Tanner Swanson - 2019 YNPN LINK Presenter

Tanner Swanson is a passionate young professional, working to resolve pressing community challenges through private sector philanthropy. As Annual Fund Administrator at A New Leaf, he raises funds to support programs that address domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, health, and education, impacting over 35,000 people every year. A pioneer in nonprofit video marketing, digital media, and donor communications Tanner is well versed in developing comprehensive strategies that secure funding for worthy causes. When not working to improve his community, Tanner enjoys rock climbing, attending concerts, and reading.


Join us for the 5th annual YNPN LINK on March 20, 2019!

Colleen Tighe - 2019 YNPN LINK Presenter

Colleen Tighe is the Executive Director of The Arc of Tempe, a local non-profit that serves the needs of adults with IDD through community engagement activities. Her passion for creating communities of connections, inclusion, and belonging started at a young age as she witnessed her older sister, Giovanna who has an IDD, struggle to make friends, be accepted by others, and continue participating in the community after high school years. This is an issue for majority of adults with IDD and The Arc of Tempe's mission is to overcome this challenge. The Arc of Tempe's programs focus on elevating the confidence of their adults with IDD to speak their minds to others, creates opportunities for them to give back to the community through volunteering, and participate in the community alongside adults with IDD. Colleen is a four year Toastmaster and knows the power of storytelling. Her mission to create a world of belonging is not just for adults with IDD, it's for all people to feel as though they belong. Colleen is eager to learn how to better convey her message of IDD so that it resonates with all people.


Join us for the 5th annual YNPN LINK on March 20, 2019!

ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation's Annual Nonprofit Conference on Sustainability Strategies

By Tenneille Choi, Board Member, YNPN Phoenix

When I heard the Lodestar Center was hosting an annual conference, I was so on board! The ASU Lodestar Center of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is a powerhouse of social impact in Arizona and internationally. It advances leaders and philanthropists through research, education, outreach, and the Annual Nonprofit Conference on Sustainability Strategies.

YNPN Phoenix was invited to not only host a table in the exhibitor hall but to also be represented by YNPN Phoenix board member and communications committee chair Julie Euber on the lunchtime panel How We Took Charge of Our Future: An Inspiring Conversation with the Region's Top Leadership Programs.

For the first-time, the 26th year of the Conference featured an around-the-world fair of leading nonprofits like Be A Leader Foundation, Public Allies, Feeding Matters, and so many more (Check out the list here). Among attendees were participants from two of Lodestar’s key programs, Public Allies and the American Express Leadership Academy. Workshops included compelling topics such as data, fundraising, and strategic planning. The Conference also presented a dynamic duo of speakers during the welcome.

Dr. Robert Ashcraft, Executive Director of the Lodestar Center, kicked off with opening remarks about leadership. Trust is essential for any good leader, but even the best intentions can go awry (as Dr. Ashcraft beautifully illustrated with this video). While not everyone is a “born leader,” everyone can learn how to lead, and it’s a skill we develop over time. Most importantly, you can be a leader from any position, not just senior roles.

After warming up the audience with some inspiration, Dr. Ashcraft moderated a thoughtful conversation with Gloria Feldt, the co-founder and president of Take The Lead, an initiative to propel women to leadership positions across all sectors. It was surprising to learn that while women make up the majority of the nonprofit field, the wage gap is still the same as for-profit industries. When asked what should happen next after the #MeToo movement, Feldt recognized that #MeToo created an amazing opportunity for women to find their voices but stressed that men needed to be included in the conversation. “You can’t sue everybody.” Being adversarial won’t lead to progress, and it’s important to understand that men and women have been socialized to speak differently. Put frankly, “groups with less power have to be able to speak the language of groups with more power.” It takes communication and cooperation. Finally, Feldt encouraged the room to be fearless, to not be afraid of getting fired when you know you’re doing the right thing. That’s how you truly “take the lead.”


