Last year, our inaugural CMX Summit scholarship program was a blast. Along with our 2017 sponsor Shopify, we helped 20 folx of diverse backgrounds who needed financial assistance make their conference dreams happen. Incredible attendees make CMX Summit incredible.

We also learned a few lessons along the way, and are ready to make this year’s program even better. At CMX, we believe in taking actionable steps toward building diverse, accessible, and inclusive communities and conferences. This is one of them!

I personally know how impactful a conference can be. In 2016, I was unemployed, and the generous CMX crew gave me a free ticket to Summit. Not only did I further my professional development, but I interviewed with a potential employer, met others, and then that road eventually led me to full-time employment with CMX. I want others to benefit from serendipity and opportunities at Summit, whatever they may be!

CMX Summit will take place this year in Portland, Oregon, on October 2-3. Our scholarship program is here to encourage and recognize people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, military service, and more. To help break down the barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from participating at CMX Summit, we’re offering scholarships to members of underrepresented groups in the community professionals industry. We will be providing 13 scholarships this year.

Why 13 you ask? First, it’s my favorite number. Second, a 2017 lesson was that we tried divide our scholarship program by offering a set of scholarships to those local to the conference city, and then those coming in from out of town. We had far more interest and buzz around the latter, and the two tiered system was a lot more paperwork on our end. This year, our scholarship is location independent.

One small note: if you are from a company looking to sponsor diversity and inclusion projects, we are currently seeking a scholarship sponsor! Let me brag about how amazing you are, and help us select the recipients. Email us for more information. (And don’t worry, we are offering scholarships regardless; it’s just more fun with a partner.)

What’s in the scholarship?

  • 1 non-transferable pass to CMX Summit 2018, our 2-day conference, happening October 2-3 in Portland, Oregon.
  • $500 to help offset the costs related to attending the conference such as travel, lodging, food, and childcare.

Costs will be reimbursed by CMX, and recipients will need to keep expense receipts up to the $500 reimbursement limit.

Who can apply?

  • Must be a member of an underrepresented group in the community professional field and at community conferences, including but not limited to: people of color; people with visible and invisible disabilities; LGBTQA+; veterans; religious and ethnic minorities; trans, genderqueer, agender, and nonbinary people; neurodiverse people; age minorities (under 21, over 50); working class people; and people experiencing poverty.
  • Must be able to attend CMX Summit 2018 in person.
  • If employed, must work for a non-profit, startup, or company making less than $500,000 in annual revenue. (If you are having trouble convincing your boss, check out our ticket transparency post with cost and benefit breakdowns.)
  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Must follow the CMX Summit Code of Conduct.

Applicants may not be awarded CMX Summit’s scholarship more than once. Due to limited availability, only one scholarship may be awarded per company per year. As cisgender women represent over 60% of attendees at CMX Summit, they are not considered an underrepresented group in our industry.

Scholarship recipients must arrange their own travel and lodging. Recipients are responsible for their own financial reporting.


Applications must be submitted by Friday, May 18 at 5pm PDT for CMX Summit 2018.

We’re so excited to offer scholarships. We will notify everyone who submits to receive a scholarship either way. If you have any inquiries, please reach out to us at

erica mcgillivray

Erica McGillivray is the Director of Product Strategy and Community Experience at CMX Summit. She's a published author, gardening enthusiast, and loves tea, cats, and books. Erica lives in Seattle wit...

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