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.
YNPNdc gave me the one thing that had been missing since I moved to the D.C. region in 2014: connections. Those connections empowered me to get more involved in the sector; they shaped my social network; they elevated my career. I have truly unearthed my strengths and pinpointed the career path that would mirror those strengths because of the people I’ve met through YNPNdc and the resulting resources. I’ve even made some lasting friendships along the way.
YNPNdc is embarking on a new era of change. We see members as “inspired professionals who are interested in strengthening the greater Washington nonprofit sector through networking, professional development and advocacy.”
We envision a community of inspired professionals equipped to lead a diverse and evolving nonprofit sector in D.C. and beyond. We want to strengthen the greater Washington nonprofit sector by activating, engaging and championing emerging nonprofit professionals and connecting them with resources, ideas and each other.
It’s the “each other” that has allowed me to thrive in the greater Washington nonprofit sector. We want you to thrive, too.
Blog by Tracy Gnadinger, the YNPNdc External Relations Director
Stay tuned for events and updates coming soon!