YNPN Blog: Resources, People, Ideas

The Story: Recap of YNPN White House Tweet Up

For the second time, YNPN was invited back to the White House for a tweet-chat with Jon Carson (@joncarson44), Director of Public Engagement at the White House to have a frank conversation about young people and the future of the nonprofit sector.

For the second time, YNPN was invited back to the White House for a tweet-chat with Jon Carson (@joncarson44), Director of Public Engagement at the White House to have a frank conversation about young people and the future of the nonprofit sector.

Guest Post: Must Have Docs for Nonprofit Student Loan Forgiveness

This post comes to us from student loan expert Heather Jarvis. YNPNers around the country have been relying on her eagle eye for advice and updates on the federal government's student loan forgiveness program (which many nonprofit employees qualify for). We are grateful for her latest blog post- info that many of us have been waiting for! You can also find more information on the public service loan forgiveness program by checking out the list resources Heather has curated.

3 New Documents Everyone in Government and Nonprofit Services Needs Right Now

The Department of Education today released the long awaited Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form!  Woot!

Folks in government and 501(c)(3) nonprofit service* can finally get that warm and fuzzy feeling that will come from the government saying “yes” your employment qualifies and “yes” you made x number of payments that count towards forgiveness.

Why This Is Important 
Student loan borrowers can earn Public Service Loan Forgiveness by making 120 of the right kind of payments, on the right kind of loans, while working in the right kind of job*.  But you also have to PROVE that you met all the requirements of the program.  That’s where the paperwork comes in.  

Nothing about Public Service Loan Forgiveness is automatic.  Not one thing.  Student loan borrowers will need to jump through a whole lot of hoops to establish that they have earned the forgiveness.  Flaming hoops probably.  But student loan borrowers aren’t afraid of a little paperwork, right?  We say Bring. It. On.

If you think you are working for a qualifying public service employer and you’re working toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, YOU NEED THIS FORM.  You love this form.  This form is your BFF. 

Run, don’t walk, and download these documents:
Instructions for Completing the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form
Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form
Department of Education’s Letter to Borrowers about the process

Read it all.  Fill out your part and take the documents to your work.  Figure out who is authorized to sign for your employer and ask that person to fill out their part fully and carefully.  Make sure everything is totally filled in and then submit the form to:

FedLoan Servicing
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

Or Fax to 717-720-1628

Do this every year and whenever you change jobs.  Keep copies of your W-2s and paystubs, and whatever else you think documents your employment or supports your employer's eligibility.  Keep this stuff until the end of time.  Forever.  And then keep it some more.  I recommend the paranoid method of record keeping in this case.

For help with the form call FedLoan Servicing:  855-265-4038

More from the Department of Education:  www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice
More details and opportunity to ask Heather during upcoming Free Public Service Loan Forgiveness Webinars.

*Note for all clergy, rabbis, priests, imams, preachers, pastors, ayatollahs, and others: New language included in these forms indicates the Department of Education is taking the position that an individual borrower’s employment does not qualify when the borrower is employed in a nonprofit organization and their job duties are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing. Heather will post more analysis and information about this recent development ASAP.

Check out Heather Jarvis' blog at askheatherjarvis.com for more timely, helpful information on the public service student loan forgiveness program.




Podcast Interview: Overview of YNPN Report

Trish Tchume, director of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), National, and Amanda Pape Lenaghan, Co-chair of YNPN San Francisco Bay Area (YNPNsfba) and Deputy Director Bay Area at Taproot Foundation, were recently interviewed by the Foundation Center for the Philanthropy Front and Center blog.

They discussed the recent YNPN report Good in Theory Problems in Practice: Young professionals’ views on popular leadership development strategies. The interview provides a great overview of the findings, what was surprising in the findings, and what the findings are saying about the future leadership of the nonprofit sector.

YNPNdc: White House Seats for State of the Union Address

For several months now YNPNdc has been working with the White House Office of Public Engagement to create a dialogue between White House leaders and young nonprofit professionals. This past week YNPNdc Board Chair Carlyn Madden and YNPNdc Leadership Council member Zach Dulli were included in a panel of young leaders asked to discuss what issues they would like to see included in tonights State of the Union address. Part of what came out of that meeting was a request for the White House to provide more outreach and follow up to young professionals.

