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Transition from iModules to WordPress – Deadline February 1

December 22, 2010

After much anticipation, the Network’s WordPress platform is ready to implement! YNPN National is providing the hosting and basic support of the recommended WordPress solution, to your Chapter, free of charge.

If your Chapter is currently dependent on the iModules platform, beginning the transition and completing the process by February 1, 2011, must be a priority!  The iModules platform will no longer be available through YNPN National after that time, and your information will become inaccessible!  If you haven’t started to export your data and/or content, please do so (detailed instructions were provided in a Nov 22 email to the leaders list and can also be found on the tech site, accessible once you have been set up on the system, created specifically to assist in this transition).

If you had indicated through the Google Form that you are the main contact for this transition, Dana Skallman, member of the YNPN Tech Task Force, will contact you shortly via email, to confirm your Chapter information and create your user.  Once you receive your login email, you will be ready to access the platform to build your new website and have access to the tech site which is loaded with helpful resources and common setup scenarios to ease the transition.  (Chapters will be contacted in the following order:  (1) those currently dependent on iModules, (2) those that do not have a site, and (3) those that have a site (not iModules) but interested in transitioning to the Network’s platform.)

If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact Tuesday Çetin at tuesday.cetin@gmail.com.

Attention: YNPNers seeking Rockstar status

December 3, 2010

YNPN National is excited to announce a discount for YNPN members across the country on the just released How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar e-book by top nonprofit bloggers Rosetta Thurman and Trista Harris.

They have co-authored the first book of its kind to offer career advice beyond just getting your foot in the door of a nonprofit organization. The book is a collection of Trista and Rosetta’s advice and lessons learned- and is certain to be a helpful resource to a young nonprofit professional looking to get to the next level. It is an engaging read, full of specific tips and engaging anecdotes about Trisha and Rosetta as well as other young professionals.

Synopsis from their website:

Do you feel stuck in your nonprofit career? Unsure how to take that next step? How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar is an accessible, do-it-yourself map of how to navigate the nonprofit sector and gives you the tools that you need to move from entry level to leadership. This book is designed for professionals who want to build meaningful and rewarding nonprofit careers. How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar is based on the authors’ experiences as well as interviews with nonprofit rockstars who have supercharged their careers. You’ll learn how to develop meaningful nonprofit experience, build a strong network, establish a strong personal brand, achieve the elusive work/life balance, and move on up in your career.

YNPN members receive a lifetime discount on the e-book version at
http://www.e-junkie.com/shop/product/442001.php. Members can use the code YNPN to save $5 off the retail price.

Looking to take your leadership to the next level?

August 30, 2010

If you are committed to nonprofits, ready for a new challenge, and want to help lead the YNPN movement, we encourage you to apply here by September 27 for a two-year term (Jan. 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2012) with the YNPN National Board.

We are a working board, helping to steer the course of YNPN’s growth, national presence, committees, programs, and activities. We are looking particularly for people with skills and experience in:

  • strategy and organization development,
  • familiarity with organizations comprised of geographically diverse chapters,
  • advocacy and/or marketing and public relations,
  • financial oversight,
  • fundraising (foundations, individuals, sponsorships), and
  • technology.

Most importantly, we are seeking people who are passionate about the YNPN movement, are committed and follow through on their word, and are excellent project and volunteer managers. We also want to continue to diversify the board, not only in terms of race, gender etc., but also in terms of professions, geography, and involvement with YNPN chapters.

Below is a link to the board application, which will give you more information about the opportunities and responsibilities that come with National Board membership and the complete process to apply. This is an exciting time for the organization and board members will benefit from incredible professional and personal development opportunities. We hope you will consider joining us!

Link to the application:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dFVsdVlOZGxBeXBfMnByWURwQ01zUEE6MA#gid=0

If you have questions about the application process or about National Board service, please direct them to applications@ynpn.org.

Also, if you know of individuals who may be good candidates for the national board, please pass this information along to them.

The deadline to apply here is September 27, 2010. Selected candidates will interview with current board members in early October. Terms begin Jan. 1, 2011.

Second Annual Summit Aims to Shape Our Youth’s Legacy Today

August 27, 2010

The 30 Summit brings the nation’s top young leaders to New York this Labor Day Weekend to think big by asking: what legacy will our generation leave?

As the world grapples with the global financial crisis, a national healthcare calamity, and persistent educational and economic inequities both at home and abroad, our generation’s legacy is becoming increasingly relevant. The youth of America need to begin to forge their legacy now in order to have a seat at the table as leaders from around the world make the decisions that will impact our generation.  What if you had Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Meg Whitman, and Rick Warren in one room… 30 years ago? The Summit, by bringing together some of the most brilliant young Americans in one room thinking big about their legacies, seeks to do just that.

The 30 Summit is apolitical and therefore presents a breath of fresh air in an age when news is becoming more instantaneous and polarizing. In our homogenous and highly-segregated society, the Summit crosses socioeconomic and cultural lines and brings together vibrant perspectives that may have never been brought together in the same room. The Summit will allow its participants to think outside the box and take a long-term view in grappling with our legacies and the world’s global challenges.

Thus, from September 3-5 at University Settlement in SoHo, Summit participants – including a community organizer, university professors, faith leaders, a hip-hop wellness expert, a World Series of Poker player,  government leaders, a former nuclear submarine officer, non-profit leaders, and others – will come together from across industries and ideologies to wrestle with today’s (and tomorrow’s) biggest challenges. In addition to University Settlement, the Summit has partnered with the National Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of New York City, and Acacia Unlimited to make the gathering a success.

