A Board Member’s Perspective on Fundraising

A Board Member’s Perspective on Fundraising

This blog is a part of our monthly Board Member series.

In March, our treasurer Kari described the conversations that the YNPN Board of Directors had about being a network and what that means for how we work together with our chapters to shape the future of our work. As the chair of our fundraising committee, I immediately put on my “revenue generating hat” and wondered how we could model this change in such an important element of the Board’s work.

Jointly building a better future for young nonprofit professionals across the country is our goal, but how do we do that with our fundraising efforts? Perhaps even bigger than that, how do we communicate the importance of our work to the sector and model this network-mindedness through our donor engagement? 

Fundraising_Tree.jpg"I've never seen something like this before, even in my role as a professional fundraiser..."

Out of that mindset, our new annual campaign structure was born. For the first time we are offering the opportunity for chapters within our network to run simultaneous campaigns with major support from YNPN’s staff – creating a shared revenue model that both contributes to the sustainability of the network and raises the profile of many communities who are part of this vast network.  So often the social sector has a resource scarcity mindset and many nonprofits are fearful of a shared funding approach but at YNPN we believe we are more powerful together.  I’ve never seen something like this before, even in my role as a professional fundraiser, and frankly, I think it’s an amazing and original idea created by Amber and Jamie, our co-Executive Directors. Working together, we believe more funds will be raised than ever before, securing the future of our work and making the network’s impact extend even further.

Once a few logistics were ironed out, this innovative model was ready to launch and has already engaged YNPN chapters across the country. By inviting individuals and chapters to share the stories of YNPN leaders who trace their successes back to the skills and passions they discovered and cultivated through YNPN, the work of the network speaks for itself in this campaign. Passion, excitement, and impact are all on proud display. 

YNPN is poised to do something great with our fundraising campaign this year. Instead of just raising some money (even though that is really important too), the YNPN National Board is set to truly walk our talk of working together with emerging leaders across the country to make the world a better place. I can’t wait to see what the network comes up with next.


Caitie_Deranek_Stewart.jpgCaitie Deranek Stewart is the Assistant Director of Development at the IU School of Medicine. Caitie has been a member of the National Board since 2015 and is the current chair of the Fundraising Committee. She is also chair of Giving Sum's Fundraising and Special Events Committee, serves on the Executive Committee for the IUPUI United Way of Central Indiana campaign and is on the Board of the YNPNindy Chapter.  Caitie is working on her Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies and Masters of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and received her Certificate in Fund Raising Management from The Fund Raising School in 2014. Read more about Caitie's background here.

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