YNPNdc will be tweeting live from the White House tonight, during and after the President's speech. The White House has asked us to encourage all YNPN chapters across the country to participate in this event as well. During the speech you can engage with YNPNdc through their Twitter account @YNPNdc and with the White House via @WhiteHouse & @JonCarson44. Immediately following the speech, pose your questions to a live panel of White House senior advisers by using the hashtag #SOTU. Be sure to include @ynpndc in your message. You can also post questions via the White House’s Facebook page.  For more information or to view an enhanced version of the State of the Union address and the live streamed follow up Q&A please visit WhiteHouse.gov

The White House is excited about the work YNPN is doing and this is a great opportunity for chapters across the country to engage on a national stage.  We encourage everyone to participate in tonight's event.

Links and Hashtags:

YNPN Named a 2012 Nonprofit to Watch

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently named the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network an "Nonprofit to Watch in 2012". Citing the hiring of our first national director Trish Tchume, the Chronicle includes YNPN in a list of organizations poised to "grab the spotlight because they are charting a new course or because they have appointed new leaders."
We are certainly excited for the upcoming year as YNPN celebrates its fifteenth anniversary!
Excerpt from the article:

A new face for young nonprofit employees
The 15-year-old Young Nonprofit Professionals Network has hired its first director and full-time employee—Trish Tchume, formerly of the Building Movement Project, a nonprofit that works to strengthen social-change groups.

Read more at Philanthropy.com

YNPN => Symbol Sign

This post comes to us from the Director of YNPN National, Trish Tchume.

A few years ago I became really fascinated with the AIGA Symbol Signs.  I’m not sure what first caught my interest about them but it probably had something to do with their connection to other things I tend to be drawn to – shared meaning, simple ways of stating the complex, or pretty pictures :).

I love the idea that, because of simple human ingenuity, a Tagalog-only speaker who falls ill as she makes her way through the Denver airport would know from the white cross on a dark background in front of her that help is close by.

I’ve been involved with YNPN for several years now but my first couple of months as director of YNPN – especially my time on the road – has crystallized for me how important it is for even the most savvy among us to have clear, identifiable ways of finding and accessing what we need.  It’s clear to me that YNPN has grown to be that for many young nonprofit professionals as well as those seeking to become young nonprofit professionals.  Here’s how I know…

At this point in my directorship, I’ve spent time with chapters in Phoenix, Chicago, DC, San Francisco (twice), and at home in NYC.  In each of these places I’ve met YNPNers who’ve shared more or less the same story.  It goes something like this:

I was working for [insert small nonprofit] in [insert city/town/hamlet] and I didn’t really know anybody else in the sector there.  So I heard about YNPN and I started going to events.  I moved to [insert city/town/hamlet where we are having current conversation] a few months ago to work for [insert new small nonprofit] and I didn’t really know anyone in the sector here – but I knew about YNPN!  So I started coming to YNPN events here and now I have a community.

I’ve probably had this conversation 6 times in the past 3 months and, as dorky as it sounds, I still get chills.  I love, love, love that this beautiful little idea that a few young nonprofiteers  dreamed up around a CompassPoint conference table 15 years ago – this little idea that so many of you have grabbed onto and nurtured in your own communities – has become the symbol sign for “inroad to my local nonprofit community” for tens of thousands of young people who want to commit themselves to change wherever they land.

As you all may have noticed over the past several years (and especially over the last 12 months) the world is finally waking up to the notion that the world’s most pressing problems are too widespread, too complex to be solved by any one person, party, organization or nation.  At the same time the world is waking up to the fact that the most vibrant ideas for how to build a better world also don’t live in any one person or company or organization or government - the best ideas live amongst the people.  And those ideas emerge when you create a framework and then allow people to bring their best selves to it.  We’ve seen that everywhere from campaign house parties to the iPhone app store to Wikipedia to the Occupy Everywhere movement.  And we certainly see it in the work you do as chapters of YNPN.

That alone would get me out of bed every morning to do what I can to strengthen this national network, but the conversations that YNPN has been invited to be a part of over the past several months have reminded me that, as a network, we have an even bigger role to play.

