Thursday, April 4, 2013

5 Years, 5 Events

I'm pretty excited. YNPN's Advisory Board and Committee members are excited too. Why are we so excited? Because... 

YNPN San Diego is turning 5!

We're celebrating our fifth birthday with five events throughout the month of April. 
At this milestone, we're reflecting on the past five years and thoughtfully planning where we're going next. Your feedback from my last message, at our events, and through our social media is helping us to assess where we are and to chart the course ahead.

Many of you have told us you're in a similar situation of figuring out the next steps for your career, so we've put together a slate of events this month to provide the tools, skills and connections you need to advance professionally.
  • At our Book Club on April 10, we'll be thinking about the obstacles to success and how to overcome them (there's a free, short, and thought-provoking article as well for the book-averse).
  • The next night, April 11, we're having fun running around San Diego together on a scavenger hunt with a free beer from Stone. Join our team, make new connections, and have a blast. The first 25 to sign up get a free YNPN shirt!
  • For our Professional Development Workshop  Leveraging LinkedIn on the 18th, we've tapped emerging leader and LinkedIn fanatic Brandon Buzbee to share how we can best use this tool to grow professionally.
  • Our capstone event is our first-ever Saturday Meet & Greet on April 27. This free and fun event is a great time to mix and mingle with colleagues and friends, new and old. We are also thrilled to have Novak Photos shooting themost affordable professional headshots in town. Photo sittings are limited, so RSVP quickly!
  • Finally, closing out the month on the 30th, we'll have an informal networking breakfast with details to come soon. 
Whether you're new to YNPN or have been with us from the start, I hope you'll join us in celebrating our history and our next chapter as you each write your own

Sincerely and excitedly yours,
Lauren Grattan
YNPN San Diego

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We Want To Hear From You

If you’re like me, your January might have been a bit busy with reflecting on your career path, goal-setting, meetings, catching up after the holiday break and fending off a constant stream of germs -- without all that much time to focus on your priorities.  So February is a perfect time to put resolutions into practice. 

As I catch my breath after a whirlwind month, I’m so thankful and inspired that you’ve committed to strengthening yourself and the nonprofit community by engaging with YNPN, and hope you'll join us at an event soon.

I am thrilled to serve YNPN as Chair with a fantastic Advisory Board and Committees full of dedicated young professionals (note:we’re recruiting if you want to join the team!).  We’re here to provide the connections, resources, and leadership opportunities you need to advance your career and create a thriving San Diego.  

To that end, we’d like to hear what challenges and opportunities you’re facing, what you want to see more of, and what your plans are so we can helpWe’ve partnered with a graduate researcher to look at trends among emerging nonprofit leaders, and would love your participation in her survey as well as your direct feedback to me or other YNPN leaders.

You can reach me personally at, on LinkedIn, on Twitter or at an event. (Full disclosure: I have some pretty goofy tweets mixed in with the #emergingleaders)

Whether you’ve started a new role, are in transition, or are rocking your current position, we’re delighted to have you with YNPN San Diego and look forward to a fantastic year together.

Sincerely yours,

Lauren Grattan
YNPN San Diego

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thank You, Volunteers!

Volunteers are the backbone of YNPN San Diego. As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on our volunteers to build and sustain our programming and community relationships. 

With Thanksgiving (and the Black Friday commercials) upon us, I wanted to take a chance to thank all of the YNPN volunteers who have made this last year an amazing one. We could not have done it without you.

Our team of dedicated committee volunteers plan and execute amazing professional development and networking events that build capacity and connections throughout the San Diego community. To quantify their work, committee volunteers have help put on more than 25 events in one year. These events reached hundreds of young professionals in San Diego. That is no small feat!

