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PA Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) Annual Collaborative Conference

Reimagining Readiness: Who Decides Who’s Ready to Build Thriving Community Ecosystems?


As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to grapple with the pandemic of racism, several near-rhetorical readiness questions have surfaced in the social sector when considering resilience: Are we ready for the new normal? Are we ready to rebuild? Are we ready for the next crisis? But what if the problem starts with the concept itself — with perceived lack of readiness as an excuse for exclusion in grantmaking, dampening innovation and risk-taking, or as a mask for inequitable resource allocation?

Funders typically determine whether the nonprofits they support are “ready” to grow, strengthen, or scale, when they should be questioning their own readiness to engage collaboratively in ecosystem innovation. Through this session we will examine new ways of considering the concept of readiness that are more equitable, inclusive, and grounded in dynamic engagement, and work together to create a more solid foundation from which to build and apply readiness as a gateway to positive social change.

Join us to explore:

  • Steps to level the funder-nonprofit playing field and effectively work in relationship with others on behalf of community strengthening
  • Actionable areas for shifting approaches to readiness that are more equitable and inclusive
  • Better preparing organizations to more accurately reflect upon and articulate their own readiness strengths and shortcomings


  • Julie Simpson, Partner and Director, Nonprofit Effectiveness, TCC Group
  • Jared Raynor, Director, Evaluation and Learning, TCC Group
  • Samantha A. Shaak, Ph.D., Director, Community Innovation and Evaluation, The Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health
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