It’s been a week since we announced the PEAK Grantmaking Board’s decision to cancel the PEAK2020 Annual Conference in Seattle due to the COVID-19 outbreak – a decision based wholly on ensuring the health and safety of attendees, presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, hotel workers, and the communities to which each would have been returning.
We are now addressing the serious financial impact of the cancellation.
Conference registration fees cover the tremendous financial outlay required to produce this thousand-person event. While we are working diligently to minimize losses, we expect that most expenses will never be recouped. This means that returning all of the registration fees, plus sponsorship and exhibitor revenues, would leave the organization with a devastating financial burden.
More than ever, we need our community to rally together and help PEAK emerge from this challenging situation on a stable financial footing.
Over the past week, we’ve been heartened by the outpouring of generosity and support from our community. Thank you to the many PEAK2020 registrants who have already decided to forgo a registration refund. We deeply appreciate recent donations of sponsorship and exhibitor dollars. And we’re grateful to several foundations who have just made grants to help us through this situation.
This is a pivotal time for PEAK Grantmaking, filled with progress and potential. We ended 2019 achieving record membership growth, volunteer engagement, chapter participation, and resource utilization. Today, our network connects more than 4,500 grants management professionals across 14 chapters in a vibrant community that is uniquely centered on the “how” of grantmaking. That momentum continues into 2020, with ongoing releases of Principles for Peak Grantmaking resources, the new PEAK Grantmaking Journal, and the arrival of our first President and CEO.
Plus: Later this spring, we plan to offer a new kind of learning experience that will bring us together for a series of virtual events based on the PEAK2020 program. We look forward to providing details in the coming weeks.
If you’re in a position to support us, we hope you will do so. As a member-driven, member-led community, everything PEAK does is to support you and your organizations. Now, more than ever, PEAK needs your support.
Adriana Jimenez and Rikard Treiber
Co-Chairs, PEAK Grantmaking Board of Directors