A Guide to Choosing a Graduate Program for individuals interested in nonprofit and social impact work

We all have different life trajectories that led us to be involved in the nonprofit sector. If you’re like me, you got involved in the social impact sector based on a cause or organization that you care about. And now, you may be wondering how to build a career from here.

There are countless possibilities. Pursuing a master's degree may be on your list of things to consider. It can be a little confusing to parse through the difference between the various degree and certificate options. Below is a quick guide to some options in the Triangle area.

While I've tried to be thorough, there are probably other options for graduate studies. Please leave a comment with other great programs I did not address here!

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What does it take to be resilient while working at a nonprofit?

When someone says resilience, what comes to your mind? Do you picture a house, standing erect during a storm, fighting against the wind and the rain to remain upright? Do you picture an old tree, battered and swaying in piercing winds but continuing to endure the forces of nature? 

While resilience can often be compared to tenacious objects or organisms, it can also refer to people or even whole organizations.

According to the S. D. Bechtel, JR. Foundation, resiliency is the “capacity to respond effectively to change” and to “adapt successfully to new and unforeseen circumstances—and to seize opportunity”. It’s not the absence of change that creates a resilient organization, but rather, how an organization responds to change.  An organization is not truly resilient until it has met these unexpected conditions and thrived.

The cliché that we learn from our mistakes is utterly true. Through an organization’s trials, employees can learn how to truly thrive.  The same can be said of our personal lives. As human beings, we must all remember that we cannot separate ourselves from our work.

Here are a few tips for tackling unanticipated circumstances while maintaining resilience.

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Our Board Chair on YNPN and ReCity Network's New Partnerships

Before I tell you what excites me about our new partnership, I want to reiterate the mission and vision of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Triangle NC. 

YNPN strives to cultivate and support young nonprofit professionals in the Triangle by fostering networking, skill-building, and resource-sharing. We envision an inclusive and sustainable Triangle nonprofit community driven by emerging leaders.

It was Summer 2013. I had just graduated with my MPA from UNC Greensboro and was on the job hunt. Full-time nonprofit positions seemed scarce in the Triad, so I decided to try my luck in Raleigh. I tapped my small network in the Triangle and set up numerous informational interviews. Through this process, I was introduced to the YNPN listserv. It was a game changer!

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Storytelling for Nonprofits: Whose Story? How?

“Using narrative to communicate shared values of your organization to clients, donors, and volunteers.”

Storytelling is most often referred to as  a marketing tool, which has the unfortunate effect of making it sound like an inauthentic sales tactic. For nonprofits, storytelling can wade uncomfortably close to exploitation of the sad stories with the organization cast as “savior.” But, storytelling can do much more. 

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Stronger Financial Management Means Stronger Stewardship for Nonprofit Organizations

By Jim Norton, Senior Technology Consultant at Dean Dorton

“It’s not that hard.”

“It’s not so different from any other kind of accounting.”

“I’ve never worked in a nonprofit, but I have 20 years of accounting experience, so how hard can it be?”

Having dedicated much of my professional life and passion to specializing in the nonprofit space, these attitudes were prevalent in more than a few cases. Each time is as frustrating as the next. Accounting and Finance leaders in nonprofit organizations face these comments and attitudes every day from all different stakeholders. I’m here to remind you of something important: you are not crazy.

The financial requirements of a nonprofit organization have arguably never been more complex than they are today, and the future of the industry is only headed toward increasingly rigorous and granular reporting requirements. Already, FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2016-14, 2018-08, and ASC 606. Surprise – all these standards can and probably DO impact your nonprofit organization!

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Quick Takes with ZB, 2019 Summit Keynote

We just couldn't wait until May 17th to hear from ZB. Check out our micro-interview on all things fulfilling and fun.

What keeps you motivated to fight the good fight on the tough days? I know the tough days are a given and the biggest change I've made is making time for self-care before that happens, so I have the energy to get back up and keep going. When it gets too much, I have amazing people around me that inspire me to remember it's a marathon, not a sprint. Also, one of my favorite quotes from my favorite artist (J.Cole) - "If you truly believe it, that's step one. Step two, is, you know, the hard work that goes along with it."  

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Top Reasons to Attend the #nonprofitSTRONG Summit

Nowadays, you can use a host of online platforms such as webinars and Linda.com to access tools and advice for your career. But, there is nothing that can replace an in-person experience with amazing people and engaging content.

On May 17, YNPN Triangle NC will celebrate a great milestone. Our fifth year of the #NonprofitSTRONG Summit will unite nonprofit professionals all over the Triangle to share the best of who they are and what their organizations can do. Step up, step out and join us for what could be a career-changing experience!

We crowdsourced some Summit enthusiasts to bring you the top 12 reasons why you should attend the #NonprofitSTRONG Summit this year!

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Tips for Facilitating a Meeting

There are some things you can do on the fly—change your lunch plans, call your grandma, even skip town for the weekend—but facilitating a meeting should not be one of them. We have all been in frustrating meetings that run too long, stray off topic, or are dominated by Chatty Charlie. A skilled facilitator can save us all from all this by creating a space for efficient and inclusive meetings. This post contains five pointers from experts that will help you facilitate meetings that people actually want to attend.


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Tips for the First-Time Manager

As young nonprofit professionals, one of the most exciting stages in leadership development is when we begin to manage staff or volunteers. It is a time when our lens expands from our own to-do lists to include the tasks of others. Being a new manager does not necessarily require gaining the word “manager” in your title. Perhaps your boss is hiring an intern to help you out this summer. It could even be that you are picked to manage a group of volunteers for an annual event. In any case, you will manage people and that takes some preparation and deliberate skill-building. Here are some tips to getting off on the right foot.

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Volunteer Engagement: A challenge for the new year!

It’s a new year, friends. The holiday season of 2018 has come and gone, but the sparkle of people wanting to connect and serve others still remains.

With this sense of connection comes a heightened desire for folks to give and do more for their communities and causes they love. Enter: the volunteer!

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