YNPN Blog: Resources, People, Ideas

Multigenerational Leadership—A Story from the Immigration Reform Movement

(Cross-posted from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services’ Points of View blog)

The second in a 3-part blog series by Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint and Trish Tchume of YNPN 


Pedro Trujillo is 23 years old and has been organizing around immigration reform for 4 years, currently at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles(CHIRLA). He tells an important story of unintended consequences—of unintentionally pitting generations against one another in the national movement to pass the Dream Act.
"A couple of years into defining and creating the frame of who a "Dreamer" is, immigrant rights activists have concluded that immigrant youth (including myself) have accidentally excluded and vilified all other immigrants who do not fit within this frame of being young, educated, and English-speaking." Pedro laments, "It put us in the position of having blamed our parents, when in fact we are very grateful to them. We don’t want to criminalize our parents, just as we don’t want to be criminalized."

Instead, he says, he would like people who were pushed out of high school and did not obtain their diplomas to take ownership of the fact that they too are Dreamers. "I want immigrant grandparents and families to step out and say, 'We are Dreamers too!'"
With what he calls "the small but important victory of the Obama Administration’sdeferred action policy," multigenerational leadership was essential. "The whole reason we won 'deferred action' is that all parts of the immigration reform movement started saying the same thing, not just the youth."


Jeanne Bell and Trish Tchume   In co-designing our joint conference, Generations of Change: A Multigenerational Leadership Conference, YNPN and CompassPoint were committed to moving the generational differences conversation forward to how the generations can and are working together for progressive social change. One of our panelists was especially provocative on the topic.
The mainstream often expressed acceptance of the Dream Act because eligible young people were "not at fault" and were "brought here against their will." He says this messaging came about in part through immigrant-youth-led discussions on what language would work best and be viable with mainstream America.   Youth activists from CHIRLA’s, Wise UP! program in Los Angeles
"Once young immigrant leaders began to incorporate these talking points into their story of self, many other students adopted it without question. Naturally, politicos jumped on this messaging too, as well as the media and everyone else. I say naturally because it is easier to stand next to and demand for an undocumented student to be considered 'American' if they are on their way to a degree, than to do the same for someone who is a household worker or fast-food restaurant employee and is also undocumented.
And, Pedro reflects upon how his own parents and family have become politicized. "One of the things I have learned at CHIRLA is that young people need the backing of their family to be activists. My mom attends rallies with me now and is learning to speak out in her own way as part of our movement."

We agree with Pedro that activists across the generations have more that unites them than distinguishes them; our work together is the only path to meaningful victories in the work for social equity.
By Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint and Trish Tchume of YNPN
We thank the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Walter and Evelyn Haas, Jr. Fund for their investment in our collaborative national convening and this blog series it inspired.

5 Things You Should Know About the American Nonprofits Federal Credit Union

Those of you who were with me at the joint YNPN/CompassPoint Nonprofit Day back in August probably came out of the day feeling energized by all of the discussions about innovations that will help to create a more effective and impactful sector – everything from new models of multigenerational leadership to rethinking the way that we make decisions on the personal and organizational levels.

However, one of the most exciting innovations that struck me was the announcement of the pending launch of the American Nonprofits Federal Credit Union (ANFCU) - a federal credit union specifically for the non-profit sector.  So I made a note to follow up on this initiative and learn more about what it would look like, what it would mean for the sector, and what it might mean for YNPNers in particular.

So I recently had the chance to talk with Pamela Davis, the President of American Nonprofits, and Charlie Wilcox, the organizer of the American Nonprofits Federal Credit Union.  Here’s what they had to say about this new effort:


Dan Blakemore (YNPN National Board): Okay, first things first - how does a credit union work?

Charlie Wilcox: A credit union is a cooperative business equally owned by the members, 1 share per member and each member is able to vote on the organization’s activities.  The members elect a board of directors who have fiduciary responsibility for the organization.  The credit union is able to offer lower cost financial services for the membership.  Any profits are either distributed back to the members as dividends or used to support additional growth.

DB: So what will ANFCU mean specifically for the non-profit sector?

Pamela Davis: The credit union will provide a more efficient banking model for the sector, as it is typically more difficult for non-profit organizations to secure credit due to a lack of understanding of how these groups function.  ANFCU will also seek to raise awareness about our sector and how our financial models function.

DB: I’m sure lots of folks will be excited to hear that.  So what’s the timeline for the credit union’s development?

