What makes a successful nonprofit leader? Find out with us in 2017.

This past Saturday morning, I took a few steps outside, snapped a few photos, and declared myself over the wintry weather. I grew up in the Southwest where wearing shorts in December and January was the norm, not the exception. Even after ten years living in a place where snow likes to make a curtain call at least once a year, I’m still not on board with sleet.

But, I would be remiss not to marvel in the wonder of the stillness and calm a snowstorm can bring. For many folks in the nonprofit sector though, this is a time of action. Shelter doors must remain open to care for the people and animals without a permanent place to be safe. Health emergencies don’t stop because the roads are slick. And with many of us engaging in digital spaces to educate and advocate for our issues, the click of a button keeps us moving our work forward to our constituents in our state and around the globe.

At YNPN Triangle NC, our work to equip emerging leaders with the skills, relationships, and resources needed to be successful can’t stop in a snowstorm. We know that for both new and seasoned nonprofit professionals, the burden to do more with less increases every day. Here in the Triangle, we can celebrate the progress our region has made in tackling social and economic issues that are preventing our communities from having access to the quality of life they deserve. Still, the sheer amount of work ahead to succeed – not just make progress – can feel daunting. And we will need the best and brightest minds bringing their passion and perspectives to the decision-making table.

We want you to be successful in your work. To achieve success, you must have the tools that feed success. Therefore, we have created a new competency model that will guide our chapter’s work for 2017. This competency model embodies that skills and knowledge attributed to successful leaders.

Based on research and best practices, there are four main areas for nonprofit leaders to hone their knowledge and skills. Those are: effective communication, personal management, leadership development, and technical skills. Over the next few months, we will spell out exactly what falls under each of those buckets. From budget management to a commitment to equity, the skills required of emerging leaders are wide in range and all important. Our new Programming committee will create professional development opportunities that will touch on these critical competencies by thought leaders and practioners. Our Marketing and Communications Committee will provide resources and timely information on real-life examples of leaders using these competencies in their work. And our annual #NonprofitSTRONG Summit on April 28 with be the prime opportunity to come together as emerging leaders in the Triangle and collectively grow ourselves personally and professionally.

I cannot wait to see this competency model put into action. Our board is getting to work this upcoming weekend at our retreat, so be on the lookout for events and opportunities to plug-in and get involved. The change we want to see begins with us. And YNPN Triangle NC is committed to walking the walk and talking the talk with you.