GDConnect: Empowering Connections and Innovation

Each year, GDConnect is a time for the GivingData community to come together, share new ideas, and learn from each other. Over the years, we’ve built a strong community of grantmakers and partners dedicated to advancing grantmaking and philanthropy, and GDConnect creates the opportunity to do it in person for three immersive days of workshops, panel discussions, and spontaneous interactions.

Since our first GDConnect back in the summer of 2014, then known as “the user group meeting,” the convening has evolved year after year and grown into an increasingly inspiring and diverse event for our community. 


Our CEO, Alf Gracombe, reflected on the years since that first GDConnect, “The throughline [of GDConnect] has always been continued collaboration, community, and learning.”

Similarly, Roberto Cremonini, SVP of Client Innovation and Impact, shares that, “From the beginning, we intentionally invested in fostering a strong sense of community in addition to knowledge sharing.” 

In 2020, when in-person meetings were put on hold, GDConnect became a virtual event. Roberto remembers the energy that persisted even through computer screens. Despite the circumstances, our community contributed to and participated in all sessions and engaged in enthusiastic online conversations within our virtual conference setting. 

Going back in person in 2022 brought new excitement among the community and the GivingData team. GDConnect 2022 was our biggest yet and confirmed the relevance of in-person gatherings to build and strengthen connections within our rapidly expanding user community.

We saw great engagement from attendees. Many left with actionable ideas to take back to their team, and most planted the seeds for conversations and collaborations that they continued after leaving the meeting. One of the highlights of the event was the launch of our online community, GD Exchange, which grew to over 200 members within just a few months and provided a safe and secure virtual venue to carry on conversations and share help and advice.


Every successful event still has room for improvement. That’s why we took last year’s feedback into account as we were planning GDConnect 2023. For example, this year, we conducted our first-ever Call for Sessions and received a tremendous response.  As a result, we’re excited to bring a robust agenda carefully crafted by members of the GivingData community and our incredible planning committee. 

Attendees will also have more time to self-organize and attend hands-on workshops tailored to users based on their subscription level, familiarity with GivingData, and the size of their team and foundation. As part of this, we’ll also be offering GivingData 101, a pre-conference session for users new to the platform to get them ready to attend the conference better prepared to understand how to get the most out of GivingData. These tailored sessions are just part of what we hope will make GDConnect 2023 our most impactful event yet.

Another exciting addition to GDConnect 2023 is the launch of our first event app. This promises to make following the agenda and building connections with fellow grantmakers even easier than before.

We’re looking forward to being with our community face-to-face again in September. Our clients and partners are the reason we do what we do. Alf verbalized it best when he shared this perspective,  “The experience of being together, sharing product innovations and new ways of use is valuable for both GivingData and clients, and a professional experience unlike any other.” 

Interested in being a part of the growing GivingData community? Connect with our team today to get started. 

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