Sunday, June 1, 2008

YNPN is at it again!

The YNPN Phoenix Advisory Board, made up of Amber Martinez, Caitlin King and Christina "soon to be Spicer" Colletta and me, met yesterday for a strategic planning session.

We are very close to submitting our 501c3 application for nonprofit status. As soon as we submit the application we can begin to receive tax-deductible donations to fund our programs.

We used yesterday's session to, among other things, finalize our business plan. We have several community and business organizations who are interested in funding YNPN and we want a solid business plan to hand them when, after submitting our 501c3 application, we make our funding requests.

What's great is the four of us are all graduates of the Master's in Nonprofit Studies program at ASU (well, they are graduates, I have three classes left and will be done in December!). Starting YNPN Phoenix is a great opportunity to apply the best practices we learned in our course work.

It has been a blast starting this organization. Yesterday was especially fun because we continued to dig in and hash out what is the purpose of YNPN, how we serve our members and how we can continue to improve our offerings.

Here is just a small sample of the items discussed (some of which are still to be finalized, but all of which are very cool):

  • Our values include: We care for people who care for people; Every member is valued and important; We are a member driven organization, without our members, we don't exist; We work to sustain the passion of our members; Collaboration always; We contribute to a healthy civil society
  • Our members receive: Professional advancement, personal and professional development; An active network of peers; Opportunities to network and collaborate; Increased awareness of philanthropic issues in Metro Phoenix; Increased connections within the nonprofit community both socially and professionally; Access to resources
  • Our board will include: Active YNPN members in good standing; A tenured nonprofit executive; A member of the for-profit business community; An academic professional; A "next-generation nonprofit" young adult; A representative of our advisory board (made up of a mix of business and nonprofit professionals)
Along with these items, we discussed our future events, our January member planning-retreat, our technology platform, our relationship with YNPN National and our various community collaborations. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday and I left completely energized!

Part of my excitement emanates from the response we have received in our first five months in existence. The excitement we have witnessed for YNPN has reinforced the absolute need for this kind of organization and the desire for young nonprofit professionals to link into a network of active peers.

We hope our planning ensures the organization is responsive to our members' needs and provides them a real value. By always keeping in mind, "We are a member driven organization, without our members, we don't exist" we can be assured success. If our members are happy, we are happy.

I believe the world is ready for a new movement, a new zeitgeist, one which values people first and products second, and uses wealth efficiently as tool to create strong, healthy communities. The New Deal Era was a time of powerful, activist government; the 80's, 90's and early 2000's were all about big business; I believe the 21st century will give rise to the power of nonprofit organizations as the sector leading progress across the globe.

With that thought in mind, I also believe YNPN Phoenix has the power to create strongly woven networks among the next generation of nonprofit leaders. I believe these connections will lead to stronger leaders, improved organizations, a more powerful sector, and, ultimately, will make our community and our world a better place.

Power to the People!

1 comment:

  1. There is a bar in San Fran called Zeitgeist. That should be YNPN's headquarters.

    Congrats on moving the paperwork through!