Participating with YNPN Phoenix means you are plugging into an already large and ever-growing network of young professionals in Metro Phoenix. Become a member today and join the movement.

Beers and Ballots: YNPN Phoenix Starts a Non-Partisan Discussion about Propositions on the AZ Ballot

By Julie Euber, Board Member and Communications Committee Chair, YNPN Phoenix

Ballot propositions can be confusing. What are we REALLY voting on - are they actually talking around the issue in the description of the proposition? What will a "yes" or "no" even mean for our state? Why do some organizations/individuals support and why are others against? YNPN Phoenix tackled these big questions at Beers & Ballots on October 23 at SunUp Brewing Company with the help of Penny Alle Taylor, Chief Public Policy Officer at Valley of the Sun United Way. The audience played an active role in the conversation asking hard questions and providing further information based on their own expertise.

If you missed the event and are still looking for information and advice, check out our live twitter coverage of the event under the hashtag #BeersandBallots as well as YNPN Phoenix's top 10 voting tips and resources (Click here for a downloadable pdf of the graphic below with live links):

The Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU created detailed non-partisan guides for each state-wide ballot proposition, and Charlie Levy, owner of Crescent Ballroom, The Van Buren, and Valley Bar worked with a few political junkies to put together an easy, straightforward non-partisan voter guide on state-wide ballot props as well. With all the great resources available this year, voters can fill out their ballots with more confidence than ever before.



A special thank you to Penny Alle Taylor for providing a balanced overview of AZ propositions. Her efforts to provide a non-partisan review of not only the propositions but the history behind them were thoughtful and thorough.
Ready for the next YNPN Phoenix event? Join us November 13 for State of the Sector, our annual in-depth look at the state of the nonprofit sector in Arizona. This year, State of the Sector will include two keynotes: Part 1 will be Dr. Robert Ashcraft, Executive Director of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and Part 2 will be Jaclyn Pederson, MHI, YNPN Phoenix Board President.
Additionally, you’ll hear from organizations foundational to the growing social sector in Phoenix, including:

A National Movement: One Member’s Cross-Country Exploration of the YNPN Network

By Drew Adams, Board Member and Fund Development Committee Chair, YNPN Phoenix

Drew Adams (Second from the left) attends one of our monthly coffee chats.

When I discovered YNPN Phoenix, I’d been trying to figure out my relationship with the social sector. The first event I attended was an early morning coffee chat at Sip Coffee & Beer Garage (every second Wednesday and free for all attendees – come check it out!).

I didn’t know anyone, but it was important I try and connect with these strangers who’d committed their careers to making a difference. They would teach me lessons I needed to learn while exposing me to the needs of the Greater Phoenix area.

Fast forward one year. I’m now a proud member of YNPN Phoenix, chair of the fund development committee, and an incoming board director. I’ve met some of nicest, friendliest, silliest people since moving to the Valley in 2013. Our chapter’s drive for social change is inspiring, which got me thinking: what about other YNPN chapters? What were they doing in their communities? How were they the same or different?

Sometimes our involvement with individual chapters isolates us. It’s easy to feel so encompassed by the work we do in our local communities that we forget we’re part of a national network of like-minded peers. With that in mind, I decided to reach out to chapter leaders during some recent traveling and learn more about what YNPN is accomplishing across the U.S.

YNPN Milwaukee

Despite leading a full-day staff retreat, YNPN Greater Milwaukee President Holly McCoy was still able to carve out time to sit down with me at the offices of Literacy Services of Wisconsin. I love collecting ideas from other YNPNers, and Holly was happy to share a thorough and informative overview of the chapter’s 2017 impact.

Greater Milwaukee emphasizes the mission of YNPN to provide much-needed professional development opportunities while supporting the professional pipeline for nonprofit leaders. It works closely with chapters in Madison, Chicago, and the newly established Sheboygan to ensure the Midwest is prepared to advocate on behalf of the region’s social needs.