PD: By the end of 2013, we expect to have ANFCU up and running and serving members.

DB: Great! In the meantime, how can YNPN members and their employers support this effort?

CW: YNPN members can complete this survey that is the next step in the process to make the credit union a reality.
PD: We’re also looking for volunteers who have skills in data analysis and communications.  Additionally, we are in the process of raising $10.5 million in seed funding and are always interested in making connections with prospective funders.

DB: Those sound like really great opportunities for input and engagement.  Anything else YNPN members know about this effort?

CW: We see the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group as a successful model that proves the viability of non-profit groups creating their own financial institutions. Pamela has been a big part of NIA Group’s success over the last 23 years, so it is great to have her taking part in the ANFCU project.

PD: ANFCU will provide the means for the non-profit sector to support itself in a substantive and strategic way by leveraging our cumulative financial resources.
YNPN is proud to support the ongoing effort to create a federal credit union specifically for the non-profit sector, the American Nonprofits Federal Credit Union (ANFCU). For more information on this effort, click here and feel free to leave any comments or questions for Charlie or Pamela in the section below.  They’d love to hear from you! 

Multigenerational Leadership—What Is It?

(Cross-posted from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services' Points of View blog)

The first in a 3-part blog series by Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint and Trish Tchume of YNPN 

For both of us, inherent in all of this work is an appreciation that while our culture has recently become fluent in distinguishing the generations by name and key characteristics—"Millennials do this" and "Baby Boomers do that"—advancing social equity not only requires all hands on deck, but can be particularly strengthened by multigenerational leadership.
In that spirit, we’d like to offer a definition of multigenerational leadership. Note, we do not mean what each generation should do based on its place and perspective in the pipeline, but what we all should do together:

Multigenerational leadership is an organizational, network, and movement stance in which leaders of all ages prioritize their shared values and leverage the perspectives and capacities of all generations to achieve progressive social change together.
Does this definition resonate for you?

That’s why we were concerned by the results of a survey we took at our August 2012 co-designed conference, Generations of Change: A Multigenerational Leadership Conference. More than 500 YNPN and CompassPoint stakeholders from across the country attended. As we kicked the day off, we asked attendees to participate in flash research—a quick pulse-taking of their knowledge and beliefs about multigenerational leadership. Generations of Change Conference cartoon by Lloyd Dangle
Twenty-six percent of respondents said they felt no explicit effort in their corner of the nonprofit sector to embrace and leverage multigenerational leadership. Another 31% weren’t sure if they did—suggesting uncertainty about what we mean by the term and what conscious leveraging of leadership across generations could look like. While it’s a start that 43% did see evidence of these efforts, given the decade-plus we have all been at work on this, we hoped to be further along.

By Trish Tchume of YNPN and Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint
Resources: We thank the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Walter and Evelyn Haas, Jr. Fund for their investment in our collaborative national convening and this blog series it inspired.
 Jeanne Bell and Trish Tchume   The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) and CompassPoint share a deep commitment to nurturing a powerful and diverse leadership pipeline for the nonprofit sector. In our own ways, we have helped to shape the dialogue about who "next generation" leaders are; about what it takes to develop and sustain leaders in social equity work especially; and about what healthy leadership transitions entail as veteran leaders move from executive director seats into other sector leadership capacities.

Recruitment Officially Open for the YNPN National Board of Directors

Photo Credit: Shereka Jackson, YNPN PHX

Committed to nonprofits?

Ready for a leadership position?

Want to help lead the growing YNPN movement?

We'd love to work with you!  

YNPN National board members have the unique opportunity to play a critical role in the development and growth of the YNPN network across the U.S., to help shape a growing national organization, and to work to build a stronger nonprofit sector.
Participation on the national board is also an excellent professional development opportunity AND you  get to work with a fun and highly motivated team of passionate individuals (see photo above:)

We encourage all those interested to apply! Candidates reflecting the following attributes especially would help add to our board diversity:

  • young professionals between the ages of 22 and 28
  • men
  • people of color
  • those living in the midwest, pacific northwest or south (including Florida)
  • current or former members of local YNPN chapters
  • those with expertise in one of the following areas: advocacy, strategic planning, financial planning, or technology

Click here to apply or to learn more about serving on the YNPN National Board of Directors.  Applications are due by Friday, October 26th at 8pm ET. In the meantime, feel free to email us at applications@ynpn.org with any questions!

