Tom Dlugopolsky, YNPN Cleveland Member

Tom Dlugopolsky is proof that for-profit and non-profit missions can go hand in hand.  He says that he decided to become more involved in YNPN Cleveland to learn more about nonprofit fundraising and to strengthen his relationship to Cleveland’s nonprofit community.  In his role as a financial planner at Skylight Financial Group, he helps people make the most of their financial lives every day. Continue reading

Global Connections: Building Ties between Young Nonprofit Professionals in Cleveland and Belarus

By Katie Ferman and Kaitlin Nam Imagine. You’re a young nonprofit leader from the eastern European country of Belarus who has just been offered an opportunity to travel to the United States. Your objective: to learn as much as possible about the nonprofit sector in the U.S. and return with best practices to apply to your work back home. Of course, you have a few other things on your mind. What are Americans like? Do I have anything in common with my counterparts in American nonprofits? Or would cultural differences stand in the way of interaction and connection? Continue reading

The Five Social Media Mistakes Most Young Professionals Make

  Swipe left, swipe right.  Today more than ever, it’s simple to use social media. But as young professionals, where do we draw the line?  In a world where social capital is increasingly important, it’s critical that young professionals use social media as a tool to demonstrate leadership and make connections.  But without a plan and clear strategy, most YPs can fall victim to mistakes that can be costly for their organization—or worse—for them personally. Continue reading

Local Organization Spotlight: The Refugee Response

The Refugee Response (TRR) is in the business of providing a sense of home, of community and belonging, and of self-sufficiency and accomplishment to many who lost basic safety and security in their own countries. Each year, around 500 to 700 refugees arrive in Cleveland from countries like Myanmar, Bhutan, Somalia, Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They must overcome many challenges and make Cleveland their new home for themselves and their families. Thankfully, as Patrick Kearns, the Executive Director of The Refugee Response, pointed out: Cleveland has a robust refugee community and a large number of organizations and institutions working together to provide needed services and support. Continue reading

Meet Marsita Ferguson, YNPN Cleveland Ambassador

  YNPN Cleveland Member, Marsita Ferguson became interested in the work of nonprofit organizations about 2 years ago, and she’s already involved with several organizations in her free time and has even started her own. Marsita is on the Executive Board of the NAACP’s Lake County Chapter and is a member of The Cleveland Young Professional Minority Women's Group and the Girls Scouts of America in addition to YNPN Cleveland. Continue reading

The Importance Of: Ending Homelessness in Cleveland

Volunteers with Santa at Twinkle Shop in 2014.   Homelessness: in metropolitan areas across the country, it can seem like a problem too big to solve—a faceless, nameless community condition destined to always be with us. Not so here in Cleveland, where we can not only count but name every individual and family experiencing homelessness. Even more importantly, here in Cleveland ending homelessness is close within our reach. Continue reading

Twitter Chat like a (Nonprofit) Pro

  Many young professionals use Twitter, but you may not be entirely aware of how useful this social media platform can be in helping you expand your network and develop in your career.  For example, have you ever participated in a Twitter Chat? Organized by hashtags (i.e. #YNPNCLE), Twitter Chats allow groups of like-minded people to connect in order to discuss issues that are important to them. Continue reading

Cory Isler, YNPN Cleveland Member

YNPN Cleveland Member Cory Isler’s educational background includes obtaining Bachelor of Arts in Music and Arts Management and a Master of Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace University. Thanks to a college mentor, Cory connected with BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence before his undergraduate graduation and learned about their great work for nonprofits and businesses. He decided to do an informational interview with BVU’s CEO to learn about their work, then applied to a job opening there several months later, and thus began his work with the organization. He now works as Associate Director of Education and Nonprofit Engagement at BVU. Continue reading

Building Relationships with Corporate and Community Groups

Hospice of the Western Reserve Dominion volunteers at Ames Family Hospice House   Imagine that there was a way to simultaneously trim down your nonprofit’s budget, build relationships with local companies and community organizations, and boost your media presence. What could provide all of these benefits? Volunteer groups, of course! Engaging with corporate and community groups is a fantastic opportunity for non-profits. Organizing group volunteer experiences can save thousands in labor dollars while also establishing deeper relationships with these valuable partners. Furthermore, volunteer engagement can be a great public relations tool to generate a positive media presence. Here are some tips for building successful relationships with corporate and community groups: Continue reading

Focusing on Your Strengths

This post is by Cindy Biggs, an expert guest blogger who worked for 33 years in the non-profit healthcare sector before applying her strengths as a professional Leadership Development Expert and Executive Coach, Trainer, and Mentor.  As an international Turning Learning into Action Associate, she knows how Professional Coaching can significantly increase your return on investment in leadership training.  Cindy uses the Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment, Strengths Based Leadership:  Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, in most of her work.  She has coached numerous leaders of all ages to focus on their leadership strengths to find a job and career and LIFE that will be integrated that they can love and enjoy.  For more information on Cindy, or to learn more about opportunities related to strengths-based coaching and training, you can contact her via email at, phone at 330.465.9089, or on her website at In the 1950s psychologist Donald Clifton asked the question, "What will happen when we think about what is RIGHT with people rather than fixating on what is WRONG with them?" Continue reading