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Mission & History

Our Mission

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) activates emerging leaders by connecting them with resources, people, and ideas.

Our nation and our communities are facing serious challenges. At the same time, technology and new thinking about networks are presenting unprecedented opportunities for social change. In order to take advantage of these opportunities and overcome these challenges, we need inspired and engaged leaders who bring energy, creativity, and new perspectives to the sector.

YNPN activates emerging leaders and helps them acquire the skills and awareness they need to be effective changemakers. With these leaders, we’re building a diverse and powerful social sector that can support and strengthen our communities.

We're Building a Network That:


Creating A Network That Is Diverse Empowering Inspiring Inclusive Dynamic


Our History

The very first YNPN chapter was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997 when a small group of young nonprofit professionals gathered to commiserate about their shared experience in the sector. Their challenges included low wages, little professional development or respect, few opportunities for advancement, and their desire to build more effective and sustainable careers.

They soon realized that they weren’t alone in these experiences and sought out other young professionals for support and development. They put up some flyers, made a few phone calls, and organized a meet-up at a local bar. They had high hopes that maybe a dozen people would join them. Instead, more than 100 people showed up that night and eventually, along with several hundred more people, became YNPN’s first chapter.

The very first meeting of YNPN is illustrative of the larger experience we’ve had as a network over the last 21 years. From our very first event, the growth of YNPN has surpassed our greatest expectations. Over the years chapters have spread across the country as members of existing chapters relocated to new cities and other young nonprofit professionals looking to connect heard about YNPN.

For many years YNPN was an all-volunteer organization with a working National Board that provided support and programming for chapter leaders. In 2011, we hired our first Executive Director and began to expand our staff as well as our chapter support, programming, and national voice work.

Today the YNPN network serves more than 50,000 members and we have chapters in 39 cities and metro areas across the United States and Canada.