A Message from our Board Chairs Lindsey Fila and Katie Pieper

lindsey and katie

Another year so soon? We don’t know where the time went, but we do know what kept YNPN Chicago so busy over the past year.

We focused on creating meaningful opportunities for our members this year, offering both more events in 2014 as well as developing programming with one major objective: to retain young talent and promote growth and advancement within the nonprofit sector.

Through monthly networking events, professional development workshops, two signature events, and one service day, YNPN Chicago touched the lives of over 1,000 young nonprofit professionals. In addition to this in-person programming, our enhanced presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn led to countless engaging conversations online. We also launched a new website and newsletter to better enhance your online experience with YNPN Chicago. We continue to improve both and welcome your feedback.

During our retreat, our Executive Board collectively identified key factors which impact ourselves and our members, and created a quarterly program outline to address them. The first quarter on Job Seeking has since concluded, and January marks the beginning of Building Job Skills and Knowledge. Starting in April, we’ll address Moving Up and July through September, we’ll address achieving a Work/Life Balance.

In the spirit of promoting growth and advancement, we secured a $7,500 grant from the First Nonprofit Foundation to relaunch our Leadership Institute. Beginning in January, this ten-month program will equip 15 rising nonprofit leaders with key managerial skills and will focus on self-awareness to further strengthen their leadership skills.

At our 10th Annual Celebration, we named Open Books Associate Board our 2014 Associate Board of the Year, and Cassandra Gaddo our 2014 Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year. With the recognition and bragging rights came $1,000 in professional development funding, made possible through a renewed grant from The Chicago Community Trust. We look forward to acknowledging more fantastic nonprofit community members in 2015!

In order to expand our network and impact, we are continually seeking new and deeper connections with community partners. With that in mind, we spent much of this past year formalizing partnerships with both Donors Forum and the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University, and look forward to exploring the opportunities available to our members in 2015! YNPN National‘s staff and Board of Directors continued to innovate with us as we collectively seek to provide a space to activate emerging leaders.

Did we mention that YNPN Chicago remains completely volunteer-run? All of these accomplishments would not have been possible with our amazing and committed Executive Board, and they would be meaningless without you. We work tirelessly to serve you, so please, include YNPN Chicago in your New Year’s resolution come to our free or low cost networking and professional development events, spread the word about our organization to your friends and colleagues, donate to help cover operational costs, and join your community’s conversation online.

On Behalf of the YNPN Chicago Executive Board, thank you for being a member. We look forward to helping you achieve your professional goals in 2015, and we hope to see you at an event soon!


Lindsey Fila & Katie Pieper
YNPN Chicago Executive Chairs