First-time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarship

The Annual Conference is an incomparable opportunity for professional growth, and we want all GFOA members to have the chance to attend. For that reason, GFOA’s Executive Board implemented the First-Time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarship program. In six years, the scholarship has enabled more than 2,800 GFOA members to attend their first Annual Conference.


As in prior years, up to 50 First-Time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarships will be awarded per state or province on a first-come, first-served basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Applicants must be GFOA active government members.
    • Not a member yet? We’ve made it easy - applicants can use Step 3 of the scholarship application to join GFOA all in one step!
  • Applicants have never attended a GFOA Annual Conference before. Attendance at other training seminars or state/provincial association conferences does not impact eligibility.
  • Applicants must include in Step 7 of their application a credit card valid through June 2020, which will be charged a $125 no-show fee ONLY if the applicant is awarded a scholarship but does not attend the Annual Conference. There is no penalty for withdrawal if the applicant contacts GFOA before April 30, 2020, to withdraw from the program. GFOA charges this no-show fee to discourage anyone from taking up one of the 50 spots allotted for their state/province if they do not intend to attend the Annual Conference. If you need to cancel for any reason, please contact us so we can offer your scholarship to an applicant on the waitlist.

How do I apply for the scholarship?

  • Complete the application and e-mail it to GFOA. If you have any questions, please contact First Annual Conference.

When will I know if I have been awarded a scholarship? 

  • Your application will be processed within a couple business days (if you are also joining GFOA through the application process, allow extra time for membership processing).
  • If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive an automated message with a confirmation and $0 invoice for your registration for the conference as a first-time attendee, as well as a welcome e-mail from GFOA staff.
  • If you are not awarded a scholarship due to ineligibility, staff will inform you of the reason and explain what steps, if any, you can take to become eligible.



  • The scholarship covers the full conference registration fee. All scholarship recipients are responsible for their travel and lodging. The scholarship does not include registration for preconference seminars held before the start of the Annual Conference.
  • Scholarship recipients will participate in GFOA’s mentorship program during the Annual Conference as an introduction to the event and also the many ways to become more involved with GFOA.
    • As a mentee, you and a small group of other scholarship recipients will be paired with an experienced GFOA member leading up to the Annual Conference. That mentor will be able to give you lessons learned from GFOA conferences that they have acquired over the years, tips on how to get the most out of GFOA and the conference, and a friendly face to connect with at GFOA social events and throughout the conference. GFOA makes an effort to connect mentees and mentors with similar career interests and backgrounds, so it’s also a great opportunity to connect with your peers.
      The mentorship program will allow the mentees and mentors a chance to participate in a conference call prior to the conference and connect at the Welcome Breakfast as a group to build upon the initial phone connection.
  • Scholarship recipients are invited to kick-off their experience during the First-Timers Brunch on Sunday, May 17, from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with their peers, mentors, GFOA’s Executive Board, and GFOA staff.