This collaborative focus has led to some innovative programming, including a trivia night that fosters friendly competition and connections between area nonprofit teams and member-exclusive events with local CEOs and other community influencers. Funding support has allowed the chapter to offer not one but two leadership awards as well as the Ilona Nicole Memorial Graduate Scholarship, which reflects an intentional investment into its membership.

YNPN Greater Milwaukee is all-in on the network’s potential to truly elevate nonprofit professionals with the talent, determination, and passion for social change.

(Side note: Literacy Services of Wisconsin is a finalist for the BizTimes Media 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Awards’ Small Nonprofit Organization of the Year. Congratulations Holly, and we’re rooting for your team on November 2!)

YNPN Portland

I met with YNPN Portland Chair Katie Frederick and Secretary Erin Carver at The Bye and Bye in Northeast Portland. I’ve spent most of my time west of the Willamette – I have family in Beaverton – so it was nice to explore a different part of town. Katie and Erin were forthcoming about what their chapter’s been accomplishing, and it was a pleasure to sit down and chat more about the Northwest social sector.

The Portland chapter is doing incredible work with equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The incorporation of EDI in strategic planning has recently “gone viral” throughout the nonprofit world, yet it’s crucial to maintain the sincerity of its application. EDI cannot be a trend, but rather the foundational structure for the future of the sector. That’s why EDI is so intrinsically bound to YNPN’s guiding Theory of Change.

YNPN Portland understands that achieving EDI starts by looking inward. They’ve taken great effort to evaluate how their board, as leaders of the chapter, embody and reflect the culture of EDI in ways that matter to both their membership and the communities within which they serve. It’s a purposed approach to understanding that’s admirable, and certainly replicable. I left Stumptown energized.

YNPN National

YNPN National Executive Director Jamie Smith also happens to call Portland home and was gracious enough to take a break from her packed schedule to meet up at Shift Drinks.

I knew my conversation with Jamie would be different from those I’d have with Holly or Katie and Erin. After all, she doesn’t represent one YNPN chapter; she represents 44. I hoped to glean insight into what YNPN, as a national network, could do with its singular voice.

Jamie shared her thoughts on how to pitch YNPN to funders, the importance of EDI to a changing social landscape, and the power of the network to support, inspire, and encourage fellow leaders throughout the country. YNPN is meant to galvanize a new generation of social progressives and is uniquely positioned to direct a sector that’s often balanced, sometimes precariously, between the tried and true and the shiny and new.

When she's having difficult days – and we all do in this line of work – Jamie continues to watch video of YNPN Phoenix board members Jaclyn, Alana, Julie, and Ben lip-synch Gloria Gaynor’s "I Will Survive" at July’s National Conference to remind her why the work of YNPN is so important to its members. We too believe in the mission of activating emerging leaders by connecting them with resources, people, and ideas.

(We’re the two-time reigning lip-synch champs, btw.)

Building a Diverse and Powerful Social Sector

As someone fascinated by questions of sustainability, I always ask about fundraising. How did each chapter approach funders? What was the pitch? How do you sell YNPN?

We’re the only national network dedicated to the growth and career development of young nonprofit professionals. Whether in Phoenix, Milwaukee, or Portland, the excitement for change embodied by our members proves the concept not only works, but is in high demand.

It can be difficult for funders to see the intrinsic value something like YNPN provides, and that’s frustrating. But if the chapters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so far are any indication, we’re well on our way to seeing a dramatic shift in the sector nationwide. I, for one, look forward to it.

Thanks again to Holly McCoy, Katie Frederick, Erin Carver, and Jamie Smith for taking the time to indulge my curiosity and talk shop.

As for my next stop? YNPN Chicago! See you in the Windy City.

Interested in networking with the Phoenix nonprofit sector? Consider becoming a member of YNPN Phoenix! Contact for more information. To contact Drew Adams, please email