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The debut of the Young Nonprofit Professionals San Antonio chapter kicked off with beer and live music Thursday night, with more than 50 representatives from nonprofits around the city sharing in the celebration.
The organization aims to connect the city’s young nonprofit professionals with resources for them to become effective leaders within the local community.
The event, held at the Alamo Brewery, was an opportunity for individuals who work in the local nonprofit sector to network while learning about the organization and the membership process.
Cadence Corbin, the organization’s leadership team member and program assistant for the San Antonio Area Foundation, said the group’s debut in the city is important because there are no other existing organizations like it.
“I started dong some investigation on my own and realized there are nonprofit professional groups across the country, but there wasn’t one here in San Antonio,” she said. “So we got together and talked about what we would want in a group like this and what kinds of gaps are we seeing in our sector that need to be met.”
Corbin teamed up with John Burnam, co-founder and principal of local consulting firm Burnam|Gray, to bring Young Nonprofit Professionals to San Antonio, and has since welcomed more young professionals to their growing leadership team.
Two main goals for the organization, Corbin said, are to provide skill development opportunities for its members and to be a supportive resource for those new to the city and the nonprofit world.
“Sometimes nonprofits can only bring in part-time help because they’re small and can’t pay a lot, and sometimes those people are not always equipped to be in those positions,” she said. “So, we want to make sure that those people that are brought in are going to be able to thrive because they’ll have a network and community to give them support.”
Opportunities for affordable and effective professional development in the nonprofit sector are hard to come by, she added. That’s why the group hopes to provide its members with affordable tools and resources that foster professional development. They’ve already hosted an unofficial panel discussion with several CEOs and nonprofit professionals who gave attendees tips and insight on how to succeed as leaders in their fields.
“If we can provide an affordable rate for professional development for our young professionals who are looking to advance their careers or network, we hope to do that,” Corbin said.
San Antonio currently has more than 100 nonprofits, in areas ranging from homeless outreach to food donation services.
The organization is part of the San Antonio Nonprofit Council. Any organization, agency, or individual that is a member of the Nonprofit Council automatically receives membership to the Young Nonprofit Professionals. Non-council members, Corbin said, can pay an annual fee of $25 for the organization’s membership.
Since the group is still in its early phases of development, she added, there will be room for flexibility as far as growth and resources offered.
“It’s a work in progress so it’s constantly going to be growing and changing,” she said. “We really want it to be able to reflect the needs of the group.”
Right now, the group is an independent local chapter, but is working to officially become part of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, which will gain them a spot on the Network’s website and offer more involvement opportunities, such as conferences, with nonprofit professionals in the national community.
The group will host networking and educational events in the city for its members, including the opportunity to pick the brains of various seasoned nonprofit professionals in the local community.
Their next event is a networking opportunity for marketing professionals which will take place on Friday, Feb. 26 at Rosella Coffee.
For Corbin, the start of this organization in San Antonio is a no-brainer, since the city is made up of a community that continually works to make it the best it can be.
“People in San Antonio love their city and they want to see their city succeed and people in the nonprofit and social sector are the heart of that.”