For example, on November 15, YNPN was invited to be one of the 200 government, nonprofit and philanthropic institutions to participate in the White House Forum on Nonprofit Leadership. YNPN was fortunate enough to be at the table during the White House forum to think through what these different mechanisms might look like. There were a number of recommendations that emerged from the groups which will become the framework for the Initiative for Nonprofit Talent and Leadership (click here to learn more about how YOU can become involved with this initiative!) Time and again however the refrain arose: “We need on-ramps and training opportunities for the diverse array of professional emerging in the sector. We need opportunities for them to network and build connections in the field.”  It drove home for me yet again what a vital role YNPN is already playing in advancing the sector and how well-positioned we are to play this vital role for an even greater number and more diverse set of change agents.

But how do we take our work to scale while maintaining the grassroots, people-powered ethos of the network that attracted so many of us?  We have some of the answers – stronger technological infrastructure, a more robust communications strategy, clearer channels between national and amongst the chapters so that resources can be shared more readily…But what else?  How do we make sure that the best ideas from all of you are harvested?  How do we make sure that YNPN becomes the symbol sign for an even broader, more diverse array of  young people looking to make change via the social sector?

On January 25th we’ll be hosting a webinar where we’ll begin to lay out the plan for gathering answers to these questions over the coming year (more info on the webinar to come!)  but we hope you’ll share your questions and ideas with us in the meantime via the comments below, Twitter (hashtag #ynpn) or by emailing me directly at trish@ynpn.org.

I couldn’t be more excited for what we’ll build together.

Report Released: Good in Theory, Problems in Practice

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network recently surveyed over 1,100 emerging nonprofit leaders across the country. Conducted in Spring 2011, YNPN’s National Voice Survey tested several interventions targeting leadership development in the nonprofit sector.  The full report was launched in the Fall of 2011 at Independent Sector’s NGEN conference.

Full Report Findings & Action Resources List Key Phrases

For additional information about Good in Theory, Problems in Practice, please contact: Trish Tchume, Director, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network trish@ynpn.org; (917) 300.YNPN

YNPN's 2007 Report: Stepping up or Stepping Out

In 2007, YNPN surveyed its then 10,000 members around the country to find out whether young potential leaders were leaving or remaining in their jobs, what preparations and support they needed to take on greater leadership roles, and how to best develop the next generation of leaders to replace the baby boomers. Some 1,657 people completed the survey. Read the full report.

National Voice Results: The End of the ED as We Know It?

It’s not news that the job of nonprofit Executive Director is challenging and demanding. Often filling roles that would be several staff positions if the funding allowed, Executive Directors are expected to master a broad set of skills in order to effectively lead their organization and ensure its sustainability. However, we are learning that in order to meet those demands an increasing number of Executive Directors are employing strategies to share leadership within their organization in order to distribute responsibility and to develop staff bench strength.

In Daring to Lead 2011 Brief 2: Inside the Executive Director Job, CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation highlight this growing trend toward shared leadership in the nonprofit sector. A collaborative approach to leading an organization can range from engaging staff in the responsibility of decision-making to replacing the singular executive role with several executive-level leaders. Defined broadly, the vast majority of the respondents in the Daring to Lead study described their leadership style as shared or inclusive of others within the organization. As a result, the report recommends executives, boards, and funders consider support for operationalizing shared leadership within the sector.

These findings are supported by YNPN’s 2011 National Voice Initiative, which surveyed over 1,100 emerging nonprofit leaders across the country. Conducted in Spring 2011 with a full report release expected in October 2011, YNPN’s National Voice Survey tested several interventions targeting leadership development in the nonprofit sector. The findings demonstrate that there a growing number of nonprofit organizations experiencing positive change through shared leadership. YNPN asked young leaders their perspective on moving away from traditional models of the Executive Director role by decentralizing responsibility and flattening the hierarchy. Although only a small percentage of respondents had experienced such changes in their organization, a significant majority of those respondents reported the changes were effective in building more sustainable and collaborative organizations. This positive response was significantly higher than any other intervention tested in the survey.

The results of the Daring to Lead and YNPN’s National Voice Initiative point us in the direction of an inclusive approach to organizational leadership, one that does not depend on one leader or structure but rather a team of leaders and a nimble organization ready to seize opportunities and address challenges. This approach not only relieves some of the burden placed on Executive Directors to be many things to many people, but also creates opportunities for young leaders in the organization to emerge. One of the hallmarks of the younger generation is a tendency toward collaboration, and this inclination will serve the nonprofit sector well as these young professionals take on Executive roles. Regardless of whether the structure is overtly nontraditional or simply inclusive of staff engagement, it is likely the nonprofits of the future will be employing this community-minded approach. The inclusivity that has made this sector so appealing to young people will be applied to our internal organizational models, resulting in a built-in development structure that values the talents and strengths of the team.

