Fifteen years ago, a group of young professionals working in Chicagoâ€™s nonprofit sectorÂ got together to address a common problem; there were not enough opportunities for them to interact, share best practices, or receive social and professional support. As a result, many of these talented young professionals were leaving the sector, and nonprofit organizations were losing valuable talent andÂ promising leaders.The grassroots efforts of these dedicated young professionals led to the birth of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago), an organization dedicated to providing support and resources to those working in the local nonprofit community. Flash forward to 2016, and YNPN Chicago is the leading organization to connect and develop young nonprofit talent.
Needless to say, this is a big year for us, and weâ€™re excited to kick off our programming with the ever popular Coffee with 9 Strangers, a small group networking event held multiple times throughout the year. This January, we will also see the launch of the 2016 Leadership Institute, where a cohort of fifteen talented individuals will embark on a ten-monthÂ program to equip them with key managerial and leadership skills necessary to successfully lead nonprofit organizations into the future. Weâ€™re committed to developing programs that fulfill the needs of our members, and you can be sure to look forward to many more carefully crafted networking and professional development opportunities in the months to come.
This year, the YNPN Chicago Executive BoardÂ will spend time analyzing our current membership structure, and discuss what it means to be a part of this organization. Our members are at the heart of the organization and give meaning to our work. We look forward to bringing back our membership survey where you will have the opportunity to have your voice heard.
This new year also reflects a significant time for our national network. In the past five years, YNPN has grown from 27 to 46 chapters across the country. Much of this growth is owed to YNPN National’sÂ efforts to build a diverse and powerful social sector. As the movement continues to spread and grow, YNPN National has seen an increased need for support from chapters, and is now moving towards the establishment of a formalized network. What does this mean for us? YNPN Chicago is and will remain its own independent organization, but we look forward to collaborating with National and chapters across the country on ways we can bestÂ advocate for young professionals.
As an organization run entirely by volunteers, we rely on the 19 dedicated members of our Executive Board to serve the needs of our members. As we work tirelessly to serve you, please think about including YNPN Chicago in your New Yearâ€™s resolutions — come to our events, tell your friends and colleagues about us, engage with our community online, and consider donating to help cover our operational costs.
On behalf of the YNPN Chicago Executive Board, thank you for being a member. We look forward to helping you achieve your professional goals in 2016, and we hope to see you at an event soon.
Katie Pieper & Carlos A. Trejo
YNPN Chicago Executive Chairs