Growth as a Chapter Leader
"One of the things we talk about a lot when recruiting volunteers and board members, in addition to having something on your resume, is that you can build skills and relationships and test the waters and practice things you will be able to use in your career in the future. So many of us on the board have done exactly that." -Lindsey Hardegree, YNPN Atlanta Founding Board Member
This blog is part of our Where are they now? Series featuring YNPN leaders from across the country. Check out the #YNPNstory campaign to learn more and share your story!
Interview with Lindsey Hardegree, YNPN Atlanta Founding Board Member
Q: What is your name, current employer and job title?
A: My name is Lindsey Hardegree and I am the Executive Director at Episcopal Charities Foundation.
Q: How long have you been working there?
A: Actually I am brand new and it has been just about a month.
Q: That’s exciting! How did you end up in this position?
A: Well now that’s somewhat of a long story. I was previously the development director at a different organization and left that position last May. I decided to take a year off and decided that this would be a really good fit for me.
Q: Do you attribute any of your experiences through YNPN Atlanta to helping you land this position?
A: Absolutely! The experience with YNPN Atlanta gave me a one up for this position over other people that had applied. In addition to communications, operations and fundraising in this position, I will be administering a grant program. I have never had specific professional grant experience but I was able to highlight my in depth experience running a grant program through YNPN Atlanta.
Q: What is your history of working with YNPN Atlanta?
A: I am a founding board member. Now there was an Atlanta chapter that started a while ago with graduate students but all of the participants moved away. So in January of 2011, one of the original people in that group was still in Atlanta and she posted on a listserv that there wasn’t a chapter any more and she wanted to see if there was interest in starting one up. That created the steering committee which decided to build up the chapter again. A few of us showed up and have taken it to where it is now. We just celebrated our 5th anniversary in April.
Q: And has YNPN Atlanta grown since you’ve been involved?
A: It’s kind of amazing how it has. We started off wanting paid membership and never anticipated struggling with it. We have always had more members than we budget for. We do happy hours every few months, professional development events every other month, a signature breakfast event once a year which is extremely popular, and now just hit the 1 year mark on our opportunity grant program. That’s something we are really proud of because it’s a really unique thing that our chapter does.
We gave away around $7,000 through the grant program this year. We have a quarterly cycle where people apply to be a part of that program. Depending on the opportunity, such as a conference, programs or airfare to an event, we help fund different amounts for the applications that we accept. 12-13 people usually get funded each year.
Q: So what would you say was the most beneficial part of being involved in YNPN Atlanta?
A: One of the things we talk about a lot when recruiting volunteers and board members, in addition to having something on your resume, is that you can build skills and relationships and test the waters and practice things you will be able to use in your career in the future. So many of us on the board have done exactly that. For 3 years I acted as an Executive Director for a small org. That was a really great experience for me as far as leadership development. Board management has been a huge part of me joining other boards. My first formal ask for a fundraising sponsor was through YNPN several years ago.
I’ve been able to grow myself through my involvement. I am currently serving as treasurer for YNPN Atlanta, and we are now a 501(c)3 using QuickBooks to manage our account. Everything I’ve done has allowed me to grow my skills over the past 5 years.
The people you meet you grow partnerships with outside of the network. Some of my best friends I have met through my experience with YNPN.
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