Looking back on the last year, volunteers made such an active year possible. Our Social Committee volunteers have organized some of the most-attended Meet ‘N Greets yet, bringing together San Diegans from a variety of fields. The Professional Development Committee tapped into the expertise of San Diego leaders to share their knowledge and experience with the YNPN community. The Fundraising Committee secured our largest grant ever to ensure we can continue to offer top-notch programming for our members and the community. Moreover, the newly-formed Network Relations Committee has worked diligently to improve the member experience. 

New volunteers get involved all the time. For those of you that have been with us all year and those who’ve joined us recently, thank you. Your work does not go unnoticed and is much appreciated. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my fellow board members for their continued commitment and service to YNPN. It’s a pleasure to work and learn with them. I’m inspired by their passion for the cause and willingness to go the extra mile. While much of the board work is behind the scenes, it’s this crucial work that keeps us functioning day-to-day and makes YNPN's impact possible. Thanks, team.

Have a happy and safe Thanksigiving!

Post by Efrem Bycer, YNPN San Diego Interim Vice Chair. Efrem is an Economic Development Manager with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and developed BoardNEXT, a program connecting young professionals with nonprofit board service, with Momentum LLC. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vote with Your Mission this November!

Vote with Your Mission This November!
by Efrem Bycer

Nonprofits are powerful forces for good. These organizations expand educational opportunities for at-risk youth, protect the environment, support the elderly, and so much more. Today, the nonprofit sector generates about 10% of the United States’ GDP, employs over 10 million people, and impacts the lives of tens of millions more. 

That makes us as the staff, board members, volunteers and donors who care about nonprofits and their missions a powerful voice in every community and across the country. Periodically, we get to exercise this voice in the most meaningful of ways—we  VOTE!

Our elected officials and the policies they support shape our world in profound ways, often with long-term implications. This election year is certainly no exception with politicians on both sides, and in the middle, campaigning with policies that will affect the causes we care so much about. 

The stakes are too high for us to remain on the sidelines. That’s why YNPN San Diego has signed on the Vote with Your Mission Campaign. We need to make sure our voices are heard at all levels of government. We need to VOTE!

How can you join our campaign? Join our charge by going to the Facebook event and joining us. Once you join, post about the campaign and invite your friends and coworkers. Research shows social media increases voter turnout, especially among younger voters. The more people who go to ballot box, the better.

How can your organization join VWYM? Visit the VWYM Campaign page on CalNonprofit’s website. It takes just five minutes to sign up and they have all the resources you need. 

How can I register to vote? Visit your state’s elections page. California residents can visit the Secretary of State’s page to download a voter registration form. You can also apply for a mail-in ballot. 

How can I learn more about the issues? Read the news! Independent Sector, The Nonprofit Quarterly, The National Council of Nonprofits, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy are great resources. We’ll also be posting information on our event page. YNPN San Diego is also hosting a series of events in October. Visit for all the information. 

Our missions need us to cast a ballot this November. Don’t let them down.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Vision for the Future, Our Path to Get There

Our Vision for the Future, Our Path to Get There:
Be a Part of YNPN San Diego's Goals and Strategies for 2012-2013

Earlier this month, the YNPN San Diego Advisory Board and committee members got together for our annual strategic planning retreat. Through a series of mental marathons, we developed goals and objectives for 2012-2013 and the organizational structure to get us there. We’re very excited about where we see YNPN San Diego going in the future and we wanted to share that vision with you!