The format of the Summit resembles TED talks, the Aspen Ideas festival, and a Presidential Cabinet meeting – combined.  Each Summit participant gets 30 minutes to present and stimulate conversation on a topic related to their work and leadership. Every presentation must include audience participation and time for questions and answers, enabling the group to add to or push back on ideas, contemplate the cross-sector applicability of different concepts, and collaboratively engage in conversations around tough issues. As the ideas from the Summit percolate, participants continue their conversations beyond the weekend and carry them forward into their lives.

But the event seeks to inspire far more than its participants. By posting content from the Summit on its web, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, the Summit seeks to reach a broader audience. For more details and live updates, visit www.30summit.com.

Be a Brand or Be a Mission

August 15, 2010

The recent article in the Wall Street Journal on small charities being forced by bigger ones to change their names, colors and other portions of their branding really disturbed me. So now we, compassionate servants of social missions, are colorists?

I do understand the need to have a strong identity, but if you are constantly suing the other charities and keeping them from their mission, something’s horribly wrong.

Let’s not forget that we are social missions and well-run, well-financed organizations. If you really think your organization is losing money and/or manpower, go back to the drawing board and find a brand that can’t be duplicated. Consider a merger even, especially if both groups are fighting for the same cause.

For too long, charities and other nonprofit social mission entities have been caught up with being like for-profit, publicly-traded corporations.  Unlike shareholders that win if you maximize profit, you can lose your donors and stakeholders if they feel their money is being wasted or spent on overhead at the expense of the social mission.

Keeping that in mind, either re-write your mission such that it supports these type of brand defending activities or get back to funneling your money to the cause at hand.

What do you think? Is it ok to protect  your slogans, logos or other branding activities at the expense of yours (and other similar groups’ ) core mission?

Board Development for your YNPN Board

July 28, 2010

With professional development events happening frequently it is easy to forget to provide development opportunities specifically for our chapter’s board members.  The type of development I am talking about here is the kind that helps your board run more effectively and efficiently.  Professional development that also provides board members with a richer YNPN experience.

Board development doesn’t have to take up a lot of time.  Here are a few easy ways you can provide your board development opportunities in 15 minutes of a board meeting.

Assign board members to each development slot – During every board meeting you can ask an individual member to lead a 15 minute development task.  This could include improving a board process, getting to know each other better, or helping board members learn more about their own leadership and work style.

Have dinner together – Something we started recently in Grand Rapids and I have heard other chapters around the country do too, is we have dinner together prior to every board meeting.  We start our meetings at 5:15 p.m. with 15 minutes to grab food and talk at the beginning of each meeting.  This not only helps us start on time, but allows for our members to get to know more about others’ lives outside of YNPN.

Start with congratulations and kudos – Ask board members to congratulate each other at the beginning of the meeting.  Give everyone a moment to acknowledge the good work their fellow board members are doing.  Not everyone has to give a kudos, but a few for hard work the month before can go a long way.

Allow board members to bring their work experience to meetings – Allow members to share tools, tips, educational events, etc they experience during their typical work day.  Everyone of us has something we could teach fellow board members about our work.  For example, if one of your board members works at the Humane Society, they could walk the board through a 15 minute educational session on feral cats.  On the other side, if one of your board members teaches seniors to work with word or helps individuals be more productive in their emails you can provide them an opportunity to give their fellow members some tips.

Have advisory board assess board processes – Many YNPNs have advisory boards they use to help improve their work in the community.  Another way to use the advisory board is to have them assess potential or already established board processes. If they look at one process a quarter these can be discussed during board meetings.

None of these five things are rocket science, but all provide your board with a meaningful experience as a member of YNPN.  It is easy, as an all volunteer board, to get burnt out and mixing up some fun or otherwise educational experiences into our board meetings can help us to avoid a little bit of that.

Getting Our Money Right

July 24, 2010

The biggest challenge I’m facing in my chapter right now is finding a good and available finance director. The one I have is great, but has a lot of other activities in the community. I’ve had another express interest, but once again, he’s also very busy in the community.

In theory I could get along without having a finance director. Most of our events are at places where we reserve the space for free and people willingly buy their own food and drinks. However, for couple of our events, we did a 50-50 split where we put some money to our catering and other money to our organization.

As a result, I began the process of incorporation in the state of North Carolina. Incorporation was necessary so we could cash all the checks that we have and also start raising some money through PayPal. Also, our city requires all organizations, including nonprofits to have a business license and our foundations require 501c3 status or affiliation with one to grant money.

Another reason I’m working hard to get our finances together is that it’s imperative that we are able to continue to fund our sector. We may be non-profit driven, but official currency is the most popular means of exchanging goods and services. Our missions require us to make sacrifices to raise, spend and sometimes cut money.

We have organizations that compensate leaders at high levels, yet do hardly anything for their constituencies. Nick DiColandrea recently took a look at some of the sports related nonprofits in this vein. Other organizations do too much too soon and have to disband for lack of funds and support. Some go for years doing well, but due to dependence on one source of income, say a government grant or major benefactor, the loss of this source leads to their demise.

My next steps will be plotting an operations budget that’s sensible and in-line with what we can spend at this point. I also have a full board now and they will be getting out into the community and tapping into the grants and donors that exist to help fund our cause. I say grants and donors with an s because it takes more than one source of income to ensure long term financial stability. Along the way I’ll be upfront about who we are, why we’re here, what we do and why we need what we need.

So, YNPN family, how are you keeping your money right?

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