In just a few short days, the 2013 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network–Twin Cities board application will be live on this very website, ready for you (you awesome person) to write a few paragraphs and put yourself in the running. If you’ve been to an YNPN event, you’ve seen board members circulating among members and planning behind the scenes. But why should you apply? I’ve found what makes board leadership worth it (beyond the people, connections, events, etc.) are the flashes of recognition, the moments you realize you are doing work that aligns with who you are. So put yourself in the future: it’s winter 2014, and you’re at the start of your first board term. Here are the moments that will make you happy you joined.
January 2014: You sit down at orientation with the rest of the new board cohort. The current board members leading the event are energizing, but more importantly they empower you to take action on major new initiatives the organization has in the pipeline. Somewhere between discussing the new YNPN Leadership Institute, and the National Conference coming to the Twin Cities this year you think, “these are my people.”
March 2014: You finish up coffee with your board buddy, a guide assigned just to you to make sure your specific talents find a place in the exciting but sometimes-unruly YNPN ecosystem. Having one person who’s clearly got your back makes your first few months much easier, helping you make an immediate difference.
June 2014: Wow. The YNPN National Conference just wrapped up, and you played a major role in managing member volunteers to make it all happen. You’ve also helped our chapter of YNPN show off on a national level—not bad for your first half of the year.
August 2014: You’re in the middle of the second event you organized this year, a lunch roundtable designed to help people understand their leadership style and take action within their organization. Remember that feeling you had back in January, when you felt empowered to step up in a new way? You just made that happen for someone else.
January 2015: It’s one year in, and you’re definitely in. You’re now chairing a committee, taking a big leadership role in programming and services that will shape the next generation of our nonprofit workforce. Not only that, but you’ve decided to lead this year’s orientation for new board members, so you get to share the same excitement you felt one year back.
Sound appealing? You know it does.