Published January 20, 2014
In 2013, YNPN Atlanta saw some TREMENDOUS growth! It was a packed year that led to meaningful connections, increased professional development, and some great new partnerships for our chapter. Here are a few highlights:
Entering January, 2013, the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors more than doubled in size, creating a strong leadership body ready to take on new challenges.
The 2013 YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors (pictured here) accomplished an immense amount of work, including a strategic planning session mid-year and engagement in the new Chapter Congress process implemented by YNPN National. The YNPN Atlanta committees also grew to accommodate the increased programming in 2013, allowing more members to have an in-depth, career-building, volunteer experience.
- 2013 was the first year YNPN Atlanta presented a full slate of programming for networking hours and professional development. Memorable events included our State of Fundraising Roundtable which featured a panel of philanthropic experts, Perfect Your Elevator Pitch where we learned to speak with intention about ourselves and our organizations, Update Your LinkedIn Profile with social media advice and free professional headshots, Financial Planning for Nonprofit Professionals where attendees received excellent personal finance advice from authorities in the field, and fun networking opportunities like our Speed Networking, Business Card Bingo, and a fun Holiday Happy Hour at Game-X.
These are some of the questions we asked ourselves when we began planning YNPN Atlanta’s signature annual event many months ago. The event took shape through exploration of these questions and on Tuesday, October 8th, the YNPN Atlanta First Annual NextGen Breakfast took place at The Commerce Club in downtown Atlanta, with the incredible support of presenting sponsor, MailChimp.
First, we needed a fascinating keynote speaker that would draw our members to the event and be sure to deliver a motivating address about how to be an effective nonprofit leader. Alicia Philipp, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, did not disappoint. More on that in a moment!
Second, we hoped to find 10 additional local nonprofit ‘celebrities’ that would each have a table at the event. Attendees would then be able to choose the table at which they wanted to be seated, depending on their professional interests or desire to meet a particular nonprofit rockstar. YNPN Atlanta was overjoyed and humbled that everyone we reached out to was excited to participate! Here’s the rundown of our incredible nonprofit celebrity guest list:
- Kate Atwood, Executive Director of the Arby's Foundation; Founder of Kate’s Club
- William Bryant, Jr., SeniorDevelopment Director at Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America
- Ann Cramer, Senior Consultant for Coxe Curry & Associates
- Ron Frieson, President of Exte
rnal Affairs for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
- Virginia Hepner, CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center
- Alicia Philipp, President of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
- Amy Phuong, Chief Service Officer for the City of Atlanta
- Julie Ralston, Director of Center for Strategic Relations for the Atlanta Regional Commission
- Doug Shipman, CEO for the National Center for Civil & Human Rights
- Michelle Wells, President of the Junior League of Atlanta
- Valarie Wilson, Executive Director for the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
After welcoming remarks from YNPN Atlanta Chair Lindsey Hardegree, Alicia Philipp told us about her strategies for successful leadership, especially for those of us at a young age (see image on right). She spoke at length about the need embrace diversity, to get out of your comfort zone, and to continue to grow and learn, at one point going so far as to say: "Once a quarter, do something that makes you want to throw up." She also talked about the shifting dynamics between nonprofits, government, and individuals, and about the “meanness of spirit” that exists today, challenging nonprofit professionals to do something about it.
A few of the local nonprofit rockstars who were unable to attend to due to scheduling conflicts generously donated their time for our Silent Auction, and attendees got to bid on one-on-one lunches with them! We were able to get other fantastic items such as classes at the Foundation Center and at the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s Nonprofit University.
Personally, I sat at a table with Valarie Wilson of the Atlanta Beltline Partnership. We learned about Valarie’s path to success and she questioned us on whether we were preparing to take the next step in our own careers.
Even though I was often busy with preparations and the running of the event, I still managed to meet new people, network with some of our ‘celebrity’ guests, re-connect with folks I had met at previous YNPN Atlanta events, enjoy a great breakfast, and come away with ideas on how to better organize my career goals.
While planning the NextGen Breakfast, we hoped it was something we could replicate for years to come. With such a resounding success in its first year, you can expect that it will happen again in 2014. Personally, I can’t wait!
Please leave your thoughts on the event, suggestions for the future, or other comments below!
With so many amazing speakers and topics, I recommend that all nonprofits send more than one representative to this event every year, in order to take advantage of the opportunities for learning and growth.
I walked around the Exhibit Hall, visiting with the many exhibitors who were there, and several of them commented to me on how many YNPN members they had met. This was due in no small part to YNPN Atlanta’s collaboration with GCN on the 30 Under 30 Awards, and in the creation of the ’30 Under 30’ track at the conference, including bringing Trish Tchume, YNPN National’s Executive Director, to present at the Summit.
