We sat down with Becca and Autumn, our YNPN.GR Board Co-Chairs to ask them questions about non-profit life! We hope you enjoy their insight into YNPN and working for a non-profit.
When did you join YNPN, and why?
Becca: In my first year as a nonprofit professional, upon graduating college. I noticed the camaraderie that the former YNPN-GR board members had; I knew that getting involved would expand my network and just give me general fulfillment in life after school. Plus, I brought it up to my supervisor at work and they even supported me by subsidizing my membership.
Autumn: I joined YNPN after I finished graduate school at GVSU. I heard from individuals I respected in the field that it was a great place to meet other nonprofit professionals and start creating relationships that would last as you all moved up together in the sector.
What has been the most memorable YNPN moment thus far?
Becca: It’s always a valuable experience when I grab a coffee or a drink with someone on the board or a member, either in a small group or one-on-one. It’s fun to talk about YNPN, but also get to know people beyond work.
Autumn: One of my most memorable moments was when we went through a strategic board recruitment process this past Fall. To see individuals who cared enough about the success of this organization to take that extra time and deep-dive into brainstorming fresh new voices to bring to YNPN was really inspiring.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
Becca: My favorite color is brown. Lame?
Autumn: Uh yeah, that’s weird Becca. If someone is eating an orange within a few feet of me, my nose closes and I can’t breathe.
What made you want to be a co-chair?
Becca: I wanted to play a role in the various functions of YNPN, from general oversight, to programs & events, membership, etc. (I started out as a Member-At-Large on the board for that same reason!)
Autumn: I saw the opportunity to use my skills in creating processes and structure to help YNPN get stabilized for future success.
How would you describe your leadership style? How do you approach your co-chair roles as a unit?
Becca: I am a supporter! I love to help. Autumn is amazing at ideation, and it’s awesome to work with her to share ideas, as well as be a part of leading the implementation of the board’s strategic goals as we work to fulfill them throughout the year.
Autumn: I love cleaning up dysfunctional processes (hey, nonprofit sector) and I’m not quiet about calling out things that aren’t working. Becca is a perfect counterpart because she never lets the mess bring down her excitement and enthusiasm, and reminds me to do the same.
Who do you look up to in the nonprofit world, why?
Becca: My colleagues from Kennari Consulting. Each of them have such a unique role working with nonprofits actively achieve their missions in the sector, whether implementing a community-changing campaign, ensuring they have a consistent annual fund, or seeking grants. I’m constantly learning from their management styles and work ethic.
Autumn: I admire women in the sector like Holly Johnson and Bryana Hopkins, who are constantly challenging themselves to learn new things and strategically advance the nonprofits they serve.
How do you refuel after a stressful day in the NP sector?
Becca: We’re in Beer City, USA! I grab a beer at a favorite brewery!
Autumn: I text Becca.
What can embers expect in the next year from YNPN?
Becca: Our co-chairs of each committee are cranking out programs, membership perks, marketing/outreach materials, giving opportunities for our supporters, not to mention another awesome Leadership Awards event. We have a great time this year – members can expect a lot of YNPN stuff on their radar!
Autumn: Ditto! We are so thrilled this year to have a full board and full committees -- they are planning amazing things! Between our current Conversation Starters and upcoming programming events, there’s multiple opportunities each month to connect and learn. I’m really proud of the work our board has done to expand our value-add for the community.
For those who haven’t joined yet, why should they?
Becca: Everyone’s so fun. And very passionate about the work they do. It’s great to have someone in your same career-space to lean on and discuss successes and failures.
Autumn: If you’re passionate about continuing to create spaces where we can all collaborate and form a better sector, you should join.
What makes this network different from other professional networks?
Becca: Our membership is the future of the sector, and we encounter you where you are. It’s tricky to find that “entry point” into an authentic professional network, and we are accessible to and advocate for the younger folks who are searching for that entry point.
Autumn: My favorite part about this network is that it’s not exclusive to one type of nonprofit professional. I think it’s important that fund developers, program coordinators, evaluators, volunteer coordinators, etc. are all in the room learning and connecting together. That’s the type of collaboration and relationship building that is going to create a more effective sector.
Anything else you want to share?
Becca: If you’re interested about anything YNPN, and want to chat, coffee or beer on me! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Autumn: Thank you to all of our current board members and committee members who have dug into the work of revitalizing YNPN this year! Your energy and commitment has created amazing opportunities for our fellow nonprofit professionals -- thank you!