The IS Scholarship Program is designed to promote diversity and inclusiveness


Habib Bako, Executive Assistant
202-467-6169 //
Note: The scholarship application period has closed.

One of the sector’s greatest assets is its incredible diversity. This fall, leaders and practitioners from across the entire sector will converge in Miami to intellectually engage each other, think collaboratively about achieving greater impact, and prepare to boldly claim our place in a rapidly changing world.

For the conference to be successful, it will be essential for the sector’s diversity to be vibrantly reflected through its attendees.

Independent Sector and our sponsoring partners are proud to offer scholarships to staff of small and medium-sized nonprofits who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend. Scholarships cover the full cost of registration, for both the main conference and the Public Policy Action Network.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for a scholarship?

Eligible participants are established or emerging leaders of small- and mid-sized nonprofit organizations with an annual budget of less than $5 million. Exceptions can be made for organizations whose budgets exceed $5 million. We are mindful of the budget constraints that small, mid-size, and large organizations continue to face.

Can I apply for a scholarship if I’m a previous awardee?

Yes, however preference will be given to first-time applicants.

What’s the process once I accept a scholarship?

Scholarship awardees will be notified and will have a week to confirm their attendance. Unclaimed scholarships will be awarded to other applicants following the initial awardee notification period.

Once an awardee confirms their attendance, they will receive a registration code, corresponding to the registration costs covered by their scholarship (e.g. pre-conference, conference, or a combination of the two). This registration code will allow you to register at no cost.

Awardees with scholarships that cover hotel accommodations will be assigned a hotel room for a certain number of nights, depending on the programming each awardee is scheduled to attend. Awardees with scholarships that cover flight/travel will be reimbursed after the conference. The process for reimbursement is detailed below.

Application and Notification Timeline

  • Local Main Conference scholarship applications are open until September 18. Applicants will be notified of their status by late September.
  • Public Policy Action Institute scholarship applications are open until September 11. Applicants will be notified of their status by late September.
  • The National Main Conference application period has closed. Applicants will be notified of their status by mid-September.
  • The NGen application period has closed. Applicants will be notified of their status by mid-September.
  • The Bush Foundation Main Conference Scholarships application period has closed. Applicants have been notified of their status by email.

Questions? Please contact Habib Bako at

Can I transfer my scholarship to a colleague if I’m unable to attend?

The scholarship is intended for the named awardee only and is not transferable to another organization or colleague.

What costs does a scholarship cover and what is the reimbursement process?

Also at the discretion of the sponsor, the scholarship may cover round-trip airfare and travel expenses incurred from the recipient’s home location to Miami and hotel expenses which include only room fee and taxes. Awardees are responsible for any incidentals charged to the room.

The scholarship does reimburse non-local scholarship awardees for per diem costs, such as meals not provided at the conference, baggage check, parking, etc. up to $500. Awardees are strongly advised against incurring extravagant restaurant and travel costs (e.g., awardees should not travel via business or first-class).

Awardees will be sent a reimbursement form, which they must sign and date, and return via mail to Independent Sector.