YNPN Boston: Looking Back at 2014

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Wow! It happens every year. One minute you’re relaxing on the beach in the middle of July and next thing you know, we’re bundled up on Boylston Street and only two weeks away from ringing in the New Year! This year has been nothing less than exhilarating for YNPN Boston thanks to our outstanding members and leadership team. In February, we welcomed a new team of over 20 ambassadors who have helped us not only dream big, but go after those dreams with outstanding success including:

Wow! It happens every year. One minute you’re relaxing on the beach in the middle of July and next thing you know, we’re bundled up on Boylston Street and only two weeks away from ringing in the New Year! This year has been nothing less than exhilarating for YNPN Boston thanks to our outstanding members and leadership team. In February, we welcomed a new team of over 20 ambassadors who have helped us not only dream big, but go after those dreams with outstanding success including:

As 2014 comes to a close, we asked our YNPN Boston board members and ambassadors to reflect on their year of service, professional development, and what nonprofit trends they predict for the New Year.

First, are you wondering what some of our leadership team members do?

“I assist with the Memberships Team in evaluating our current membership format, as well as explore the best membership option for YNPN in the year 2015 (through outreach to other like-minded organizations).” - Renee Quinn (Membership Team)

“I am on the design and brand "subteam." I had the opportunity to work on branding various YNPN Boston events, artwork for blog posts, and a style guide. I also had the opportunity to assist with communication strategy, social media, and event photography.” - Melissa Hines (Communications and Marketing Team)

“I develop strategies for raising individual donations to support YNPN Boston programming, and identify funding and partner prospects.” - Sam Schofield (Fundraising and Partnerships Team)

“I run YNPN Boston's Facebook page and am one of the liaisons between the Events Team and Communications Team to ensure that our members know about our events. Additionally, I collaborate with the rest of the Communications & Marketing team to create brand standards, manage the listserv & website, and handle all other communications needs.” – Alyson Weiss (Communications and Marketing)

How did YNPN Boston empower you personally in 2014?

“I was able to get a little more experience on the individual fundraising side, which was nice, since I work in institutional fundraising and grant writing. Additionally, I feel like I was able to contribute ideas and some unique expertise I have to a function outside of my day job, which has helped me build some confidence. Furthermore, building relationships within this great team has really boosted my confidence as well in that I feel like I have a reliable and trusted network of peers now, something that I didn't have a year ago, even though I was networking like crazy.” – Sam Schofield

“They gave me administrative access to their website on blind faith that I could improve it. That felt empowering. The site still needs improvements but at least it works a bit better now.” – Beverlie Sopiep (Marketing and Communications)

“YNPN Boston has given me a community of like-minded, young idealists in Boston. I really value having a network of people who understand the sector to run ideas, problems, or opportunities by.” – Alyson Weiss

“YNPN Boston empowered me to think critically about my professional development and career interests.” – Rachel Park (Marketing and Communications)

“YNPN offers such a unique space in which to grow professionally and personally. This past year in particular, I found great fulfillment in shaping and leading a team of six ambassadors. I was able to further develop my management and leadership skills as I, in turn, empowered my ambassadors.” – Heather Davidson (Marketing and Communications, Board Member)

How do you think YNPN Boston helped to connect the young nonprofit community in Boston 2014?

“The listserv is an amazing resource. While I don't have enough time or energy to go to all the amazing events or use all the resources and trainings posted on the listserv, at least I know where to look if I ever want to be inspired or feel motivated. I use the listserv to plan my future career.” – Beverlie Sopiep

“Our events always bring together people from different parts of the sector performing different functions. It's amazing watching the relationships that form at YNPN events!”- Alyson Weiss

“Certainly all of the events YNPN Boston hosted helped connect the young nonprofit community in Boston this year. I think the research survey also provided opportunities for building connections, as did the listserv. Furthermore, the great work of the communications team on social media and the website also helped promote our brand and create connections.” – Alicia Ridenour (Fundraising and Partnerships Team)
“I still think the Listserv is so valuable! I am now sitting on a non-profit board because of it -- and I check it daily for events and opportunities.” – Renee Quinn