YNPN National Announces the LaunchPad Fellows Program

Photo Credit: Moua Lo, YNPN SFBA


The YNPN network was built 15 years ago on the simple idea that in order to access their full potential in the sector, young leaders need access to four things:

a strong peer and professional network, mentors, training on specific skills, and a place to exercise those skills.

For this reason, we couldn't be more excited to be announcing the YNPN LaunchPad Fellows Program – a way for talented folks who are interested in building their skills and experience in a very specific area to lend their time and creativity to a fast-growing, dynamic organization.

The past year for us especially has reflected our network's continued commitment to building leadership in the sector.  At the National level, we've made tremendous strides in building out our network-wide infrastructure via the YNPN 3.0 initiative.  And at the chapter level, the roll call at our Leaders Conference made it clear that the scope and sophistication of our local programs is growing every day.  These Fellows will play a crucial role in helping to support and advance this work while advancing their own careers in the sector.

Click here to learn more about the program and the specific positions available - and be sure to spread the word to anyone you think would make an incredible LaunchPad Fellow! 

(Deadline extended to Monday, September 24th.)


Reflections from CompassPoint Nonprofit Day 2012-5 Steps to Managing Up

This post comes to us from Kelly Cleaver from YNPN Detroit. Kelly was in attendance at the 2012 YNPN Leaders Conference and CompassPoint Nonprofit day shares her observations with us.
A good (or bad) manager-staff relationship can have a monumental impact on your job no matter where you work or what you do. In a perfect world, we’d all have the very best manager ever… but alas, that is not the reality we live in. Not everyone is going to have the perfect manager, but there are steps you can take to make your relationship with your manager the best it can be. Thanks to Howard Miller from Fulcrum Point, I learned a few great tips from his session at this year’s CompassPoint Nonprofit Day 2012: Generations of Change conference, “Coaching Skills for Managing Up.”
First, figure out what you need from your manager.
Have you ever felt like your manager expected you to be a mind reader? I know I have. Yet for some reason the thought never occurred to me that he/she might also be feeling the same way about me. You can help your manager be a better manager by sharing with him/her what you need. Figure out what it is that you need and communicate this to your manager.
Second, take ownership of your relationship with your manager.
If you need information from your manager, ask for it. If you want to meet with them, ask to meet with them. The more you take an ownership role in your relationship with your manager, the more you will get out of it. If you always wait for him/her to take the first steps, they may never happen.
Third, schedule one-on-one meetings with your manager that have an agenda.
Plan ahead before meeting with your manager in order to get the most out of your meetings. We’ve all sat in meetings that don’t accomplish anything, and everyone hates that! Don’t let meetings with your supervisor fall in the same category. Have an agenda. Know what you want to talk about and make it happen.
Fourth, follow through.
If your supervisor cancels a meeting, ask for him/her to reschedule. If they cancel again, reschedule again. Be persistent. Schedule meetings as many times as it takes until you have your meeting. Continue to ask for what you need until it happens.
Fifth, don’t place blame and don’t need to be right.
Focusing on negative thoughts won’t help you improve your relationship with your supervisor and/or make your job better—even if you are right! The goal is for you to improve the relationship with your manager and get what you need in order to do your job to the best of your ability. Keep that at the forefront of your mind and try not to get discouraged. Keep at it and keep asking!

Network Leadership: five steps to strengthening your network

This guest post from the YNPN National Leaders Conference comes to us from Sarah Kinser, founding co-chair of YNPN Little Rock and communications director for Arkansas Community Foundation. You can find her on Twitter @sarahkinser.

How can you build a movement to create meaningful change?

That's the question underlying Marissa Tirona's presentation on network leadership  at this year''s CompassPoint Nonprofit Day conference. Tirona, senior project director for CompassPoint offered a primer on this emerging leadership model, which emphasizes creating change through open collaboration, experimentation and shared leadership.

The practical takeaways for YNPN members?

1. Map your network. How connected are you, really? Take a snapshot of your network by plotting out connections with individuals and organizations on a web. You'll be able to visualize trends and patterns in the way people connect, and you'll be able to identify key partners who can help you extend your network's reach.

Set a goal to reach out to less-connected members of your web to help them establish more relationships, or target a few new organizations to add to your web.

Marc_Smith www.everystockphoto.com
Tirona recommends plotting your network map using bubbl.us, a free online tool for mind-mapping and brainstorming.

