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:
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.
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.
- Listen now! Hear the podcast through the GrantSpace multimedia archive.
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:
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
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 email@example.com.
I couldn’t be more excited for what we’ll build together.
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.
For additional information about Good in Theory, Problems in Practice, please contact: Trish Tchume, Director, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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 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.
As the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) prepares to mark its 15 year anniversary in 2012, the organization hits another milestone- the hiring of its first National Director. Trish Tchume, longtime YNPN member and current YNPN National board member, has been named to the newly developed position.
Growth and the State of the Network Over the last 15 years, YNPN has grown to over 30 local chapters with more than 30,000 members. Given demographic and generational shifts as well as the growth of the sector overall, the work of YNPN has become more and more important. As the network has developed, it has become an essential networking and learning conduit for young professionals in the sector with an exceptionally broad local reach into cities and regions across the country. Most importantly, many local chapters serve as change-agents, improving the caliber of work within their local nonprofit communities.
With the addition of a director, the national organization will be better positioned to focus on developing the organizational infrastructure necessary to strengthen the network, grow its programming support for chapters, pursue deeper partnerships with other national organizations, advocate for young professionals and continue to push wider conversations about sector innovation. (View the National Director Position Description.)
“YNPN’s growth throughout the social sector over the last fifteen years is an appealing example of scale. To achieve improved outcomes for vulnerable children and families, the social sector requires greater numbers of high-performing, diverse talent that can be networked and deployed throughout our sector. We believe in YNPN’s potential to continue to grow on a national scale and to serve as one of many key talent pipelines for the social sector. I am confident in Trish Tchume’s leadership as the first National Director and thrilled to have YNPN as a partner in our work,” said Rafael López, Associate Director of Talent and Leadership Development at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
A Visionary Leader and a Committed Member The hiring committee, comprised of chapter representatives and YNPN National board members from around the country selected Trish Tchume to fill the newly developed position. Ms. Tchume has been a long-time YNPN member, committed national board member, and an exceptional young sector leader.
“As a board member of YNPN Orlando for nearly three years, I have been so impressed with the level of passion and professionalism displayed in every volunteer member of the YNPN National team. When I learned that YNPN was seeking its first full-time National Director, I knew I had to be involved in this process,“ said Shari Orr, a chapter representative involved in the hiring. “Trish Tchume’s vast nonprofit experience will certainly prove invaluable to our organization, and to the nonprofit sector as a whole. I am excited to work under her leadership!”
Ms. Tchume most recently served as Director of Civic Engagement for the Building Movement Project following her position as Director of Training for Idealist.org. In 2009, she was selected for the inaugural cohort of the Independent Sector NGEN Fellows and continues to serve on the advisory board for the NGen program. Through her years of involvement with YNPN, Ms. Tchume has been motivated by the limitless possibilities that come from having young leaders pool their time, talents and relationships to build a stronger sector.
Reflecting on her involvement with YNPN and her selection as the organization’s first director, Ms. Tchume said, “I’m humbled and amazed when I think about the journey YNPN has taken from that small group of young professionals in San Francisco who decided to turn to each other for support, to becoming the organization we are today with over 30 chapters and 30,000 members across the country. Our numbers have grown exponentially, but one of the things that has always touched me about YNPN is the fact that our culture of mutual support and generosity remains the same. It’s a beautiful legacy to be a part of and I couldn’t be more proud to have the opportunity to be the person to carry that legacy into this next stage of YNPN’s journey.”
“Having Trish as our first National Director brightens the future of the network and the sector as a whole,” Kim Caldwell, YNPN National Board Vice Chair said. “We will be able to more effectively harness the power and creativity of our vast network to make meaningful progress towards the better world we seek to create. The network is already strong; Trish’s focus and accountability will only make us stronger.”
Haven't had the chance to meet Trish yet? See her video introduction below!
Thank You for 15 Years of Impact in the Nonprofit Sector We are excited about the future of YNPN and believe with added staff capacity at the national level, we’ll be better able to serve chapters, advocate on behalf of the network, and build a stronger presence nationally. We stand on the shoulders of those who have served YNPN before us and we stand together with chapter leaders across the country working to build a stronger nonprofit sector.
We are so excited to continue this 15 year journey together!
The following guest post comes from two founding members of YNPN Cleveland, Katie Artzner and Kari Mirkin. Both currently serve on the chapter's steering committee and wanted to share some perspective on YNPN Cleveland's recent work.
Is it the dreaded snowbelt season? The fact that we don’t get a shot at the Stanley Cup? Is it some other factor beyond our control? When we asked young nonprofit professionals if they have ever considered leaving their home base of Cleveland, Ohio for the sake of their career, 82% said yes.
