Four Takeaways From the 2017 YNPN National Conference

I discovered the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network while pursuing options for my employer-supported professional development activities. Diving in head first, I attended the 2017 YNPN National Conference, “Leading Through Change.” Over the course of two summer days, conference attendees descended upon Atlanta to experience thought leadership and motivation from some of the best and brightest in the nonprofit sector. The conference inspired me to get involved with the DC chapter and as I start out on my own YNPN journey, I’m keeping in mind a few of the things I learned in Atlanta. Continue reading

Member Spotlight - Meet Kevin Jacobs

Kevin Jacobs serves on YNPNdc’s Board of Directors as the organization’s Chairman. Outside of his responsibilities of leading YNPNdc, he’s a lead member engagement analyst at the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Described as a motivator and empathetic, he’s most passionate about the environment, individual rights, and social justice. We asked Kevin a few questions about what inspired him to join YNPNdc. Check out his answers below, and be sure to say hello at our next event! Continue reading

Member Spotlight - Meet Malika Moore

Malika Moore is a social worker who serves on YNPNdc’s Board of Directors as Managing Director. Her wide-reaching career in the nonprofit sector includes experience in youth/young adult mentorship, homelessness, family preservation, geriatric care management, group work, and psychotherapy. With a passion for motivational and public speaking, she believes in the importance of serving and elevating others. Born in Texas and raised in Alabama, her favorite thing to do in DC is to take a nighttime stroll through the National Mall. We asked Malika a few questions about what inspired her to join YNPNdc. Check out her answers below, and be sure to say hello at our next event! Continue reading

What Does It Mean to Be a YNPNdc Member?

When I first attended a YNPNdc plug-in event (essentially an orientation on what YNPNdc is all about) in the fall of 2014, I envisioned a network that would not only offer me professional development opportunities but that would connect me to a community of like-minded professionals who could provide me with the support I severely lacked in my professional realm. During that initial introduction, I was astounded by the level of excitement exhibited by these YNPNdc leaders – leaders who had similar education and professional experience as my own but who volunteered their free time to provide a network of support and guidance for those nonprofit professionals who may be feeling lost in the greater Washington, D.C. region. One of those leaders happened to be our current Board Chair, Marie LeBlanc. She was a co-chair on the Membership Engagement Committee at the time and encouraged me to attend an upcoming YNPNdc Speed Networking event. I attended that event, perfected my elevator speech and learned some tricks for active listening. But more than that I made a friend – an actual connection with another young professional in my field. Continue reading

Starting Fresh: New Year, New Career Goals

Welcome to 2017! It’s hard to believe that another new year has already begun. As we look ahead, it’s exciting to think that all opportunities, challenges, and decision points for 2017 are still ahead of us – in this moment, anything is possible! The new year is a great time to dedicate an hour to reflecting about your career journey and development over the past year, and to think about goals for the year ahead. As we all know, nonprofit professionals are particularly prone to burnout, and reflection can help us remain centered and focused on why we chose to become change-makers. As Einstein said, "action without reflection leads to burnout, reflection without action leads to cynicism.” Here are some questions to consider as you reflect on the past year and the year ahead: Continue reading

Reflecting on 2016 and Planning for the Future

Dear YNPNdc members, It’s been a busy month for YNPNdc and for our country. Earlier this month, we elected a new president after a campaign season that was emotionally draining, painful, and divisive for many Americans. Now, more than ever, the nonprofit sector will play a critical role in serving the common good, empowering and supporting underserved communities, protecting our environment, and uniting communities that seem more divided than ever before. YNPNdc values leadership, community, diversity, and inclusion and remains committed to upholding those values as we support all emerging nonprofit professionals in greater Washington. Continue reading

An Open Letter to YNPNdc

Dear YNPNdc members and friends, Happy November! I hope you’re enjoying the fall weather that is finally upon us here in Greater Washington. Over the past year, YNPNdc has undergone several significant changes, and I’m writing today to share with you an update on what we’ve been doing, where we are now, and what you can expect from us in the coming months. As you may know, YNPNdc decided to take a step back from our major programs and activities starting in summer 2015. Although our programs and events were running successfully, we also faced organizational challenges like high volunteer turnover and burnout. We needed to invest more time and resources on developing our infrastructure in order to best serve you - our members. The YNPNdc board of directors recognized that we had a unique opportunity to do that, even though it required taking a break from our regular events and programs. From August 2015-July 2016, the YNPNdc board rethought the organization’s vision and mission, created a new organizational structure, and explored what a deeper relationship with the YNPN National Network might look like. Continue reading

Activate! A New Chapter for YNPNdc

A few of us at YNPNdc recently joined fellow nonprofiteers for the YNPN National Activate! Summit, a gathering of emerging social sector leaders, in Portland, OR. The summit constituted the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network’s 10th annual National Conference and Leadership Institute.   What made this summit so special? YNPN is a national network of 42 chapters with 50,000+ members, including a chapter in Ottawa (our first international city!). That’s quite a feat for a network started 18 years ago in San Francisco. The conference provided a great opportunity for leadership from YNPNdc to connect with the bigger purpose and strategy that drives our work here in greater Washington. We connected with leaders from the national network and fellow chapter leaders supporting young nonprofit professionals in cities across the country. Jamie Smith, co-executive director for YNPN, put it best on the second day of the conference: YNPN is one of the nonprofit sector's largest capacity building organizations.  Continue reading

Is Consulting Your Next Calling?

When I began consulting in my thirties, the learning curve was steep. So steep, that 15 years later, I developed an intensive two-day workshop, with longtime consultant Don Tebbe, to more efficiently bring new and aspiring consultants up to speed. When I started out, I remember thinking that my nonprofit sector experience would make up the bulk of what I needed to know. But that was only the beginning. It turns out that there are five key skill sets that lead to consulting success—only the first two of which come by way of working for nonprofit organizations:  Continue reading

More Than an 'I Voted' Sticker

As someone who had to wait three years and 11 months after turning 18 to vote in my first Presidential election, you better believe an election does not go by without me getting my “I voted” sticker—and that includes all state and local elections, too. When I first had the opportunity to vote, the personal importance of the event was purely that I was exercising my right as an American to influence the people who represented me in Congress. At that time, I was voting for “me,” the individual. I wasn’t thinking about which candidate had policies that aligned with my broader identity or life as a college student. I voted for the candidate I personally felt I agreed with more on the “big issues". Continue reading