YNPN Chicago launched the Professional Growth Grant in April 2020, awarding the initial grant to two participants, one of whom was Bradley Troast. You can read about both inaugural recipients in this blog post. Below is an update from Bradley:
"With the financial support of YNPN Chicago, I enrolled in and recently completed an online course through North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management. It was a seven-week course offered in the summer semester called “Fundraising Principles for Nonprofit Organizations.” Each week had assigned readings out of two required textbooks or articles posted online. We were expected to participate in four online discussion forums and submit a writing assignment once per week. Topics included Motivations for Giving, Theories of Fundraising, Legal and Accounting Issues, and Ethics and Religious Fundraising.
I really enjoyed this course because it started with the history of philanthropy and the basic psychology of giving. I am still relatively new to the field (one year in development), so it was helpful to me to be grounded in this historical perspective. Subsequent weeks worked through many different scenarios in discussions, small group work, and writing assignments. We were asked to bring a nonprofit to class to interview staff and write about our findings. I used my employer which, again, was helpful in orienting my position as a new fundraiser.
Going into my second year, I feel more confident in my abilities and I have new insights about my personal and organization’s strategic direction. I have read articles and watched videos about the fundraising process, however, it was much more meaningful to immerse myself in these topics for seven weeks. I gained a greater understanding of my job and I am excited to go back to work with new ideas. Thank you for making this possible! Hopefully it is the start of a learning process that will continue for many years to come."