Ok, first things first – the Cleveland caricature persists: A rusting, hollowed-out metropolis wearing plaid-on-plaid with white bucks, the Cuyahoga River aflame in the background. In the foreground, residents hold the candles of bitterness over bad sports breakups. It’s an old but resilient story – not the kind of thing you shake overnight.
So, when we at YNPN Cleveland wrote the newly-released report, Building a Career in Nonprofit Cleveland: Focus on the Nonprofit Identity, we knew we’d encounter high numbers associated with geographic dissatisfaction. We also hypothesized, though, that geography alone would be a chimera; that if certain flagging aspects within the sector were recognized and improved upon, the entire outlook of working here could change. That’s because if Cleveland’s got one truly enduring quality, it’s the capacity for change.
Founded in 2009, YNPN Cleveland is an emerging chapter, and we wanted to learn more about the working lives of our chapter members. Our recent report is based on a member survey we initiated and followed by a series of focus group sessions. I surmise that many of report’s major findings will resonate in Detroit, in LA and elsewhere, which is why you find this article on the national blog.
Let’s start with the broad strokes. No surprise, for instance, that we found Cleveland’s emerging nonprofit professionals to be eager for a challenge and well-educated (97% have a 4-year or post-grad degree). Another basic theory proven true: they are, by and large, attracted to the sector by a commitment to a cause or by a desire to “give back” to their community.
Nonprofit – that means you don’t get paid, right?
But what exactly IS the nonprofit job? Although the idea of working “for a cause” is typically ascribed to nonprofit work, the general public does not necessarily see the sector for its many disparate facets – world-class orchestras, billion-dollar private foundations, complex fundraising strategies, sliding-scale healthcare services. On several occasions I’ve been compelled to clarify that our chapter’s mission is not (solely) about promoting voluntarism; that our members generally seek for their nonprofit careers the same opportunities for advancement, training and benefits as their for-profit counterparts. So – is this misperception a marketing failure?
Are we so stratified in our goals that an over-arching “nonprofit identity” is simplistic?
Basically – is it drastic to say that the nonprofit sector has identity issues? Indeed, the low notes of an identity crisis are detectable in our survey; some of our respondents did not self-identify as nonprofit professionals, opting instead to describe themselves principally by subsector – as social workers, educators, etc. How important is it, anyway, that we define and promote a nonprofit identity? A recent article on the ASU Lodestar Center Blog points to the value of “sectorness” in providing a unified voice, for instance in the areas of advocacy and in increasing the professionalism of the field.
The ‘Swiss Army knife’ of careers?
Our survey found that while diversity of responsibility was rated as one of the main draws of the nonprofit career, job titles vary widely from position to position, making advancement across the sector a challenge. One organization’s program associate, for instance, is another organization’s project coordinator.
By focusing on skills rather than job titles when crafting their resumes, emerging professionals might have a better shot at transitioning from subsector to subsector, should the opportunity arise. Cleveland’s nonprofit leaders and university programs, for their part, could engage in an inspired collaboration to define the sector’s workforce skills by developing a taxonomy that could guide existing professionals on their career paths, help HR departments align titles with skillsets, and assist newly graduating students in understanding where their nonprofit career might lead.
And speaking of skills – formal training, mentoring and career goal-setting were the top 3 opportunities that survey respondents wished to see when asked about career development. Correspondingly, a low number reported that their current jobs offer such opportunities. If cash for training staff is not in the cards for some nonprofits, our paper suggests that employers consider flexible work schedules, allowing employees to pursue their own career advancement opportunities without having to take vacation days to do so.
Advanced degrees in nonprofit management are on the rise amid younger workers, and some of our focus group participants noted their ideas are not always taken seriously by their non-degreed co-workers and more-experienced managers. Since most survey respondents reported being employed in a nonprofit organization for under 5 years, we believe that this presents employers with an excellent opportunity to take steps toward instituting formal, in-house mentoring opportunities to bridge the gap between employees who are heavy on education but light on experience.
Further research into Cleveland’s nonprofit sector vs. other regions could clarify and build upon some of the survey findings that make up this report, but we hope our paper will generate some lively dialogue, filled with suggestions and ideas on how to move forward from here. One of the first solid initiatives to arise from this paper will be YNPN Cleveland’s launch of a formal nonprofit mentor program. We will begin accepting applications later this fall, with the goal of connecting interested chapter members to mid-career nonprofit professionals in their desired field or job type.
And while it’s anybody’s guess as to why some of Cleveland’s best and brightest might be considering a move elsewhere, anyone who’s visited Cleveland these days knows that Burning River is just really good beer.
About the authors:
Katie Artzner has a Master’s Degree from Kent State in Library and Information Science, and her background in public service has led her to embrace nonprofit work full time.
Kari Mirkin received her Master in Nonprofit Organizations degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2009. Her role with YNPN involves developing future nonprofit leaders in the region and promoting nonprofit work as a viable career choice.