View YNPN's Full Report

This post comes to us from Lydia McCoy, Danielle Holly, and Dan Dobin- YNPN National board members and members of YNPN National's National Voice Committee, the team preparing for the upcoming release of a report on leadership.  Look for YNPN’s full report on emerging leadership and tested leadership strategies this November, and visit http://ynpn.org for more about engaging the next generation of nonprofit leadership.

The First Month: update from YNPN Director Trish Tchume to the YNPN Network

Hello YNPNers!

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who've offered your congratulations on this milestone for YNPN and this personal milestone for me.  It's been inspiring and fun to see all the tweets, facebook posts and to receive the emails and calls from all of you expressing your excitement for this new position and what it means for YNPN!

First, I wanted to bring you all up to speed on the haps of my first few weeks.  Here are some highlights:

  • September 13 - turned the YNPN Board Chair reigns over to the capable hands of interim Board Chair, Kim Caldwell
  • September 19 - began transitioning into the YNPN Director position as I wrapped up my former position at the Building Movement Project.
  • September 22 - got to spend some QT with the dynamic board of YNPN Phoenix chapter while I was out in Arizona for the National Conference on Citizenship.  (ps - Have you heard about YNPN Pheonix's annual Tour de Phoenix?  It's dope.  Check it out!)
  • October 1 - on my first official, official day as YNPN Director, I had the good fortune of being at the root of YNPN civilization - San Francisco Bay Area - and met with the YNPN SFBA board.  Here's what I came away with: YNPN SFBA is a powerhouse.  The 2012 YNPN National Conference that they are hosting is not to be missed.  You should be there.  More to come.
  • October 7-8 - spent two days in Baltimore visioning, reflecting, workplanning, storming, norming, performing, transforming and all other manner of gerund with the YNPN National Board at our biannual board meeting (graciously hosted for the 4th year in a row by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.)  Exciting and inspiring.  Big things to come, friends.
So what came out of that meeting and what does having a national Director mean for all of us and all of you?
The Big Picture:
  • The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network has always played a critical role in developing and retaining talent in the sector.  As the challenges facing society deepen, more and more people both within our membership and outside of our membership are looking to YNPN to play an even greater role in these areas.
  • As we move forward, we not only want to continue to provide the professional development and networking opportunities that have been our hallmark for the past 15 years, but we want to start shaping a deeper common narrative for our network and the impact that we want to have in the world - What will it take to move towards the more just and equitable society we all hope to acheive?  What skills, values, relationships and practices do we need to develop as young professionals in this sector to be able to work towards this more equitable world AND sustain ourselves for the long haul?  How can we leverage the strength of our network to influence broader conversations about what the sector can do to achieve it's social mission?
What this means for your chapter in the coming year:
  • We'll be applying our best thinking and strategizing to the issue of network infrastructure! As recently as last week, lively discussions about revisiting our tax status were bubbling on this list about revisiting our tax status - c3 v. c6.  This question is part of an exciting, much larger conversation that will be a central focus for the coming year.  The current YNPN network model works and, for the most part, works well.  But we have the power to be so much more nimble, connected and impactful as a network once we have greater clarity about the relationship between national and chapters, once have a better sense of when, how and how often we communicate, and once we have the infrastructure both in terms of technology and in terms of process to support a stronger model.  Over the next 12 months, our chief goal will be to gather input from each of you through various channels (including in-person forums held in cities across the network!) in order to shape the best model for our network infrastructure moving forward.  I'm couldn't be more excited to see what we'll come up with together!
  • YNPN will have a stronger voice in sector-wide conversations! In just a couple of weeks, we will be releasing our second-ever National Voice report based on data provided by all of you and your members.  Over the next year, I will be carrying the message of this report (and the message that YNPN can and should be at the table for sector-wide conversations) to conferences, panels, online chats and one-on-one meetings with stakeholders.  As you heard in last Friday's email from our National Voice committee, YNPN National will also be providing YOU and YOUR CHAPTERS with the materials and training necessary for you to be able to advocate at the local level for stronger leadership development across the sector.
  • We will be able to provide stronger support for chapters!  We'll be continuing with the webinars, chapter level calls and the chapter engagement plan that connects you directly with reps from the National board.  But this year, you'll see added benefits like:
    • new and improved features of the annual conference
    • deeper, direct engagement with affiliate chapters
    • a new chapter levels guide, enhanced based on your feedback
    • better data collection and dissemination to help you understand the network and your chapter's place in it
    • as well as increased offerings on the web platform (like the new intranet and a revival of the best practices resource center)
And this is only the beginning. I'm looking forward to spending the next year focusing inward on the network so we are in the best possible position to continue to raise the profile and increase the impact of YNPN in the years to come.  I thank you in advance for your enthusiasm, your hard work, your cooperation and frankly, your faith, in us as a network moving forward.  I know extraordinary things will come of it.
Looking forward to connecting with you along the way,

