2017 YNPN National Conference Take Aways

YNPN Portland Board Members Katie Frederick and Patricia Cronin attended the 2017 YNPN National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Patricia interviewed Katie about her experience. 

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Event Recap: Strategies for Managing Conflict

Conflict_PD_Event_(1).pngAvoidance. Stress. Opportunity.

These are three words that attendees at our September 14th “Strategies for Managing Conflict” event shared as their first association with the idea of conflict. Conflict is unavoidable in personal relationships, even (and maybe especially) at work. Trainer Signe Bishop, a Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, worked with attendees on how to productively approach and respond to conflict. Thanks to OHSU for hosting the event.

Conflict occurs when we perceive that our values, needs, or identity are being challenged or undermined. Using the ideas of fight, flight, or freeze, Bishop led the program with a discussion of biological responses to conflict. When people enter a conflict, they might have certain triggers and responses that can make people upset and escalate the conflict. Triggers might include interruptions, being ignored, or people raising their voice. Responses to triggers might include physical reactions like a red face, trembling voice, or nausea; people might also shut down and try to withdraw from the conflict. Two people will see a conflict as starting at different times and view it through different lenses. Having an understanding of how those triggers and responses show up for people can lead people to have more empathy in a conflict situation.

Bishop introduced 5 strategies for engaging in conflict, which should be deployed at different times - determining which strategy to use is based on how important the issue is and how important the relationship with the other person is. These 5 strategies are:

  1. Compete: competing is a useful strategy when a quick decisive action is needed, perhaps on important issues for which unpopular courses of action are needed. Competing means assertively championing a position, relying on logic and facts to pursue that position, and pressing to get a position understood even if that might be unpopular.

  2. Collaborate: best when both parties’ concerns are too important to be compromised. This requires merging insights from people with different perspectives, valuing consensus, and taking the time to work through hard feelings that surround a decision. Collaboration is also best when buy-in is required from all the stakeholders in a situation.

  3. Compromise: best when both parties’ goals are relatively important but not worth the risk of a competitive approach or the time required for a collaborative approach. Compromise may also be a back-up method for competition or collaboration, and is useful when a temporary or expedient decision is needed.

  4. Avoid: this is best when the potential damage of confrontation outweighs the benefits of resolution, or when the issue is too trivial to escalate into a conflict. Avoidance can also be useful if people need to take time away from the conflict to gather more information or regain perspective and composure.

  5. Accommodate: best when preserving harmony and avoiding disruption are primary goals, accommodation is also advised when one realizes one is wrong or when the issue is much more important to the other person.

Other resources shared by Bishop include:

Getting to Yes (book)

Conversational Capacity (book)

Dare to Disagree (TED Talk)

Searching for “conflict” via Harvard Business Review

What we learned from the 2017 YNPN Portland Survey

What We Learned From the 2017 YNPN Portland Member Survey

This spring YNPN Portland conducted a member survey to better understand our community’s needs, how well we’re serving those needs, and what areas we should focus on as we continue to develop as an organization. If you are one of the 116 people who participated in the survey, thank you for your time and support.

Now that we’ve completed the survey and reflected on the results, we wanted to take the time to circle back with you and share the highlights of our findings.


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Event Recap: Give Yourself $ome Credit


What is credit? Why do I have a credit score? We heard answers to these questions and more at the June 7th “Give Yourself Some Credit” event hosted at WeWork Custom House. Sponsored by Beneficial State Bank, this event featured Financial Beginnings volunteer Andrew Becvar, CFP. Andrew shared a wealth of credit knowledge with about 30 social-sector loving young professionals, who walked away with a better understanding of why credit matters and how to maintain it. 

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Organization Spotlight: NTEN Offers a Range of Nonprofit Technology Resources

Do you think of yourself as a nonprofit technologist? Likely not. In YNPN Portland’s recent member survey, about 5% of respondents reported that they directly work in an IT department at their organization. Most of the emerging nonprofit leaders we reached out to work in fundraising, communications, or program management.

But the odds are that wherever your work in your organization, technology is part of your job. You may be responsible for engaging supporters through a variety of online platforms, keeping accurate donor data, or tracking the impact of a program over time. From an organizational standpoint, the effective use of technology is a necessity. Can you imagine a nonprofit without a website, or without tools for accepting donations, managing event registration, or emailing supporters? How about secure access to the internet and organizational documents? 

The challenge facing all nonprofits, then, is to invest the resources necessary to secure the tools they need and to support the staff who will be responsible for using them. NTEN is a national professional organization, based here in Portland, that seeks to help nonprofits meet that challenge.

