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Event Recap: YNPN RVA’s Great Nonprofit Awards

On Wednesday evening, November 7th, nonprofit professionals and guests from around greater Richmond gathered at the Hippodrome Theater to recognize and celebrate people and organizations who are doing great work in our local sector at YNPN RVA’s Great Nonprofit Awards.

credit: Kim Lee Photography

Erica Babcock, oncoming Board Chair for YNPN RVA welcomed guests and shared some new and exciting updates for 2019 programming:

  • We’re reinventing our career advancement Nonprofits@Noon series into monthly professional development mini-workshops with an added networking activity at the start of each event. BONUS: All N@Ns will be hosted at the Community Foundation’s new space in Scott’s Addition! Can’t make it during the day? We’ll also be hosting several Nonprofits@Night!
  • For our Nonprofit Happy Hours, we’ll get to know each other and the city with get-togethers in different neighborhoods around RVA.
  • Early riser? Join our members-only Nonprofit Articles Club! It’s our version of book club where we’ll share, read and have engaging conversations on interesting topics relevant to our lives and careers at different coffee shops around the city.

Stay tuned to YNPN RVA’s page for program updates and learn how you can become a YNPN RVA member!

Erica Babcock, oncoming YNPN Board Chair opens up the awards. credit: Kim Lee Photography

Before the announcement of the Great Nonprofit Boss winners, Erica asked the audience to discuss, what do you value in a great boss?

The finalists were then each recognized for why they were chosen as a great boss:

Linda Whitaker, VP of Administration and Human Resources for ChildSavers – Linda is a great boss for young professionals because she cares about her staff’s personal and professional successes. She keeps her ear to the ground, finding opportunities for them to expand their skills and gain new experiences, and pushes them to attend training and networking events.

Erica Mann, Regional Director of Community Based Services at UMFS – Erica is a great boss for young professionals because she leads by example. She’s out in the field serving clients right beside her employees, while also coaching and empowering them to be confident, capable young professionals.

Nadine Marsh-Carter, CEO, Children’s Home Society of Virginia – Nadine is a great boss for young professionals because she celebrates her staff. She regularly recognizes their accomplishments and successes with her monthly “kudos” awards and end of year celebration.

And the winner was:  Erica Mann!

Erica shared how a personal family tragedy inspired her to go into the nonprofit field and how her staff motivate her every day.  The audience was then asked, what challenges have you overcome and learned from in your career?

credit: Kim Lee Photography

Next the finalists for the Rising Star were recognized.

They were Jackie Washington, Center Director for 6 Points Innovation Center with Storefront for Community Design – Jackie is a rising star because she’s devoted to her organization and the teens they serve. She joined the organization as an intern during undergraduate school and stayed on through her graduate studies making a lasting impact even when working part-time.

Erica Babcock, Marketing and Communications Officer at Better Housing Coalition – Erica is a rising star because her innovation and creativity knows no bounds. Her dynamic, multimedia marketing campaign helped Better Housing Coalition exceed its fundraising and digital engagement goals for its inaugural “non-event gala” this year.

Matt Morgan, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Revitalization for project:HOMES – Matt is a rising star because he takes initiative in times of need. He took it upon himself to create an emergency cooling initiative two years ago, in response to a lack of funding for air conditioning for local people in need.

Audrey Trussell, Director of City and Schools Partnership with United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg – Audrey is a rising star because she’s an innovator. She is leading a coalition to implement a school-based health center in Petersburg City Public Schools, one of this first of its kind in Virginia.

And the winner was:  Audrey Trussell!

Audrey thanked her colleagues, family and encouraged the audience and nonprofits around the room to continue a spirit of collaboration.  The audience was prompted to discuss If you had an unlimited budget, what innovative program, project, or initiative would you do at your organization?

credit: Kim Lee Photography

Lastly, the finalists for Outstanding Organization were recognized:

Blue Sky Fund, a nonprofit that provides transformational experiences for urban youth through outdoor education. Blue Sky Fund is a great organization for young professionals because it pays for professional development. Each employee gets an annual stipend to attend classes, workshops and conferences.

Children’s Home Society of Virginia, a nonprofit working to find permanent adoptive homes for children throughout the state and provide critical support services to their families. CHS is a great organization for young professionals because they believe every employee’s input is important. They are always asking for feedback and innovative ideas from staff at all levels to help drive the organization’s mission.

Lynnhaven Academy, an independent school for grades 7-12 working to help students discover their strengths and unlock their potential. Lynnhaven Academy is a great organization for young professionals because they are intentionally diverse. They recruit employees in Virginia and beyond, connecting with Black Colleges and international employee agencies. The members of their board also reflect this intentional diversity.