First off, we have our own unique vision statement. It says why we exist and what value we bring to the community. Tweet this: YNPN creates a thriving San Diego by cultivating a highly-valued network of emerging leaders dedicated to serving the nonprofit sector. This goes hand-in-hand with the YNPN National mission statement
We’re inspired by the vision and we want to see it come true. We identified three strategic goals for the coming year that will bring us closer to making our vision a reality:
  •       Expand participation in the YNPN Network. Our network is our lifeblood. Our network of supporters has grown exponentially since our founding four years ago. It includes Subscribers, who access our services at no cost, and Professional and Associate Members, who pay an annual membership fee to receive exclusive benefits. We want to grow our network so that we can facilitate greater professional development opportunities and connections that will benefit our supporters and the community.
  •       Improve the infrastructure of YNPN. Form follows function. For YNPN San Diego to achieve our goals, we must ensure that our internal infrastructure is strong enough yet flexible to support a wide range of activities and promote innovation. This starts by having a talented and dedicated group of volunteers involved at the committee level and on the Board. We’ll be working hard at bringing in volunteers from across San Diego who want to both contribute toward the cause and gain excellent professional development opportunities. We’ll also be looking internally at governance and systems to see where we can strengthen the YNPN San Diego experience.
  •       Enhance communications with all stakeholders. Strong communication with the network is essential for our success. We want to hear from you about what types of programs you want, what skills you want to develop and who you want to meet in the community. We’re going to improve how we communicate across the organization and improve transparency so that everyone in the network is a part of our vision.
Achieving our goals will require a collaborative effort from our program and operational committees. At the retreat, we revised our organizational structure so that each committee, including some new ones, have a clear purpose and defined objectives:
  • Social Committee. Meet and Greets are our flagship networking program. It’s our time to mix and mingle with other nonprofit leaders from throughout San Diego. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be rolling out some other networking opportunities over the year, and the Social Committee will be leading the charge. Committee Chair: Courtney Sanwo 
  •  Professional Development Committee. The PDC provides a variety of professional development activities and resources with content and format relevant to YNPN members. Over the last six months, its monthly book clubs and workshops/panels have been paired with a community calendar and member-only resource center. It’s also rolled out a new Lunch ‘N Learn program, and will be building on this momentum to continue capacity building programs. Committee Chair: Jessica Kort 
  • Network Relations Committee. Developing a stronger network means we need to focus on providing value to every member and subscriber. The Network Relations Committee will work to grow and sustain YNPN’s network of emerging leaders, by recruiting new individuals, ensuring that each supporter has a positive and consistent experience, and maintaining a strong membership infrastructure. It consists of two subcommittees: Recruitment (chaired by Katelyn Hailey) and Retention (chaired by Bryan Banville). Committee Chair: Lauren Grattan
  • Communications Committee. The success of our programs hinges not only on their quality, but also on our ability to keep the network informed. The revitalized Communications Committee will handle our social media strategy and execution as well as lead the development of a strong and consistent brand across the organization. Committee Chair: Lucy Lu
  • Fundraising Committee. The Fundraising Committee makes sure YNPN San Diego has the resources we need to deliver great programs and services to the community. They develop and implement our fundraising plan and take the lead on all resource development projects. Committee Chair: Lisa Farnan
Are you inspired by our vision? Are you excited about developing your skills and connections to take your career to the next level? All of our committees are looking to grow. If you’re interested in joining a committee, get in touch with the committee chairs to learn about upcoming meetings and how you can become more involved with San Diego's nonprofit community. Please direct any general questions to YNPN San Diego’s Vice Chair, Efrem Bycer.

Thank you for being a part of YNPN San Diego. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!
~The YNPN San Diego Advisory Board

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship, like smurf before it, runs the risk of meaning too much, of being thrown willy-nilly into sentences where more common words would do. So it’s understandable that those who care about these things would want to define it. Roger Martin and Sally Osberg do in their SSI Review article, and have rescued the term by distinguishing it from both social activism (the indirect things we do to improve or change the system) and social service (the ways we improve things through the system). What we end up with is a grandiose definition that would apply mostly to the titans of the nonprofit world. Simply put, social entrepreneurs are those who are successful at using direct action to create systemic, lasting change that results in the betterment of a lot of lives (think Muhammad Yunus, the guy who made microcredit a household word).

