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

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