About the Conference.

Our Take on Hybrid.

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. While we hoped 2022 would be “The Reunion Special” rather than “Junior Year of COVID”, we are easing our way toward a full in-person reunion with a hybrid conference experience! This year’s conference will feature two full days of virtual content plus four in-person regional meet-ups in each of the four corners of the state – Philadelphia, Scranton, Erie, and Pittsburgh.

If it feels like 2020 and 2021 have been the years of “flying by the seat of your pants”, you’re not alone! Now, as we slowly emerge from the immediate crisis of COVID, what does it look like to go from flying by the seat of our pants to actively Building the Plane While Flying It? How do we push forward with the creativity, agility, and resilience we’ve honed since early 2020 with a level of intention we haven’t had the privilege of exercising in the face of constant pivoting?

No, we’re not “out of the COVID woods” yet. No, we are far from done addressing systemic injustice, especially when it comes to race. Yes, we are now in the midst of “The Great Resignation” (or is it “The Great Reprioritization”?). And yes, nonprofit work has required a go-with-the-flow attitude long before COVID ever became part of our everyday vocabulary. But there is something different about this particular moment in time.

The last two years have taught us that we are stronger than we thought – especially when we come together. That we are more innovative than we ever realized – especially when we work together. That we don’t need to have all the answers in order to start working toward new solutions – especially when we lean on each other. The last two years have taught us that we can build the plane while flying it – this October, let’s explore what that means together!

How are you – your team, your organization, your community – building the plane while flying it?

Workshop Tracks.

The last two years have taught us that we can build the plane while flying it – whether that means wearing extra hats while recruiting for open positions, piloting a new program to meet community needs while simultaneously trying to fund it, or something else entirely. Through the following tracks, we’ll unpack all that and more.


Nonprofits have had to use our collective voice more than ever these last few years. And many learned for the first time that, as a 501c3, they are actually allowed to engage in advocacy work! In this track, let’s discuss ways to understand the constantly evolving legislative landscape, nimbly position ourselves as change agents, and leverage the force of that collective voice – not only when it comes to lifting up our missions, but also centering voices that have been silenced by centuries of oppression.

Fast Track.

It’s no secret that we’ve all been living life in the fast lane lately. The Fast Track will have your plane ready for take-off in 30 minutes or less!

Fundraising & Communications.

In the face of unprecedented need created by the pandemic, economic downtown, and civil unrest, people responded with unprecedented levels of giving. This was no accident – we all got creative with both our fundraising and communication efforts, coming up with new ways for new audiences to understand and support our causes. How can we harness this momentum moving forward? How can we continue to look at our fundraising and communications strategies with fresh eyes so that we are positioned for the future instead of settling back into old habits?

Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.

Between the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the past two years seem to have marked a new era in JEDI efforts around the county. Despite a renewed commitment to advancing JEDI in our teams, our organizations, our communities, and our sector, many are feeling stuck, unsure how to move from talk to action. What does it look like to “walk the talk” of JEDI? How do we start building this particular plane, knowing that we may have more questions than answers and that we will make mistakes along the way? What do we need to bridge the “intention gap” between planning and doing?

The Nonprofit Workplace.

For many, the last few years have called into question everything we thought we knew about our workplaces. From working remotely to internal leadership structure, we’ve had a unique opportunity to reevaluate and redefine what it will take – in terms of our people, our processes, our physical resources – to move our missions forward. As we co-create our post-COVID world, how can we lead the way on systemic issues like racial justice, pay equity, and so much more? How can we position our organizations and the sector at large for success in the midst of this Great Resignation or Great Reprioritization? And through all this, how can we take care of our most valuable resource – the people we rely on to carry out our mission?

Our Partners.

The 2022 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 virtual days and four in-person regional meet-ups, we’ll engage in dynamic sessions on everything from advocacy to fundraising and a whole lot more in between. Come along with us for Building the Plane While Flying It and see where we land!