Stop. Collaborate and Listen.

25979694313_33fcbb7579_o-300x199.jpgYou 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.

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Aha Moments! Leadership Institute Reflection 2016

Do I really know what it takes to be a great leader? Before participating in the Leadership Institute, I wouldn't have answered this question with an emphatic YES! Now that I'm several months in, my answer is changing.

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Tips for Managing Up in the Workplace


Elizabeth Finlayson, The Nonprofit Coach, facilitated a professional development workshop for YNPN Chicago members on managing upand 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.

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Using Logic Models to Evaluate Nonprofit Programs


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.

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Leadership Reflection: Raymond Jackson

2015 YNPN Chicago Leadership Institute Participant, Raymond Jackson


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Leadership is in the Everyday

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?

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Setting Goals...gulp!


I was proud and honored to be selected as a participant in the YNPN Chicago Leadership Institute for the 2015 cohort. As you may know, the Institute focuses on developing the future leaders of the Chicago nonprofit and public service sectors by providing training, networking, coaching, mentoring, and roundtable discussions with executive directors.

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Mentorship 101

LI Kathy Chan


In the 14 years I’ve spent as a working professional, I’ve learned that mentorship is an art, not a science. A good mentor/mentee relationship requires an investment of time from both sides, but should lead to mutually beneficial outcomes. At the same time, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, since you need to consider the individual personalities involved.

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Define and Own Your Career Path By Identifying Your Transferable Skills


Identifying your transferrable skills is a crucial step to defining and owning your career path. Simply put, transferrable skills are those that translate across any position regardless of sector or industry. Your capacity to effectively manage projects, lead and work on a team, and analyze data are all examples of key transferrable skills.

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7 Social Media Tips for the Busy Nonprofit Professional


Like many nonprofit professionals, social media is an activity I work with on the side, to take care of when I have some extra time. So this fall, when I attended the Social Media for Nonprofits conference, I was not surprised when only 2 out of 100 attendees raised their hands when asked if they worked on social media full time. With the many responsibilities we are tasked with in the nonprofit sector, it can be difficult to dedicate the time necessary to build the online communities we hope for. After spending an entire day discussing social media, I learned a lot about how nonprofits can more effectively utilize this tool.

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