And the winner was:  Blue Sky Fund!

David Kunnen, Executive Director for Blue Sky Fund, along with five other staff members accepted the award.  David shared with the audience, that at the age of 37, he is the oldest staff member at Blue Sky Fund!  When he joined the organization in 2016, he knew how important it was to cultivate his younger staff as the organization was going through a time of transition and growth.

credit: Kim Lee Photography

The evening of celebration ended with time for networking, drinks and food.  A huge congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners!

All of the Great Nonprofit Awards finalists! credit: Kim Lee Photography

A special thank you goes to the Community Foundation, The Spark Mill, Kim Lee Photography, and the YNPN RVA Leadership team for helping to make this event possible!

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Great Nonprofit Awards Spotlight Part 1

Get to know a few of the finalists for YNPN RVA’s Great Nonprofit Awards, coming up on 11.7.18!  People and organizations will be recognized in 3 categories:

  • Rising Star: A nonprofit professional with fewer than five years of career experience making significant contributions to the RVA nonprofit sector.
  • Great Nonprofit Boss: A nonprofit manager who has gone above and beyond to promote a great work environment for their staff.
  • Outstanding Organization: A great nonprofit organization that fosters a nurturing and empowering environment for young nonprofit professionals.

The many nominations were scored by a panel of young nonprofit professionals from the YNPN RVA Leadership Team.  The winner in each category will be announced at the November 7th event. (find tickets here http://bit.ly/YNPNGNAs).

Audrey Trussell, Director of City and Schools Partnership, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, Finalist in the RISING STAR category

What do you love about the RVA nonprofit community?  The spunk! The RVA nonprofit community is passionate. It’s energetic. We’re daring and innovative, and we aren’t afraid of the challenges we face.

What motivates you?  The potential of what we can achieve when we believe in the power of “yet.” Every person can succeed if we work together to transform our systems to provide the right climate and conditions. These changes are happening and having a big impact – I want to see that continue!

Looking back, what was a great career decision you made?  To go for it! I’ve arrived where I am because I was brave enough to put myself out there, commit to learning for life, and take on opportunities that would challenge me…. and also because the people that surround me – my friends, family and colleagues – push me to keep growing and doing.

Erica Mann, Regional Director of Community Based Services, UMFS, Finalist in the GREAT NONPROFIT BOSS category

What keeps you in the nonprofit sector?  Honestly striving for our mission that truly impacts the community on a much broader level is something that provides endless creative challenges, while meeting a deeper spiritual need at the same time. The thing that can keep you going on some of the darker days are the brilliant, passionate, and loving people that I work with. I have spent my entire career at UMFS, and everyday my colleagues demonstrate the goodness of humanity…who doesn’t want to be surrounded by that?!

What advice would you give to other nonprofit supervisors?  Find trusted people that will disagree with you, but also love you in your strengths and flaws. Also, you can never do enough professional development around conflict and emotional intelligence—I can’t think of two topics that I deal with more as a leader and that I haven’t been more challenged by!

What was a pivotal moment in your career?  One was early on in my career, when I had a mentor suggest I move into a supervisory position—I never would have thought that possible unless someone had seen something in me and encouraged me. The other was more recently when one of our programs went through a major financial crisis that lead to job eliminations and serious morale challenges. I cannot share how much I had to grow both emotionally and business-wise, and the humility that comes with not always knowing what to do as a leader.

 

Matt Morgan, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Revitalization, project:HOMES, Finalist in the RISING STAR category

What do you love about the RVA nonprofit community? I love working in the affordable housing niche of the Richmond nonprofit community. In many ways it is very similar to living in Richmond – there are many people you don’t know, but once you meet someone you see them everywhere. We have fun little rivalries, but at the end of the day, we all have the same mission – to create safe, affordable housing in the Richmond region.

What motivates you?  Hard work is always easy when what you’re doing is making a difference in someone’s life. We always say at project:HOMES that at the end of every day, someone’s life is better than it was the day before. Sometimes it’s as big as a low-income individual getting the keys to their first home, other times it’s a homeowner who has slept through the night for the first time after a summer without air conditioning.

Looking back, what was a great career decision you made?  My first career step following grad school was to identify an agency that I felt passionately about, not a job title or specific position. Once I found project:HOMES, I applied for the only available position, which was working with the agency’s for-profit subsidiary. My job had nothing to do with urban planning or affordable housing, but it got my foot in the door at an agency I believed in, and I was able to take on projects and help others work on things I really cared about. Within a year, another job became available and I was able to move into a position more relevant to my background. Since then I have grown within the organization and am proud to be a part of the change that project:HOMES is making in the community.

