Home / Event Recap: Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight 2015


Event Recap: Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight 2015

On Wednesday, November 18th 2015 ConnectVA’s Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN RVA) hosted a fantastic event – the Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight, that celebrated the nonprofit leaders and professionals selected for Style Weekly’s Annual Top 40 Under 40 List and recognized these extraordinary young people who are changing the community through their work in the nonprofit sector.

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YNPN RVA Recommends: Tips for Networking

Networking. That word that strikes fear in the hearts of many. Networking is like exercise - some people are naturally active, while for others it's a chore. Even if networking is something you dread, afterward you'll feel energized and proud of stepping out of your comfort zone. At it's core, networking can be defined as conversation(s) that lead to new connections and are (hopefully) mutually beneficial. Whether you're looking for a new job, or simply trying to meet new people in your line of work, you won't get very far without networking. Here are some tips that we hope will ease your mind when it comes to networking:

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Kelli Lemon, Mama J’s Kitchen

Kelli Lemon has created a name for herself as a “social entrepreneur” that can be seen and heard all over Richmond, Virginia! Kelli is passionate about creating events and opportunities for people to socially interact, whether through food, sports, education or the arts. This year Kelli was honored as a Top 40 Under 40 by Style Weekly Magazine. She will be leading the panel discussion during YNPN RVA’s upcoming event – The Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight with Style Weekly, which you can register for here by November 16th. Recently, we caught up with Kelli to learn a little more about what she’s doing in RVA….

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YNPN Recommends: 3 Nonprofit Myths Debunked!

When people hear the word ?nonprofit,? many images and concepts come to mind — many of which may not be grounded in fact. Let?s take a quick look at the top 3 nonprofit myths:

  1. Nonprofits don?t make money.

This is a rather common misnomer that makes perfect sense.  The name ?nonprofit? implies that the organization does not make a profit but in fact, that couldn?t be further from the truth. Many nonprofit organizations do make a profit and some happen to make millions and even billions of dollars in profit.  

The main difference between a nonprofit and a for-profit is how those profits are used.  Any net income (profit) either through cash for services, sponsorships, donations, grants, etc., must be reinvested directly back into the organization to support its charitable mission.  

So in essence, the profits cannot benefit individuals of the organization, whereas in a regular company, profits can be used to pay bonuses, shareholder dividends, go directly to the owner, or any other way they deem fit.  

Key Takeaway: Nonprofits make money but pure profit is never their sole objective.

2. You can?t make any money working for nonprofits.

Another common misperception is that you can?t make good money working for a nonprofit.  If you were credulous about myth number 1, it is understandable as to why you would also believe this myth.  After all, if a company doesn?t make profit, how can they afford to pay people?  The truth is that many employees of nonprofits are compensated fairly and some even make six- and even seven-figure salaries.  

While this is not the norm, nonprofits are allowed to pay salaries that are determined fair and reasonable for the type of work they are performing.  Employee wages are also dependent upon how strong (financially) the organization is.  

Key Takeaway: Many nonprofits do fairly compensate their employees.  It all depends on how well the organization is funded.  

3. Nonprofits are only for people who couldn?t make it in the business world.

Contrary to what this myth implies, nonprofits are a part of the business world, although they may differ in their goals and outcomes from a for-profit business.  

It is rare that people decide to work in the nonprofit sector because they are having difficulty finding a job in the private sector.  In fact, it is probably more accurate to say that people having difficulty finding a job in the nonprofit sector will work in the private sector. Good nonprofit jobs can be difficult to obtain since there are a limited number of organizations and you know that your work is not just benefiting the CEO or shareholders but instead meeting a community need.

Many of the same skills and training required for the private sector apply to nonprofits — skills like marketing, sales, negotiations, public relations, advertising, management, accounting, computer programming, etc.  The main difference being that often times these skills are applied to serve a charitable mission in the nonprofit sector that they are not meeting in the private sector.  There are many private sector jobs that provide rewarding careers and are in companies that provide a value added product or service.

Key takeaway: Nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes, from NPR to the NFL (yes, the NFL is technically a nonprofit) that offer great opportunities for those interested and should not be viewed as runner up to private sector employment.

For more on debunked nonprofit myths:

10 Myths About Working in the Nonprofit Sector from Idealist.org

Looking for a career in the nonprofit sector?

