must include the following information:

  • A response to the Eligibility Requirements stated above;
  • The fee to undertake the role of conference planner for the event and a budget that shows a breakdown of the costs for operations, (e.g. costs for personnel, supplies, etc.);
  • Key staff and relevant experience;
  • Recent experience on similar project(s) and how those similarities might relate to this project;
  • Provide a minimum of two (2) references from clients that have worked with you and/or your consulting firm in the last five (5) years at a convening, event, or conference. Please include name, contact number, and an email address. 

Deadline for submission is Friday, December 2, 2022
Submit to: info@g4sp.org
Subject line for email: Your name/firm submission to Convening Planner RFP