Trish Tchume


From the Front Lines- YNPN Members Share Perspectives on Upcoming YNPN Report

The crew at YNPN National couldn’t be more excited as we gear up to launch our network’s YNPN’s 2011 National Voice Report at the Independent Sector Conference in Chicago on October 30th!

The report highlights some of the biggest challenges facing the nonprofit sector today and provides insight into how young professionals and the organizations they work for are working to address these issues.

We can’t thank local YNPN chapters enough for all the support they’ve provided in making this report reflect the unique perspectives and innovative ideas of YNPN members across the country. Over the past few months, five of our local chapters have conducted focus groups to bounce the high-level report findings off members who experience these issues every day on the ground. Members from across the country sounded off on the hot button issues of leadership development, diversity, new organizational structures, nonprofit compensation and the changing state of the sector. 

These conversations, led by YNPN’s chapter leaders in Denver, Cincinnati, Twin Cities, Washington DC and Houston, bring the report findings to life, and we wanted to give you a preview of what our members are saying.

Why do you think some nonprofits embrace leadership development and others don't? Is it simply an issue of resources or are there other reasons why organizations aren't taking it on?

Conversations on leadership change are not happening between those in power and those who are not in power. “ -  YNPN member in D.C.

What about the other way around? Do young people have plans to approach supervisors and others and talk about how to develop? I feel like my workplace would be supportive of those conversations. It has to be two ways!”  - YNPN member in Twin Cities

When asked to hypothetically play the role of a philanthropist or ED and allocate a part of your budget, offering more competitive compensation was far and away the winner among all other categories.  Why is this so important?

“Nonprofit people ARE competitive and results-driven and want their hard work reflected. “ – YNPN member in Cincinnati

“It doesn’t always need to be money.  I think that it is sometimes extra vacation or shorter hours as compensation.”  - YNPN member in Houston

What do you think are the biggest benefits/biggest drawbacks of changing traditional organizational structures?

“Spreading the director responsibilities makes that position more manageable and allows several peoples' strengths to come together.” – YNPN member in Denver

“I've worked in the linear style organizations and there was a lot of passing the buck- where no one had to have an answer but anyone could have the answer. We were always scrambling to run smoothly.”  - YNPN member in Houston

Most survey respondents reported that the organizations they worked for had a diverse staff, but not at the management level.  What are your thoughts on diversity in the sector?

“It's treating an adaptive issue as a technical issue. I worked at a place that had a checklist of things like  ‘Do we have decorations of different cultures in our office?’. What it should be about is busting through your cultural paradigm.”  -YNPN member from Twin Cities

“There are definitely more women in nonprofit sector than in the corporate sector, but there are still more men in leadership roles.” – YNPN member in Denver

Although many respondents were committed to ensuring their careers focused on social impact, only a portion of those were committed to the nonprofit sector.  What are the implications for the sector?

“Why actually work at a nonprofit if I can make an impact in these other roles [nonprofit  volunteer or board member] and not deal with negatives of nonprofit employment?” – YNPN member in Cincinnati
“We need to anticipate a shift that breaks down the line between the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. That means finding ways for the for-profit model to be more responsible, and for nonprofits, looking toward new revenue models.”  - YNPN member from Twin Cities

What are your ideas on how young nonprofit professionals can help solve these issues?   Do you agree or disagree with the reactions of our members?
Read the YNPN’s 2011 National Voice Report A special thanks to YNPN’s local chapters in Denver, Cincinnati, Twin Cities, Washington DC and Houston for running focus groups and sharing the conversations with the network.