May 7: Pre-Conference Agenda    |   May 8: Day 1 Agenda    |   May 9: Day 2 Agenda


AFN’s Accelerating Ideas Into Action Conference took place May 7-9, 2019 at the historic St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Developed by grantmakers for grantmakers, Accelerating Ideas Into Action explores, discussed, and shared funding approaches that will help bring greater economic security for our nation’s individuals, families and communities. This Grantmaker Conference highlighted promising collaborations and investment strategies funders can implement to achieve their investment goals.

AFN would like to thank everyone who participated in the Accelerating Ideas Into Action Conference in San Antonio. The conference far exceeded our expectations, especially in the positive responses we received from so many of you in our informal conversations over the two and a half day conference.


Featured presentations

AFN Conference 2019 – Dr. Carmen Tafolla: Culture and Community – The Voice of San Antonio

AFN Conference 2019 – At the Intersection of Health, Wealth, and Community

AFN Conference 2019 – Keynote Presentation: Felicia Wong, PhD, Roosevelt Institute



Throughout the two day conference, the message was clear—to achieve progress, funders and financial institutions must be bold in taking action and by doing so, the pathways to restore the hope in real, equitable, upward mobility and shared prosperity are possible.

Our agenda planted a great many seeds as we explored the themes of building common ground through investments in equity, inclusion and economic opportunity. Most discussions sought to frame the ways philanthropy can think intentionally about accelerating system change and asset building ideas into action.

Opening presenter, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, set the tone by helping us celebrate the power and importance of culture and community while simultaneously examining social inequities. She brought to life the strength, resiliency, and will of the people AFN Members seek to support with their philanthropy.

‘At the Intersection of Health, Wealth, and Community: Grantmaker Roles and Integrated Approaches’: When it comes to the intersection of health and wealth, we explored how where we live, work, and play influences our ability to build assets, and shared how grantmakers are joining forces to invest in neighborhood development and individual wealth building to yield better individual asset and community outcomes.

Keynote speaker, Felecia Wong, PhD, president of the Roosevelt Institute, knew just how to tie it all together. Pulling from both her expertise and personal experiences, Dr. Wong provided an “outside in” view of philanthropy’s role in racial equity and wealth equity work, helping our audience recognize aspects of the US economy that have systemically benefited some and excluded others, and showing us all some practical pathways for mitigating the harmful consequences of those systematic disparities.

The changes in the world economy, national political stage, and the fate attributed to our zip codes were universally seen as drivers, or realities in which we must operate, but certainly not predictive of results to which we resign ourselves.

We have the opportunity to partner and harness creativity, to reframe the narrative, to engage communities to disrupt and reinvent practices and policies, and to change the trajectory.


We thank you all – speakers, storytellers, and participants for ensuring that Accelerating Ideas Into Action was a great success.

Thank you to the San Antonio AFN Chapter for being such great hosts and providing us with such an exquisite venue.

Thank you to our sponsors and the 2019 conference committee.