Getting ready to…lay the smack down….

evolve I get really excited about new ideas. The cycle of tossing around an idea that eventually becomes an innovative program or event never gets old. Especially then the program has the potential to create excitement around issues and organizations that I am passionate about.

This month the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids launches the marketing for the national conference, Evolve. The conference has been a blast to plan and i am particularly looking forward to this little ditty….

Each day nonprofit sector organizations go head to head for funding, volunteers, community capital, even employees. Generally, sector leaders too polite to bring this voracious competition to the forefront, choosing instead, to focus on the partnerships and good deeds of the sector as a whole. But the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids is taking a different route. We’re having a showdown, a face off…. a Nonprofit Smackdown.

The YNPNGR has divided the sector into six separate categories. Each category will be represented by a contender who will go for six rounds establishing six reasons that that category of nonprofit organizations is the most deserving of support from financial donations to volunteer time.

1. Education
2. Arts and Culture
3. Healthy
4. Social Service
5. Professional, Membership and Trade Organizations
6. Philanthropy

Did we mentioned that the audience decides who wins?
So contenders. Get intellectual, go for the gut reaction, go for goal and argue for the greater good.

The Smackdown will take place at Wealthy Theater in partnership with Rapid Growth Media, as a part of the speakers series. Like any good geek I am totally stoked to help bring about an uncommon forum to an overlooked discussion.

The background: In 2007, Grand Rapids began a chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. A friend, Barbara Anderson, had been invited to a visioning meeting to form the chapter, I was lucky enough to tag along and have been involved ever since.

Each year the local chapter has expanded, becoming more sophisticated, positioning itself within the community to help support leaders, grow the networks of young professionals and provide educational and professional development activities.

After two years as the Education Co-Chair I moved to the Marketing Committee and am currently in my second year as a Marketing Co-Chair. To find out more about the conference and the Nonprofit Smackdown check out the website.

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