2018 Collaborative Conference

2018 Collaborative Conference

This past week, Grassroots Unwired traveled out to Happy Valley, PA for an opportunity to attend the 2018 Collaborative Conference: Inclusion by Design 2.0. The conference was organized by the Alliance for Nonprofit Resources (ANR), the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP), and the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO). In attendance were almost 300 leaders at nonprofit organizations from across the state, as well as a few groups that support their work (like us!).

Here are some quick numbers about the power of nonprofit organizations in the U.S.:

  • The nonprofit sector is home to the country’s third largest workforce (behind retail and manufacturing) ¹
  • 1.4 million nonprofits employ 11.4 million workers ¹
  • Nonprofits contributed to 5.4% of the country’s GDP in 2013 ²
  • Pennsylvania nonprofits employ over 15% of the state’s workforce (approximately 727,200 people) ³

The keynote speaker, Vu Le, executive director of Rainer Valley Corps (and blogger extraordinaire of Nonprofit AF), spoke to the unique challenges and joys of working in the nonprofit industry. With humor peppered throughout, as well as pictures of cute animals in his presentation slides, Le explained his takes on equity, nonprofit funding, bizsplaining, and more. An important point he made about the impact of nonprofit organizations is that it is like air in that “people take it for granted because we do not see it and we don’t take much time to think about it until it is no longer there.” 4

We appreciated learning from these incredible Pennsylvania community leaders whether in workshops or in smaller conversations. For me personally as a new Philadelphia resident, I was excited to hear about nonprofits’ impact within the community. A common theme of several workshops was finding creative ways to engage with community members, from more effective outreach through technology to creative partnerships with unlikely organizations. I was thankful that this added to my understanding of how I personally as well as within this team could better promote the empowerment of nonprofit missions through the use of innovative technology.

– Written by Yuzuka Akasaka, Grassroots Unwired Sales Development Representative

¹ Independentsector.org 
² Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
³ Independentsector.org
4 nonprofitaf.com

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