Eight (8!!!!) Chapters Added to the YNPN Network in 2013
The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network has grown by one new chapter each month over the past eight months, expanding from 27 to 35 grassroots groups across the country in 2013 alone, with 22 more in the startup queue.
This begs the question: in an age when traditional membership associations are struggling to attract new and especially younger members, what is YNPN’s unique appeal?
The response feels pretty clear to those of us involved with the network: Unlike the traditional “association” model where bringing a chapter to your community is essentially like opening a franchise that would look and operate the same whether it was in Austin or Little Rock, YNPN is an intentionally creative space for developing and connecting the next generation of social change leaders. We like to think of our network-building model as the equivalent of offering a pile of blocks, a lump of Playdoh, pipecleaners, and pickup sticks to the most expansive, young minds in the country. Then, through our core mission, we offer up the very basic instructions that chapters should build something with it that awakens a diverse cross-section of young people to their potential to create change in their communities, provides them with the skills and experiences they need to meet that potential, and allows them to build connections across differences.
From the National perspective, we believe that this model has taken hold not only because it is a creative space but because it’s nimbleness and deep reliance on community speaks to the way changemakers across generations are coming to realize we will need to respond to the ever-increasing, rapidly-changing challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and beyond.
As a chapter leader, how does YNPN’s approach speak to you?