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

Finding Your Niche at a Nonprofit

If you had asked me then where I saw myself in 10 years, I might have said I would be the lead evaluation specialist for education and training programs at a children’s hospital. But if you had told me I would one day lead social media initiatives for a health policy journal, I would have probably asked, “What’s social media?”  Although I have worked in nonprofits for the past seven years, I have changed job roles multiple times. And each time I started a new position at a new organization, I immediately looked for opportunities for development and growth. But I never thought I would be a Twitter aficionado or participate in implementing an organization-wide digital media strategy.  Continue reading

Application Status: Approved for Graduation

Three simple words served as the champagne toast to one of the most exhilarating, demanding, and rewarding experiences of my life. These three words indicated that I officially completed my Master of Science in Management (MSM) degree from the University of Maryland University College, and joined the eight percent of Americans who hold a master’s degree. As a firm believer in the nonprofit sector I chose to dedicate my higher education to nonprofit and association management. The part-time UMUC MSM program is valuable program that is designed specifically for working professionals. Students are required to complete the same major management courses on organizational theory, advanced statistics, finance, and strategic planning. In addition to these requirements students also chose a specialty (such as accounting, marketing, or nonprofit management).  Continue reading

YNPNdc and MPA@UNC Have an Opportunity for YNPNdc Members

YNPNdc is pleased to partner with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government to help our members earn a Master of Public Administration (MPA) online. As a member of YNPNdc, you are eligible to receive a $5,000 academic fellowship if you are accepted to and enroll in MPA@UNC, the online format of the School’s MPA program. Continue reading

Building Connections at the Annual Leadership Conference

You’ve purchased your tickets, read through all of the awesome sessions offered, and are getting pumped up to attend the YNPNdc Annual Leadership Conference. There’s a catch, though: you’ve never attended the Annual Leadership Conference before, and you’re not quite sure how to make the most of it. No sweat—we’ve got you covered! Continue reading

How to Keep Calm and Carry On with Your Database Conversion

Every nonprofit professional knows that databases are the linchpin of your organization. This will become exceptionally evident during a database conversion. Since the fall of 2013, the Folger Shakespeare Library has been transitioning from using multiple databases to using Tessitura institution-wide. This is an exciting time for the Folger as the conversion will allow staff to share data cross-departmentally like never before. However, a major transition like this one can also be stressful, and it's for this reason that I want to share tips about how you can keep your head above water during a database conversion at your own organization. Continue reading

Beyond the Next Job Hunt: Finding Your Ideal Mentoring Relationship

In Homer’s The Odyssey, Mentor was the character who had been given charge of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, while his father was away during the Trojan War. Although the man himself did not inspire the modern usage of the term, the goddess Athena was said to have appeared as Mentor to provide encouragement and advice to Telemachus in a time of difficulty. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was recognized for her shrewdness and skill in practical strategy. She was often an advisor to leaders and warriors. Even though Mentor may have inspired the terminology, Athena inspired its meaning. Continue reading

From meeting skeptic to active participant

We've all been in a meeting where it feels like pulling teeth to get people to talk, give ideas, or brainstorm. We also know that person who tends to dominate meeting discussions.  So how are you supposed to get the opinions of everyone in the room, when no one seems comfortable providing their input? Continue reading