All 30 award winners at the Summit!
There was also fun to be had at the conference, especially at the Opportunity Knocks photobooth, run by wowphotobooth.com! Here's a collage of some YNPN'ers hamming it up: Edelman included the tidbit that Facebook posts create engagement for 2 to 3 hours only (on Twitter, it’s an hour or less), and 70% of post engagement happens in someone’s News Feed, not on your organization’s Page. Ms. Esker also wisely told the audience to get on Google+, but to use it as an amplifier, not a community builder. Google+ helps with search results, which is critical. (FYI, YNPN Atlanta is on Google+!)
Another wonderful presentation I saw was from Ellen Dracos Lemming and it was about the Donor Landscape of 2050. Check out this slide about the growth of the sector in the past 25 years:
She also spoke about the five Tectonic Shifts in donors that will be occurring:
- Demographics: especially age, but also ethnicity
- Technology: note that older Americans are already increasingly going mobile
- Globalization: “geography is irrelevant”
- Saturation: more like over-saturation of stimuli and information
- Brand: creation of a feeling, a personality, around your organization
Last, but in no way least, was the 30 Under 30 Session headed up by Trish Tchume and our own YNPN Atlanta President, Lindsey Hardegree on ‘Your Role in Cultivating Next Generation Leadership.’ We’ve got their presentation slides posted on slideshare and embedded below.
The group also discussed leveraging the benefits to the organization when asking for funding for professional development opportunities (ex: “if I take this training class in InDesign, we will save money on hiring outside consultants to tweak our graphics”).
Overall, I met so many amazing people at the Summit, and sat in on more than a dozen workshops, presentations, and discussion groups. YNPN Atlanta will keep you informed when next year's Summit comes around, and we will hopefully have discounts and volunteer opportunities for our members once again!
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We launched our paid membership structure at the end of 2011, and since then we've had tremendous growth. Many YNPN chapters feel confident in launching paid memberships until the day they start their first renewal cycle and have a very hard time retaining members. Not only did you renew your memberships, but we saw an increase! We are currently at 56 paid members, and we're growing monthly. We took our mailing list from about 100 people to more than 375. Not too shabby!
The number one thing that our members requested we add to our offerings was the opportunity to work with a mentor in the nonprofit sector. Ask and ye shall receive! In October we launched our Mentorship Program, which has paired 16 YNPN Atlanta members with mid- to executive-level professionals in our field. We kicked off the program with our Value of Mentorship event and heard from a fantastic keynote speaker, Patricia M. Falotico (Vice President, Global Sales Center Transformation, IBM) on some of the highlights and pitfalls of her mentoring relationships from the perspective of mentor AND mentee.
Some of our members celebrating 2012 at our Holiday Happy Hour!
This year we held monthly Networking Hours that gave our members the opportunity to meet each other while discussing topics such as how to stay informed about the latest nonprofit trends and learning new skills through committee membership. We held fantastic professional development events like our Strategic Volunteering Workshop with Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta CEO Heather Rocker (@hsrocker). We look forward to expanding our programming even more in 2013 with your feedback!The next big step for YNPN Atlanta is solidifying our presence in the metro Atlanta nonprofit community as the go-to resource for young nonprofit professionals. In November we filed for our 501(c)(3) status, which will allow us to raise funds to provide you with more professional development, interesting speakers and fun networking opportunities. To ring in the new year we've brought on six (yowza!) new members to our Board of Directors to launch YNPN Atlanta into the next phase:
2013 Officers of the Board Lindsey Hardegree, Chair/Governance Chair Molly Friesenborg, Chair-Elect/Member Relations Chair Renee Dubois, Secretary Tayo Adeyefa, Treasurer/Finance & Fundraising Chair
2013 Board Members Christine Brasile Rachel Ciprotti Austin Dickson Anissa Floyd, Events & Programs Chair Marci Tate, Marketing Chair Jewel Thompson
YNPN Atlanta sees an effective, viable and inclusive nonprofit sector in metro Atlanta that engages young professionals as an integral part of the nonprofit community, supporting those individuals in their growth and future leadership. We need YOU to succeed in our mission! We need you to attend our events, join our committees, and spread the word that YNPN Atlanta is a valuable resource to the nonprofits in our community. We are the next generation of leaders in Atlanta, and through the relationships and training offered by YNPN Atlanta you will be prepared to take your seat at the executive table!
On behalf of the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors, thank you for your commitment to our chapter. We look forward to more exciting opportunities in 2013!
Sincerely, Lindsey Hardegree Chair, Board of Directors