About the Conference.

Virtually Connected.

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. With another year in an all-virtual format, we may not be “going” very far physically but the possibilities for where we’ll take each other are endless.

While we all experienced 2020 a little differently, uncertainty has likely been part of that experience for all of us. We had to pivot more than ever before to keep up with ever-changing circumstances (anyone else ready to remove “pivot” from the dictionary?). We found new and innovative ways to connect with each other and our communities (who knew a little physical distance could bring us closer together!). We discovered there’s such a thing as Zoom fatigue (many of us know that firsthand). We continue to reckon with our longstanding history of oppression and our own roles in co-creating a more inclusive and equitable world (for all of us). And we are all learning, in the face of unprecedented (should we remove that word, too?) uncertainty and adversity, just how resilient we are.

As the light at the end of the “COVID tunnel” shines brighter, we find ourselves with an unprecedented (couldn’t help it!) opportunity to shape the very future we are stepping into. If the last year of “new normals” has taught us anything, it’s that we are blazing new trails forward through creativity, courage, vulnerability, adaptability (and, in many cases, a healthy sense of humor, too). This work is far from easy and yes, many of us are tired. But together, we are strong. Together, we are rising up to meet new challenges. Together, we are Rising with Resilience.

Workshop Tracks.

Through the following workshop tracks, we’ll explore what it means to be resilient at the individual, organizational, sector, and community levels.


One important lesson learned over the last year is that our voices matter. We – our clients, our employees, our organizations, and the nonprofit sector as a whole – are a critical part of our communities, and we have the power to create change. Let’s discuss ways to understand the constantly evolving advocacy landscape, nimbly position ourselves as change agents, and leverage the force of our collective voice – not only when it comes to lifting up our missions, but also centering voices that have been silenced by centuries of oppression.

Caring for Ourselves & Each Other.
Building the Plane While Flying It.

This past year has provided many of us an opportunity to rethink everything we thought we knew, and simply do our best to “build the plane while flying it”. Through uncertainty and chaos, over mountains, into uncharted territory. What has worked for one organization may not work for another. And what works on one day may not work the next. The needs of our sector, our communities, our organizations are constantly evolving – what does it look like to actively build the plane while we fly it?

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 didn’t happen by 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. What has adversity taught us about fundraising and communicating from a place of resilience? How can we build inclusion into our fundraising and communications so that we are representing and reaching diverse groups? And what does it look like to actively invest in resilience?

Leading through Change.

After a year when “strategy and planning” felt impossible, even laughable, at times, how do we move forward with intention and also with flexibility? What does it mean to lead with courage, with strength, with empathy, and with resilience? From volunteers and interns to board members and senior execs, from front-line staff and middle managers to consultants and corporate partners, we’ve all played an integral role in carrying our communities through upheaval and uncertainty. As we co-create our post-COVID world, how can we all be leaders in moving the needle on systemic issues like racial justice, pay equity, and so much more? How can we build resilient teams and support each other through transition and turmoil? Let’s help each other question some of the processes, assumptions, policies, and leadership norms that may be holding us back, and develop new ones to guide us through times of change.

Our Partners.

The 2021 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.

Over the course of four days, we’ll engage in dynamic sessions on everything from advocacy to fundraising and a whole lot more in between. Come along with us for Rising with Resilience and see where the possibilities take us.