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Tip of the Hat: YNPN Portland Applauds Give!Guide Decision to Remove Salary Requirement from Skidmore Prize


The Willamette Week Give!Guide annually handpicks nonprofit organizations to support during the end-of-year holiday season (141 in 2016), and awards cash prizes (the “Skidmore Prize”) to a group of outstanding professionals aged 35 or under in the nonprofit sector. In particular, the Give!Guide aims to promote early patterns of philanthropic giving among individuals aged 35 or under and highlight important work in the Portland community.

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Nonprofit Advocacy - Do's and Don'ts

A couple weeks ago I joined more than 35 social-sector loving professionals to hear from Dr. Billie Sandberg, YNPN Portland Board alumna and Director of The Nonprofit Institute at Portland State University, at YNPN Portland's Nonprofit Advocacy 101 event. Recently, the increasing visibility of social movements and the outcome of our presidential election led many nonprofit professionals to ask - What can we do? What can't we do? 

Fear no longer!  These takeaway do's and dont's will get you started on the right nonprofit advocacy path.

Emily Logan from Care2 created a mini-zine to accompany her facilitated group discussion - read about her experience making the zine and presenting to YNPN Portland, as well as a copy of the full zine, on the Care2 Team Blog. 

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Event Recap: MLK Day of Service 2017


On Saturday, January 14th, YNPN Portland and the Urban League of Portland Young Professionals partnered with Hands on Greater Portland and United Way of the Columbia Willamette to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in a day of service at the Rebuilding Center



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Happy 2017 from YNPN Portland


2016 was a busy year! As Board Chair, I am excited to share some of last year's highlights and some of what we are looking forward to in 2017.

YNPN Portland programming and action is guided by our Five Pillars of Leadership Development and a commitment to Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. I am proud of the opportunities and spaces that YNPN Portland creates for learning and connection. 

2016 Highlights:

  • Activate! Summit: Portland served as host city for the YNPN National Conference in August, which brought together 100+ chapter leaders from YNPN locations across the country. Day one of the conference engaged 250+ local social sector leaders in a day of professional development training, and featured Vu Le, author of Nonprofit With Balls96% of surveyed attendees learned something new about their leadership or the sector and 93% felt the Activate! Summit was an inclusive and welcoming space.

  • Accessible and Relevant Professional Development Events: YNPN Portland is committed to providing low cost and high value opportunities for growth. In 2016, we explored topics including Self Care, Equity, and Homelessness & Housing through 4 events engaging 200 individuals. YNPN is committed to cost never being a barrier by keeping ticket prices low and providing scholarships for all events.

  • Ongoing Network Building: We hosted 7 networking, service, and social events in 2016 across the Portland metro area. These events are always free, and sometimes we even buy the snacks and drinks!

  • New Board Leaders: In July 2016, we invited 5 new Board Members to join YNPN Portland. The board is now 14 strong and is an impressive and inspiring bunch!

Looking Ahead to 2017:

  • Member Survey: We want to take some time in early 2017 to hear from you. Who you are, what you do, and how YNPN Portland can be of better service to you. Look for an email soon with a link to a short survey. The results will shape the direction and focus of YNPN Portland programs moving forward.

  • January 14th Service Project: Kick the new year off right with a little service to others. Join YNPN & Urban League Young Professionals at one of two projects on Saturday, January 14th celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. RSVP now to save your spot.

  • March with YNPN on January 21st: Want to participate in the March on Portland? If you’re looking for folks to march with, join us. We’ll meet up a little early and march together. Invite your family and friends, all are welcome. This march is to ENGAGE, ENCOURAGE, and EMPOWER. RSVP to say we’ll see you there.

I look forward to the coming year and to all the great that lies ahead!

See you out there,

Megan O'Leary, YNPN Portland Board Chair

Post Election Reflection: We Believe


Today, YNPN Portland returns to our core beliefs.

“We believe that our social ills are caused by inequities in access to the basic resources and benefits of a democratic society. These inequities are based on discrimination against various groups by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other identities. We also believe that a diverse and powerful social sector can address these inequities.”

Our Stance on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Now, more than ever, we must speak out against hate and bigotry, stand up for policies that lift people up, build our community, and band together. YNPN Portland commits to this work, to showing up, and to creating spaces for you to lead.

We want you to know that we value the work you have done for our city and state. YNPN Portland believes in you. We believe in young emerging leaders and we believe in the power of our community.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Together, we’re building a powerful and diverse nonprofit sector.

-The YNPN Portland Board


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