We all know that weekly one-on-ones with direct reports aren't the only situations in which employees use management skills. You can manage up or across; you can manage projects or expectations; and you don't have to be someone's supervisor to be a leader. That said, it can be difficult to prove you're ready to lead people and teams if no one has ever reported to you. Read on to find five ways to flex your management muscles when you don't have direct reports, and show your superiors that you're up to the challenge when a leadership opportunity comes your way.Read more
Michelle McSweeney, a member of the 2016 Leadership Institute cohort, shares her experience participating in the program and discovering her growth potential as a leader in the nonprofit field. Applications for YNPN Chicago's annual Leadership Institute open each fall.
I started my career in the nonprofit sector as an unpaid intern with the American Red Cross, and today serve as the Manager for our Service to the Armed Forces and International Services programs. My goal is to ensure that our refugee communities and military families in Chicago are not only prepared for an emergency, but also can find and connect with their loved ones across the globe when disaster strikes.Read more
Giving Tuesday is quickly approaching, but there is still time to put together a short video to help publicize your campaign. Many of us have found this new giving tradition to be an excellent tool for connecting with new donors, while leveraging social media and email marketing to tell our client's stories and communicating the importance of our mission. Online video is an essential to making those connections, but where to start?Read more
What is The Brink of Impact?
We started talking about creating a podcast because we wanted to talk to people like us and individuals in the first few years of their social impact careers, still in the figuring-it-out phase, who can share experiences, advice, and resources. We have found these peer-to-peer conversations valuable among our own circles and felt that a podcast would allow us to open up the conversation to a wider network. The result was The Brink of Impact and our goal is to share the stories and experiences of young people in the nonprofit sector through interviews and get our listeners excited about the many different paths you can take to pursue social impact. In each episode, we interview an individual about their journey so far, discuss the best ways to land that perfect job, and share social impact news and resources.Read more
You would think that competition would be a huge issue at the Chicago Literacy Alliance (CLA). We're comprised of nonprofits that have a literacy program or component, and we often work in the same schools and neighborhoods. Surprisingly, it isn't. Collaboration is at the core of the CLA , and we've found that when people work together, even if they have similar missions and constituents, they benefit more from learning and helping each other than they feel threatened by competition. We've learned a lot about the power of collaboration, especially over the last year as we built our shared workspace in the West Loop.Read more
Elizabeth Finlayson, The Nonprofit Coach, facilitated a professional development workshop for YNPN Chicago members on managing up, and we shared her secrets here for all of you! For those unfamiliar with the concept, managing up is a method of career development that's based on consciously working for the mutual benefit of yourself and your boss. At this workshop, attendees learned how to determine what a boss really wants and also discussed ideas for adjusting work practices to best maximize this important relationship. While it can be challenging to collaborate with supervisors, YNPN Chicago members learned that it is critical for career success.Read more
In my role as President of PIE Consulting, Inc., I work with many nonprofits on every aspect of program evaluation. Oftentimes, an organization will contact me to design a survey, and my response is always, What do you want to know? You see, a survey is not always called for, nor appropriate. The method to collect information must be driven by the type of information needed. It is absolutely critical that nonprofits determine exactly what they want to know before designing and implementing a program evaluation plan.Read more
I’m thrilled to be part of YNPN Chicago’s Leadership Institute. This intensive leadership program takes participants on an exploration of what it means to be a leader in theory and in practice. Like many, I have trouble making time to think about these issues and what they mean for me. The daily commotion of putting out fires, keeping on top of communications with stakeholders, and furthering an organization's mission, make it difficult to find the time to sit down and reflect on yourself and the person you want to be. Am I growing as a leader? Is my job keeping me on the right career path? Do I even know where I want to be in ten years?Read more