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!
With so many job and volunteer opportunities, I was sure to get my foot in the door somewhere in the Triangle! In Spring 2014, I landed full time position in Greensboro afterall, but I continued to keep my eye out for opportunities in Raleigh. To my surprise, I learned that my Executive Director served on the YNPN National Board of Directors.
In 2014, YNPN held its first ever #NonprofitSTRONG Summit (I can’t believe it’s been 5 years!). My Executive Director made sure we were in the building. It was here that I had the honor of meeting Katie Todd, YNPN Triangle’s Board Chair, at that time. We exchanged cards and promised to connect post Summit. From this point forward, my life only changed for the better.
Katie came all the way to Greensboro (!) to have lunch with me. We enjoyed great conversation over a delicious lunch, and promised to stay in touch. A few months later, an email announced that YNPN Triangle was looking for new board members. This was a sign! With encouragement from my ED, I decided to apply. I officially joined the YNPN Triangle NC board in 2015, and the rest is history!
Since then, I have grown tremendously both personally and professionally. With YNPN connections, I was able to finally get that job in the Triangle. When it was time to find a new opportunity, YNPN enabled me to do that too! The skills I learned at YNPN professional development events gave me the tools to successfully negotiate my salary and ask for a raise. Most importantly, I have grown as a leader since joining YNPN. If you would have told me I would be standing on a stage delivering the opening remarks to the fifth annual #NonprofitSTRONG Summit as the YNPN Triangle NC Board Chair, I would have looked at you like you were crazy!
Because of YNPN, I have new confidence in myself. I am a much stronger, determined, confident, empathetic leader. I believe in our mission and vision because I have personally benefited from it. YNPN has established a sense of community for me here in the Triangle; I have expanded my network and made some really great friends. I can honestly say that through my interaction with YNPN over the last five years, I have become my best self.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
YNPN is leading by example on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious background YNPN offers all the opportunity to thrive. We advocate for equitable and inclusive workplaces where all people have a seat at the table. When every person contributes to the decisions that affect them and their organization, the entire nonprofit sector becomes more impactful. ReCity Network is the Bull City's hub for social impact. It is a place created to help the underserved thrive while promoting efficiency, innovation, collaboration, and inspiration among hardworking organizations in the Durham community.
YNPN Triangle NC wholeheartedly embraces ReCity’s Philosophy of Community Engagement. We are excited and committed to support ReCity’s core values to empower leaders most proximate to injustice who have the best solutions to address those injustices, serve the whole person and community with fairness and justice. A partnership with ReCity and YNPN Triangle NC means we can join forces to build equitable and inclusive access to professional and community advancement.
Benefits to Our Members
As part of our formal agreement, ReCity Network will host several YNPN Triangle professional development events at its 12,000-square-foot coworking, meeting, and event space located near the intersection of Broadway and Mangum Streets in downtown Durham. ReCity and YNPN will work together to select events in an effort to promote collaboration among the organizations and their respective members. Events will focus on some of today’s most pressing social issues by providing a platform for the marginalized and underrepresented to thrive.
Free and low-cost events will be designed for emerging leaders to gain the skills and knowledge necessary for their success in a nonprofit career. Additionally, these events will provide opportunities for attendees to build relationships with other social sector leaders. YNPN Triangle NC and ReCity Network understand that these connections are a vital part of a more powerful, cohesive nonprofit sector. Finally, these events will also be an opportunity for YNPN Triangle NC members to learn about how to become part of the ReCity Network.
We can all learn from each other, build relationships across communities and leaders, and make a difference in the lives of young professionals. With this partnership, our members will have access to more events and information to build better organizations and communities. I know there are a lot of people just like me back in 2013, trying to find their way to a meaningful career. My hope is that our partnership with ReCity will open up more opportunities for people to find themselves in the right room at the right time with the right people.