 

Lynnhaven Academy, Casey Hitchcock, Head of School, Finalist in the GREAT ORGANIZATION category

What are you doing to create a great work environment for young professionals? At Lynnhaven, we strive to create a positive, caring, and compassionate environment for our students. The same can be said for our faculty and staff as well. Ease of communication with leadership, small acts of kindness, and constructive feedback make it a place where our faculty and staff can continue to grow in their career while feeling valued within the organization.

What are trends or shifts that you see in the local sector? In general, I see organizations thrive when they find their niche and focus on small, meaningful change at the local level that builds up to a larger impact. More and more nonprofits are addressing the causes of larger systemic problems.

What’s your leadership style? I am a collaborative leader that values input at all levels. I believe that recruiting and building a strong team means utilizing all members strengths and talents while providing a clear focus. It is vital that leadership is the champion of the organization and sets high expectations at all levels.

 

Click here to see a full list of all finalist and nominees and make sure to get your ticket to the event coming up on 11.7.18!  Stay tuned for Part 2!

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YNPN RVA Announces Great Nonprofit Awards Finalists

YNPN RVA (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network RVA) is excited to announce the finalists for the upcoming Great Nonprofit Awards 2018 in three categories:

  • Rising Star: A nonprofit professional with fewer than five years of career experience making significant contributions to the RVA nonprofit sector.
  • Great Nonprofit Boss: A nonprofit manager who has gone above and beyond to promote a great work environment for their staff.
  • Outstanding Organization: A great nonprofit organization that fosters a nurturing and empowering environment for young nonprofit professionals.

The many nominations were scored by a panel of young nonprofit professionals from the YNPN RVA Leadership Team.  The winner in each category will be announced at the November 7th event.

FIND TICKETS TO THE EVENT HERE: http://bit.ly/YNPNGNAs. 

In no particular order, here are the finalists:

Great Nonprofit Awards Finalists:

Rising Star

  • Jackie Washington, Center Director, 6 Points Innovation Center, Storefront for Community Design
  • Erica Babcock, Marketing and Communications Officer, Better Housing Coalition
  • Matt Morgan, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Revitalization, project:HOMES
  • Audrey Trussell, Director of City and Schools Partnership, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg

Great Nonprofit Boss         

  • Linda Whitaker, VP of Administration and Human Resources, ChildSavers
  • Erica Mann, Regional Director of Community Based Services, UMFS
  • Nadine Marsh-Carter, CEO, Children’s Home Society of Virginia

Outstanding Organization

  • Blue Sky Fund
  • Children’s Home Society of Virginia
  • Lynnhaven Academy

Congrats to the above finalists and all of our nominees:

Great Nonprofit Awards Nominees
  • Jesse Anderson, Senior Campaign Manager, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Alissa Aronovici, Chief Development Officer, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
  • Art for the Journey
  • Tommy Joe Bednar, System Manager, Homeward
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond
  • Children’s Home Society of Virginia
  • Verenda Cobbs, Program Director of High Schools/ PLC’s, Communities In Schools Of Richmond
  • Lynnelle Ediger, Founder and Director, GreenSpring International Academy of Music
  • Kelly Elias, Director of Development, Communities in Schools of Chesterfield
  • GreenSpring International Academy of Music
  • Alden Gregory, Director of Development, The McShin Foundation
  • Lauren Gwaley, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Northstar Academy
  • Casey Hitchcock, Head of School, Lynnhaven Academy
  • HomeAgain
  • Ami Kim, Vice President of Digital Operations, Community Idea Stations
  • Cindy Paullin, Deputy Executive Officer, Art for the Journey
  • Christie Smith, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.
  • Caroline Snell, Campaign Assistant, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • STORY-Southside Transformation Opportunities for Residents and Youth
  • The Faison Center, Inc.
  • Brantley Tyndall, Community Engagement Manager, Sports Backers-Bike Walk RVA
  • Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
  • Randy White, Founder & CEO, Love of Learning Inc
  • Alex Wiles, Senior Commonwealth Circle Liaison, Community Idea Stations (WCVE)
  • Sheba Williams, Executive Director, Nolef Turns Inc.

Read more about our Finalists in part 1 of our “Spotlight”.