That’s a pretty high bar for Joe Nonprofit to jump over. So assuming our goals are a little more modest, what can we take from this? I think the concept might be helpful simply for orienting us towards entrepreneurship. By adopting the spirit and processes of entrepreneurship, we will be looking for opportunities to implement status quo-defying innovation, which, even if it fails to change the game, can help us find new ways to serve our constituents. And before we defy the status quo, we have to recognize it. So perhaps we can adopt a bit of that (social) entrepreneurial spirit just by stepping back, getting outside our bubbles, and seeing with fresh eyes the ways in which business as usual just isn’t cutting it. Once we’ve recognized those opportunities, we can smurf in ways that will genuinely impact our community.

Jonathan Wadley is the founder of America for Animals, an organization dedicated to making our communities more humane. He thinks that he is a social entrepreneur but isn’t entirely sure.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Building Capacity One Page at a Time

Since June, the YNPNsd Book Club has gone from a small idea into a monthly occurrence. It has become a space where members of the community, many new to YNPN, come to discuss the most pressing issues in the non-profit sector here in San Diego.

It’s funny really. I remember when I went to my first meeting to pitch the idea that we could READ about a topic (in what free time?) and get together and have substantive discussion around it. The thought was, “Well, let’s give it a try and see where it goes.”

I had not been reading as much as I would like, especially about issues facing non-profits and non-profit professionals. I wanted an excuse to make myself read more and then have a group with whom I could discuss the topic. A book club seemed natural, but this book club couldn’t be your grandma’s Sunday book club. I wanted to replace the gossip and crumpets with informed conversation in an edgy and attractive way.

I also wanted it to be something bigger and more impactful, which brings me to the real motivation to start a book club with YNPN. I wanted to help develop a professional development opportunity that would give people skills and knowledge to help fulfill their organizations’ missions while also building the capacity of the San Diego non-profit sector as a whole.

Getting people together to read and discuss these issues seemed like the logical choice. I saw that the YNPN chapter in the Bay Area had a book club, and it made sense to start one here. The book club would provide a different type of programming where we could build upon our collective knowledge and share experiences with each other as peers. Since many of us do not have formal training or education in the field, this type of peer exchange is a necessary way to build our individual and collective capacities to affect positive outcomes in the community.

The chapter is excited the book club has become one of YNPN’s most successful events, not in terms in pages read, but rather the connections made and the knowledge gained, which collectively help create positive community impact. Scott Bechter-Levin, a member of the YNPN San Diego Community Council and the founder of IdeaEncore and the Pacific Ridge School said, "Because the format encouraged deep conversations among dedicated and passionate nonprofit professionals, it was the best YNPN event in my three years involved with the chapter.” And we do it over happy hour, so it’s a win-win.

Moving forward, the book club’s success is evidence there is a need for robust professional development opportunities. The challenge now is to develop a series of programs, of which the book club is only a small piece, that benefit the YNPN community, and in turn the whole San Diego community. Through creating opportunities for San Diegans to build professional and personal relationships, develop new skills, and expand collective knowledge, YNPN can make a powerful impact in the region and even in the nation.

That means we need YOU! Please feel free to contact me with any ideas for professional development programs at

Monday, December 19, 2011

IdeaEncore Resources of the Month

IdeaEncore is an easy way for you to learn from others in the nonprofit sector, earn unrestricted income for your organization and share what you know. These resources will help you build invaluable skills for your career in the nonprofit sector. 
And don't forget to select Young Nonprofit Professionals-San Diego (YNPN-SD) as your Primary Professional Association when you sign up for a free IdeaEncore account.
Shared by Issue Lab and Created by Girls Best Friend Foundation (Free)
Shared by Concinnity Network ($9)
Shared by Jazzthink (Free)

Shared by Nonprofit Management Services, LLC ($5)
Shared by NonProfit Direct – Bloomberg Group (Free) 


Join our conversation on Twitter, Facebook,and LinkedIn, where we share information about local San Diego nonprofit events, job announcements, and share resources.  Thanks to Jamie and Scott from IdeaEncore for their amazing contributions!