“I think our in-person events, as well as our virtual efforts, such as the listserv, have helped connect young professionals. I think the most memorable event from this year was the Nerding Out to Get Ahead: Work-Life Balance, as it generated a lot of great conversation both before, during and after the event about the topic.” – Kim Kawecki (Marketing and Communications Team)

“I think YNPN Boston offered a significant forum for young nonprofit professionals. Events like the media club and Channeling Wisdom served as spaces for our members to share resources and tools to help deal with common barriers to positive professional growth. Spaces like those can be rare.” - Melissa Hines

What are you most excited for YNPN Boston in 2015 and why?

“What am I not excited about in 2015?!?! There are so many great things in store for the organization - from welcoming new members of the Leadership Team who will contribute their skills and passion, to the continuing development of our fundraising strategy and activities, to the ongoing expansion of our online presence, to strengthening operations and keeping us on a path to organizational sustainability.” - Heather Davidson

“YNPN National is initiating a new diversity & inclusion task force that I am excited to work on. They got funding to hire an outside consultant who will advise us on best practices for making sure our leadership reflects the Greater Boston community. Diversity & Inclusion is one of my biggest passions, so I am excited to get to work on this initiative and connect with other YNPN chapters.” – Alyson Weiss

“To really start fundraising! Grants, donations, sponsorships, everything. We have a lot of easy money sitting out there. Time to go get it.” – Sam Schofield

“To reconnect and refocus on what we want OUR membership structure to look like so that we're both valuable and sustainable.” – Renee Quinn

What is your professional development resolution for 2015?

“To make a career switch to the IT sector (fingers crossed) and hopefully stay working in non-profits in a IT capacity.” – Beverlie Sopiep

“Be more forward about reaching out for networking opportunities.” – Jacqui Gilbert (Membership Team)

“My professional development resolution for 2015 is to be more intentional about identifying moments/areas/issues in my professional day-to-day work that I can process with my boss as a learning experience.” – Alicia Ridenour

“I want to learn more about design and website management.” – Kim Kawecki

“My PD resolution for 2015 is to carve out more time to keep abreast of trends and best practices in the field of nonprofit communications and marketing.” – Heather Davidson

“Follow through on networking. Meaning, keep up the networking, but build a relationship with individuals AFTER we meet (and maintain them).” – Renee Quinn

“I want to "pay it forward." I still want to hone some of my technical skills, but I would like the opportunity to share them with organizations that are doing good work. Maybe even mentor.” – Melissa Hines

“My resolution is to find a mentor!” – Rachel Park

“I'm going to research grad schools! I'm not really ready to go back to school, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that higher education is important for a successful career in nonprofits, so I am going to start looking into different programs.” – Alyson Weiss

“To improve my public speaking skills and leadership skills.” – Sam Schofield

What trends do you predict happening in 2015 that will impact your role in the nonprofit sector?

“Implement more crowdfunding into our development plans! It's a huge trend now and we're not quite on board yet.” – Renee Quinn

“I'm most excited about the many ways in which storytelling continues to evolve -- and all of the ways technology keeps getting easier and more accessible for organizations of all sizes to harness in order to share mission impact in a professional, deeply engaging way.” – Heather Davidson

“I see the increased need for nonprofits to connect with their stakeholders, volunteers, donors and activists to engage them in supporting their causes. I think social media and technology will continue to offer increasing opportunities for organizations to connect with and mobilize their supporters and tell their stories.” – Kim Kawecki

“Collaboration. The way we interact with brands, information, our network is changing. As nonprofits look forward to growing and experimenting with new audiences and platforms there will be a desire to share or tap into other wells of knowledge.” – Melissa Hines

Thank you for helping us make 2014 an incredible year! Happy New Years!


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