Call it millennial idealism if you will, but, for as long as I can recall, I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on my local community. However, it can be difficult to identify volunteer opportunities where there is a mutually agreeable fit between a nonprofit’s needs and a young professional’s background, skills, and goals. Cue YNPN Boston.
I initially heard about the YNPN Boston Ambassador program through a LinkedIn post from a Leadership Team member. While I thought a cohort of nonprofit Ambassadors was an attractive concept, I wasn’t sure that I was the intended audience, since my professional nonprofit experience is limited to an internship and my full-time position is in the private sector. But, I channeled my inner Mindy Kaling (“Why not me?”) and submitted an application a few hours before the deadline. Nearly a year later, I’m happy to say that YNPN Boston has been a valuable experience that has strengthened my network by connecting me with nonprofit agencies, professionals, and resources.
During my Ambassador term, the primary project I worked on was the design and development of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Survey and the subsequent analysis of its results. The project allowed me to leverage the survey design and data analysis experience I had gained in the private sector and apply it to the nonprofit sector. The survey, coupled with YNPN Boston-run focus groups, deepened my understanding of and connection to Greater Boston’s nonprofit community. Furthermore, the results of the survey will allow us to better align YNPN Boston’s future programming with the needs of our members and the larger nonprofit community.
In addition to reinforcing my technical skills, I made valuable connections by attending YNPN Boston’s regular networking and professional development events. The highlight of these events is always meeting other young professionals and learning about their work and passion for social impact. There were several instances when I was able to connect attendees with organizations or professionals that aligned with their interests and goals, which was a rewarding experience that represented both the need and value of an organization like YNPN Boston.
At its core, YNPN Boston is focused on empowering and connecting tomorrow’s nonprofit leaders, so it was great to witness attendees developing connections, in addition to facilitating a few myself. Moving forward, I intend to continue my involvement in the nonprofit sector, and, in that vein, YNPN Boston’s Ambassador program has been a worthwhile experience that has expanded and enhanced my nonprofit experience and network. Ultimately, my experience as an Ambassador has allowed me to make a tangible impact in my community by combining my passion for the social sector with my private sector background.
Matt Ng (“Ing”) is a Research and Evaluation Ambassador at YNPN Boston. In his nonprofit life, he serves as a Volunteer Leader at Boston Cares and a Volunteer Coordinator at Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread. For his day job, he works as a Consultant at Deloitte.
Matt graduated from Boston University with Bachelors of Arts in Economics and International Relations and minors in Political Science and History. You can connect with Matt via LinkedIn or [email protected].