Event Report—Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Professional Development

On Friday evening in New York City, young nonprofit professionals and interested individuals gathered for a panel discussion and professional development networking event. Sponsored by NYC’s Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and attended by FLiP and Changing Our World, the event brought together nonprofit employers, networks, and career seekers new to the field. Kieran Wilson, Grace Spangler and Geoffrey Hamlyn, FLiP contributors and editors, participated in the event and were excited to share their impressions with FLiP readers.

Held at the University Settlement building on the Bowery, FLiP and Changing Our World held court at a table during the networking portion of the evening. This allowed for conversation regarding FLiP content, Changing Our World’s transformative and innovative work in the philanthropic sector, and possible collaboration opportunities with attendees. FLiP is always striving to increase its distribution; the more voices we have contributing to our content and discussions, the more progress we can make. “The attendees were mostly young people who were looking to either transition into the nonprofit sector or develop their careers within the nonprofit sector,” Geoffrey reports. “We were able to provide them with articles and white papers by Susan Raymond, PhD, and spoke with them about why we are passionate about our work at Changing Our World and FLiP.” Many people signed up for FLiP during the evening, and are hopefully reading this post right now! They were invited to contribute through discussion postings or to write an article sometime in the new year.

The event also featured a panel presentation and Q&A session with handful of education nonprofit professionals. The presentation provided an engaging perspective from multiple positions within various nonprofits, all addressing different issues within the sector, and each individual responding to different job responsibilities and interests. Kieran recalls, “The discussion mainly involved the panelists answering questions about how and why they began working in the sector. They shared a lot of advice on how to get a job at a nonprofit. It also focused heavily on how everyone’s unique job and life experiences contributed to working in the sector.” It is always good to remember that the sector needs people with varied backgrounds to spur innovation and creation. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation; unique problems require unique solutions and distinctive minds to generate and implement them.

Grace came away energized by the excitement generated by the group. “I had a few conversations with people who were either interested in entering the nonprofit sector from the for-profit sector, or that were currently job hunting and were excited about networking events that would help them connect with others.” FLiP staffers were happy to meet more passionate and dedicated young professionals who will continue to add to the nonprofit sector in years to come. “The general theme that we heard time and again,” Geoffrey reflects, “was that people were looking to make a positive impact in society and that the nonprofit sector was increasingly appealing—even if jobs in the sector may often offer few ‘perks’ when compared to those in the corporate sectors.” This kind of energy is what will sustain the sector in future years, through recessions and subsequent bounce backs, through natural disasters and education failings. Passion to respond thoughtfully to these issues and more is what will continue to drive progress, and with it, bring hope to future generations of nonprofit employees and beneficiaries.

Learn more about the Second Annual YNPN Professional Development Fair.

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