#YNPN16 Activate! Summit

Last weekend Board Members Eileen, Amaka and Stacey (me!) attended YNPN’s National Conference - Activate! Summit - in Portland, OR. For more information about YNPN National you can check out their website. Over the 2.5 days we got to learn about everything from member engagement, cultivating chapter culture, fundraising and marketing. We want to share with you some of the things we did, so here it is.

*From left to right: Eileen, Amaka and Stacey.

Day 1

The conference started with a blast as YNPN received a keynote titled “What the bleep is social good?” from Vu Le, creator of the website nonprofitwithballs.com. Vu inspired us to believe that we are all unicorns and we should embrace our unique abilities. He offered several suggestions for nonprofit organizations to live by including: stop feeling inferior to for-profits, collaborate across sectors, demand equal partnerships with funders and donors, invest in the talents of your employees and reexamine hiring and other practices to reflect equity and inclusion but also pay people what they are worth. His talk included lots of amazing .gifs and really spoke to why us as nonprofit professionals so what we do...to define and create social good.

After the keynote attendees broke out into workshop sessions offering lessons on various topics. Some got to learn about how nonprofit organizations can support local business and how to use online tools to improve organizational reach and capacity. If you are interested in those online resources you can find them here.


Day 2

Day 2 began with a presentation from YNPN National Board Co-Executive Directors, Jamie and Amber. They talked about the future of YNPN and each chapter had a chance to present about what their successes were over the past year. The YNPN Network is 42 chapters wide and each chapter is unique. YNPN LA Board Vice President, Stacey Hartnett, shared details of YNPN LA’s new paid membership model. Los Angeles is now part of the few chapters that offer paid membership. This move has granted YNPN LA the opportunity to make a bigger impact and offer our members higher quality programs. Other chapters shared how they connected with local nonprofit CEO’s to build mutually beneficial relationships, how they support local businesses in their community and how they engage their chapter members among other things.

YNPN LA and YNPN San Diego shut down the conference when we took this picture…

Everyone loves Beyonce and attendees were surprised we could pull off such a flawless picture.


In the afternoon, Stacey and Amaka also had the opportunity to talk all things philantropy with Tamir Novotny, Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP). EPIP's mission is to develop emerging leaders to create a more just, equitable and sustainable society. EPIP has a Los Angeles chapter and you can check out their website for more information.



  Day 2 ended with an epic lip sync battle where #YNPNSoCal (that is Los Angeles + San Diego) dominated the competition with their rendition of Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child (we had to stay on brand of course). You had to be there to witness the greatness. After lip syncing we spent more time in Portland getting to know the other chapter leaders better.

By the way, Portland is a beautiful city. We all committed to going back some day. 

Day 3

On the third day...more workshops. Chapters shared their experiences with what happens when your time with YNPN is over. As leaders we can sometimes become attached to the things we put a lot of time and effort into. It was comforting to hear that the show will go one so to speak without one particular person at the helm.

At the completion of the conference, Board Executive Directors shared the location of next year’s conference. ATLANTA!

After saying goodbye we got to take an extensive tour of Portland hosted by First Stop Portland. Portland is an amazing city full or innovation and “green”ness. The air is clean and there is no shortage of trees or people riding bicycles. We also got to ride the aerial tram and enjoy Portland from a bird’s eye view. Portland is also home to the first "no-car" bridge in the world. The bridge allows trains to cross the river separate from cars and pedestrians. Not the bridge in the photo.

All together it was a weekend full of learning and connecting. YNPN LA is excited to bring new activities and engagement to you. Next year the conference may be open to not only chapter leadership but members as well. If you are interested stay tuned. You can also look forward to come collaborative events with the San Diego, Southern Nevada and Phoenix chapters.

Thank you so much YNPN National and YNPN Portland for inspiring us to be such great leaders and equipping us with the tools to do so. If you would like to see more photos from our trip you can check our Facebook and brand new Instagram pages.

This blog post was written by Board Vice President Stacey Hartnett. If you have any feedback please email at [email protected]


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