About the Conference.

2023: The Reunion Special!

The Collaborative Conference: where Pennsylvania’s nonprofit professionals go each year to connect, network, learn from each other, learn from experts, and together leverage our collective power to create change – within ourselves, our organizations, our sector, and our communities. For the first time since 2019, we’re excited to take this experience (mostly) off-screen. That’s right, this year’s conference will feature two days of in-person fun plus a day of virtual fun for those who may not be able to join us in Altoona, as well as those who simply want to let the good times keep rolling for just one more day. 

With this year’s theme of Landing the Plane (Without Wrecking It), we are taking an honest look at where we’ve all been these last few years, where we’re going, and how to get there as safely as possible – or at least not completely crash and burn along the way! Rather than dance around what many of us seem to be feeling these days, we hope this theme acknowledges (among other things):

  • The daily pressures many of us are under – to do more with less, to make change happen overnight, to continue “pivoting”, to not just keep up but get ahead of the curve, etc.
  • The many challenges our sector is facing – funding and staffing and planning, OH MY! (and more).
  • The very real fear of “messing up” – that often keeps us from trying new things.
  • That “doing our best” will look different from day to day, and that’s ok – some days we stick the picture-perfect landing and others…well, we’re just glad to have landed in one piece!

Special thanks to a 2022 conference attendee for suggesting this year’s theme! (We really do listen when we ask for input!).

Workshop Tracks.

COVID prompted so many of us to stop waiting for the perfect moment and just start building the plane while flying it (which is what we explored as our conference theme last year!). Now that we’ve got our planes in the air, where do we go from here? Knowing there will be at least a little turbulence on our flight path, what will it take to chart our course, soar to new heights, and then land the plane – all without wrecking it? Unpack all this and more with us through the following workshop tracks.

Caring for the Crew. (HR)

Recruitment, hiring, retention, managing through staff transitions…caring for the crew is a full-time job! In this HR-focused track, we’ll look at all this and more, including building diverse teams, rethinking traditional flight team structures, and ways we can support our teams’ needs.

Charting the Course. (Strategy, Planning, Change Management)

We all know what happens to the “best-laid plans”. What does this mean for us once our planes are in the air? What does it look like to “course correct” from the cockpit? This track will look at how we can continue to be agile and respond in the moment while keeping our final destination in sight, especially when it comes to “walking the talk” of the DEI work that so many organizations committed to in 2020.

Fueling the Flight. (Fundraising & Other Resource Development)

We can’t get very far, much less avoid a crash, on an empty tank! This track will look at tips, tools, and sustainable approaches to resource development that will help keep your planes in the air AND bring them safely back to the ground.

Ground Control to Major Tom. (Communications)

Communication is one of the most important elements of a smooth flight as well as a safe landing. The same is true in community benefit work! This track will look at various aspects of communication, both internal and external, to help us lift up our work, lift up our missions, and lift up our communities – in ways that are inclusive, ethical, and respectful.

Piloting the Plane. (Leadership)

Piloting the plane isn’t just for the flight captain! Everyone on board is a leader. This track will look at the changing face of leadership in our sector, what it means to “coach from coach” (aka lead from the middle), how new leaders can confidently take the wheel, what board leaders can do to make the flight the best it can be, how to ensure diverse voices are being heard, and more.

Thinking Outside the (Black) Box. (A Little of Everything!)

For all the topics worth discussing and exploring that don’t fit neatly into the other categories.

Our Partners.

The 2023 Collaborative Conference is brought to you in partnership by Alliance for Nonprofit Resources (ANR), the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP), the PA Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO), and the Department of Public Administration at Villanova University.

Engaging Sessions.

With two days in Altoona and another online, we’ll engage in dynamic sessions on everything from leadership to communications and a whole lot more in between. Come along with us for Landing the Plane (Without Wrecking It) and see where it takes us!