The Value of Values

By Anthony Carter

What drives you? How do you make decisions? What values are at your core?

Straightforward questions, but when’s the last time you sat back and actually thought about it for yourself? Or, for your organization?  The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations, a document produced by Independent Sector, asserts that nonprofits should “develop a statement of values and code of ethics to help guide their policies, decision making, and operations.” From organizations likeKaBOOM to Public Allies, many of our nation’s nonprofits have understood and embraced the idea that strong organizational values lead to vibrant work cultures and potentially greater impact.

Recently YNPNdc set out to answer the questions above. Over the last few months, members of our leadership team met to reflect on who we are and where we’re heading. The result–a set of five core values for YNPNdc that represent our members and leadership and how we make our decisions.

Writing our values was the easy part though. As we move ahead into our second decade of existence, the hard part comes living and staying true to these values. First Lady Michelle Obama put it best when she said, “At the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.” The same is true for us as well as other nonprofits across the country. As public advocates we must combine our  values, vision, and life experiences to guide our work or the common good.

YNPNdc Values

Leadership: We are energetic young professionals dedicated to preparing ourselves and our peers to influence and lead the evolving nonprofit sector.
Opportunity: We are expanding access to the knowledge, resources, and connections needed to unleash individual greatness, advance our careers, and effect positive change.
Diversity: We are committed to embracing and working across differences for a more diverse and inclusive nonprofit sector.
Community: We are building a collaborative and cohesive network of young professionals able to leverage our collective talents, voices, and energy to make an impact.
Dynamism: We are changemakers—passionate about generating bold ideas and implementing even bolder solutions for the greater good.

Anthony Carter moved to DC in 2010 and serves as a Program Manager with Public Allies DC, a nonprofit organization that advances new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits, and civic participation. Prior, he was a Program Coordinator at The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington where he helped develop opportunities for leaders to discuss issues facing the region and decide on collective actions to address those challenges.  Anthony is a graduate of Kansas State University and is an avid fan of anything Colorado (his home state), history, and exploring DC’s restaurant scene.  Anthony serves as Secretary on YNPNdc’s Board of Directors.

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