Check out the ConnectVA Job Finder ? the ?go-to place? for finding employment in the nonprofit sector!


YNPN RVA, powered by ConnectVA, is a movement powering young and early-career nonprofit professionals through professional development, networking, and social opportunities to positively impact the Greater Richmond area.

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Event Recap: Nonprofit Careers Revealed with YNPN RVA

On Wednesday, ConnectVA's YNPN RVA Leadership Team participated as panelists in "Nonprofit Careers Revealed" at VCU - providing insight, tips and advice to students interested in the nonprofit sector. Represented on the panel were Tiffany Patton, YNPN Program Chair and Site Coordinator at Thompson Middle School for Communities in Schools of Richmond; David Lefebvre, YNPN…

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From an Expert: Developing People for Tomorrow’s Workplace

"But what if we train them and they leave?" is a question we often hear. "What if you don't train them and they stay?" is our answer. Employee turnover has become more pronounced in recent years as an evolving economy and an aging workforce have accelerated change at multiple levels ? Boomers are aging out…

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YNPN RVA, powered by ConnectVA, is the local chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

What is YNPN RVA?

YNPN RVA cultivates a community of future nonprofit leaders through networking and professional development opportunities that build on individual strengths and talents.  We envision a rising generation of diverse, empowered, and highly engaged nonprofit leaders that will work collaboratively to strengthen our sector, and in turn, the Richmond region.


There are currently no upcoming events scheduled


Membership through YNPN RVA connects young and early career nonprofit professionals to a community of like-minded, socially-conscious members who interact through social and professional development. YNPN RVA provides opportunities to gain knowledge and experiences to help you develop as a person and a professional while building a network of peers and mentors to support your growth in the nonprofit sector.

Members in YNPN RVA will:

  • Build their brand by analyzing, developing and strengthening an authentic representation of themselves as a person and professional
  • Build their network by forming meaningful connections to peers and seasoned professionals
  • Build their career with planning tools and advancement insights into the local nonprofit sector ultimately helping them grow and develop as a professional

Yearly memberships are $35 for individuals, $20 for students, and $250 for organizations (includes memberships for up to 10 employees).  These prices/memberships run from Jan to Dec.  Learn more below.

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What Can I Expect During the Year?

YNPN RVA Members and non-members can expect monthly opportunities to build their brand, network and career in various formats like, workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, happy hours, fun local activities and more!  Beginning in April, we’re even offering a monthly Members-Only Nonprofit Articles 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 in the morning before work.

We expect to offer 20+ events next year and MEMBERS get into ALL for FREE (otherwise $10 for most events) on top of all the other benefits of being a member – click buttons above for more details!

Here’s a snapshot of programming in 2019!  Subject to change.  More details coming soon!

Month Event Type Theme
January Happy Hour + Professional Development Network
February Professional Development Plans + Goals
March Professional Development Brand
April Member-Only Happy Hour N/A
May Professional Development Self-Advocacy
June Professional Development Diversity + Inclusion
July Happy Hour + Professional Development Wellness
August Professional Development People Management
September Member-Only Happy Hour Event N/A
October Professional Development Communication
November Professional Development Money
December Happy Hour YNPN RVA’s Birthday Party
Starting in April, we’ll hold a monthly Member-Only Nonprofit Articles Club at a local coffee shop in the morning!

How Can I Get Involved?

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YNPN RVA Leadership Team

  • Mollie Brooks, Genworth (Co-Chair)
  • Erica Babcock, Startup Virginia (Co-Chair)
  • Michael Parsons, Peter Paul Development Center (Secretary)
  • Liz Rennie Lungut, Community Foundation (Staff)
  • Gabrielle Jones, WCVE Community Idea Stations (Communication Co-Chair)
  • Stephanie Hathaway, Soles4Souls (Communication Co-Chair)
  • Kathy Greenier, Floricane (Membership Co-Chair)
  • Elise Kindya (Membership Co-Chair)
  • Victoria Jackson, SPARC (Programs Co-Chair)
  • Desiree Jenkins, National Counseling Group (Programs Co-Chair)

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YNPN RVA Recommends: Successful Networking

Network, network, network. Being connected is paramount for success in the 21st century, especially for young and early-career professionals. When networking, keep in mind that the key to success is building intimate, sincere relationships based on honesty and trust. Here are three ideas to better leverage the power of networking everywhere you go. 1. You're always…

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