2. Identify "network weavers". Help your network thrive by recruiting leaders who will build and nurture connections. Every team needs:

  • Weavers/Connectors who excel in meeting new contacts (people) and matching people with others who share overlapping interests.
  • Project Coordinators who manage tasks, keep ideas moving forward, and maintain contact with team members.
  • Network Facilitators who convene people and help focus the network.
  • Network Guardians who nurture the network by establishing systems, communications processes, and resources.
It's not necessary for every team member to possess every skill. Tirona notes, "You can identify other people who have those skills and behaviors and competences and bring them together into a team".
3. De-centralize communication. One of the key ways network leadership differs from traditional organizational leadership is its assumption that anyone and everyone is a potential leader. Leadership is shared fluidly based on the situation and the skills needed at the moment.

That means everyone has to be in the know! Rather than holding key institutional knowledge within a central insider group, network leadership advocates throwing open the doors to create transparency and share knowledge. Within your organization, you can institutionalize communication practices that keep the entire network informed via social media, wikis, blogs, open meetings or member summits.

4. Position yourself (or your organization) to be a collaborator.Tirona says that one of the best ways to build your network is to start by listening. For YNPN chapters, that might mean taking a tour of nonprofits to hear about their work and to ask what services the YNPN chapter could offer that would be beneficial to their employees, or conducting a survey of other key organizations working to build the local nonprofit sector to learn about how their services overlap with, or are distinct from, YNPN's. Starting the conversation by listening creates an open space where natural partnerships can form.

 5. Learn more. Tirona recommends these resources for nonprofiteers interested in learning more about network leadership:

How is your chapter working to expand its network and share leadership?

YNPN Chapter Impact- Updates from #ynpn12

Coming to you from the 2012 YNPN Leaders Conference, YNPN chapters in attendance at the conference reported on their key accomplishments since the last time we gathered together as a network.
Every year this conference brings together chapter leaders from around the country to share ideas, energy, and perspectives on how we can take our work to the next level. Exciting things to come in the next year!


Chronicle Highlights Challenges Facing Entry Level Nonprofit Workers: YNPN Lends Loud Voice

This past June, YNPN partnered with the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance to survey our members about issues facing entry level workers in the nonprofit sector.

Over half of the 900 respondents identified as YNPN members.  So the survey results - which provided enough data for four compelling articles featured in the June 28, 2012 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy - not only tells the story of what is happening for young people accross the sector, but gives special insight into the experience of those attracted to the YNPN network.  Together the four articles tell the story of critical challenges facing our constituents, from concerns over healthcare access to mounting debt - challenges which mirror those of so many workers in America and the vulnerable populations often served by our sector.

To read the full articles, click through to the links below (Chronicle login required for some):


A Continuing Partnership: Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and YNPN

One of the stories that lives in YNPN lore is that in 1998, it was awarded its very first grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, with the help of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services (where most of the network’s founders were working at the time and the first home of the fledgling YNPN group in San Francisco.) The group was so excited for the vote of confidence and the support, but there was one problem.

“Back then, YNPN enjoyed such great support from its own community members (both time and dollars) to run the day-to-day programming and work, that actually spending the grant became a little bit of a challenge," recalls Nelson Layag, current Training Director for CompassPoint and one of the founding members of YNPN. “The grant, though, was important for YNPN to take the next step -  allowing the San Francisco chapter to thrive and eventually support the emergence of YNPN chapters around the country.”

Ultimately the group used the money to invest in some strategic planning and a marketing and outreach intern who helped give the group its first major membership boost. The story, however, offers insight into the culture of each organization—Haas, Jr. as a funder ready and willing to invest early in ideas with enormous potential impact, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services as an organization on the vanguard of supporting the next generation of nonprofit leaders, and YNPN as an organization focused on growing and diversifying its reach into communities from the very beginning.

Today, as that original chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area celebrates its 15-year anniversary and YNPN as a network stands at 34 chapters and 40,000 members strong, the Haas Jr. Fund has once again signaled its willingness to invest in important ideas at critical moments.  Last week, the Haas, Jr. Fund made a generous award to YNPN National to help underwrite the cost of its annual YNPN National Leaders Conference, held this year in conjunction with the celebration of CompassPoint’s 25th Annual Nonprofit Day.

We hope you’ll join us in thanking the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund for their continued commitment to YNPN. To learn more about the foundation’s progressive investments in cultivating leadership for the nonprofit sector, visit http://www.haasjr.org/.