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YNPN RVA Event Recap: Nonprofits@Noon with Elizabeth Bass

Leadership. Service. Community. A commitment to those three themes has motivated Elizabeth Bass, Executive Director at Virginia Mentoring Partnership, throughout her nonprofit career and continues to drive her today. Elizabeth shared the challenges and opportunities she has experienced in her professional and personal life, along with some valuable advice, to a group of young nonprofit professionals at the Virginia Holocaust Museum on Sept. 12, as a part of a series called “Nonprofits@Noon.”

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Get to Know YNPN RVA’s Leadership Team 2018

Meet the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network RVA (YNPN RVA) Leadership Team and Committees for 2018! You may have seen our “introduction” posts on social media with the hashtag #MeetYNPNRVA2018 – here is the full list of our teams and some of our favorite things!  All illustrations were created by Erica Mendez Babcock. For those unfamiliar, YNPN RVA is the region’s local YNPN chapter focused on engaging and supporting future nonprofit and community leaders through professional development, networking and social opportunities that are designed for young people involved in the nonprofit community.  The YNPN RVA Leadership Team drives programming, communication and membership for the network, led by an Executive Team.

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YNPN RVA Spotlight: Great Nonprofit Bosses 2017

This past Monday, we celebrated National Boss Appreciation Day! In the spirit of appreciating great leadership in our local nonprofit sector, we are highlighting a few of YNPN RVA’s 2017 Great Nonprofit Bosses. In case you missed last week’s post – here are all of the 26 Great Nonprofit Bosses chosen by young nonprofit professionals around Greater Richmond! Read on to learn more about four nonprofit bosses who will be speaking about their professional careers, leadership and growth during the 2017 Great Nonprofit Bosses Celebration with YNPN RVA on November 1st at the Hippodrome Speakeasy! Make sure to purchase a ticket and join us for an evening of recognition, learning and socializing with nonprofit peers and leaders!

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YNPN RVA Presents: 2017 Great Nonprofit Bosses

The Young Nonprofits Professional Network RVA (YNPN RVA) believes that a great boss or supervisor supports, inspires and pushes others towards excellence; is an effective communicator, passionate, intuitive and resourceful; and finally, is truly committed to developing the careers of the people they supervise. Over the past several weeks, YNPN RVA sent out a call to young nonprofit professionals all over Greater Richmond to nominate their boss or supervisor to be recognized as a part of our Great Nonprofit Bosses Celebration on November 1st at the Hippodrome Speakeasy from 6pm to 8pm.

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Creating An Inclusive Environment at Your Nonprofit: Age

In March, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia gathered alumni of its Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program (ENLP) and current members of its 10th class at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.   Jonathan Zur, President and CEO of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities led the group through a robust discussion and brainstorming session on ways local organizations and leaders can take action to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in their nonprofit organizations and across the sector.

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YNPN RVA Recommends: Advice for Developing Your Nonprofit Staff

While mission and impact are the heart and soul of a nonprofit, there are many integral parts behind the scenes that make the magic happen. Beyond defining your mission and establishing metrics to measure your impact, it is essential to nurture your people. Yes, your people are your volunteers, donors and supporters, but your people are first and foremost your staff. The hardworking nonprofiteer that is daily putting your mission into action – teaching parents financial literacy, educating teens on healthy lifestyle choices, or providing meals to hungry children. And yet, many organization and nonprofit executives neglect or lack any formal strategic talent development or career progression plan for their staff – and to their loss

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Nonprofit Trends: Challenges for Young Nonprofit Professionals in RVA

In mid-January, The Community Foundations serving Richmond and Central Virginia brought together two of their nonprofit networks – YNPN RVA (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network RVA) and ENLP Alumni (Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program Alumni) for breakfast, information-sharing and discussion at Peter Paul Development Center. For those who aren’t familiar - YNPN RVA (the local chapter of the National organization/network) supports the growth, learning, and development of young and early-career nonprofit professionals through professional development, networking, and social opportunities (learn more about YNPN RVA here). The Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program, now in its 10th year of operation, is a dynamic eight-month experience for budding nonprofit leaders in the metro Richmond area. Participants have the opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of their leadership capacity, advance their understanding and practice of leading in the nonprofit sector, and strengthen their network of nonprofit colleagues (learn more about ENLP here and come to an information session – dates announced in March 2017). During the breakfast, there was a facilitated discussion around the biggest barriers and challenges for young nonprofit professionals in RVA. Fairly quickly, themes began to emerge, as many audience members shared similar experiences and obstacles. The group continued the discussion of specific challenges by generating ideas, tips and advice for how a young nonprofit professional (or how an organization employing a young nonprofit professional) could work to overcome some of these challenges and barriers. Here are some of the main challenges that were discussed:

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