Welcome to YNPN chapter leadership!

By becoming a YNPN local chapter leader, you're joining a network of passionate, committed and energized young professionals from all over the country. You and your fellow board members are a critical part of YNPN's work activating emerging leaders to build a diverse and powerful social sector.

We created this guide to help you become oriented to the work happening across the YNPN network and in our national organization. We've broken out the sections of the guide below if you'd like to view them individually or bookmark them, but we also guide you through the sections via links at the bottom of each page, starting with this one. You can also download the information in all of this pages as a PDF document.

Download New Board Member Orientation Guide [PDF]

Get started with our first section below on the history of YNPN!


Introduction to YNPN’s History

The very first YNPN chapter was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997 when a small group of young nonprofit professionals gathered to commiserate about their shared experience in the sector. Their challenges included low wages, little professional development or respect, few opportunities for advancement, and their desire to build more effective and sustainable careers.

They soon realized that they weren’t alone in these experiences and sought out other young professionals for support and development. They put up some flyers, made a few phone calls, and organized a meet-up at a local bar. They had high hopes that maybe a dozen people would join them. Instead, more than 100 people showed up that night and eventually, along with several hundred more people, became YNPN’s first chapter.

The very first meeting of YNPN is illustrative of the larger experience we’ve had as a network over the last 18 years. From our very first event, the growth of YNPN has surpassed our greatest expectations. Over the years chapters have spread across the country as members of existing chapters relocated to new cities and other young nonprofit professionals looking to connect heard about YNPN.

In 2002, the chapters in existence at the time joined together to form YNPN National. In 2004, YNPN National was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For many years YNPN National was an all-volunteer organization with a working National Board that provided support and programming for chapter leaders. In 2011, we hired our first Executive Director and began to expand our staff as well as our chapter support, programming, and national voice work.

Today the YNPN network has two full-time staff, four part-time fellows, and serves more than 50,000 members with chapters in 42 cities. To see where all of our chapters are located across the country, check out our chapter map.

Next >> What is YNPN National and What Do we Do?