This post was written by YNPNdc’s own Flordelisa Dolan, a member of the Technology Committee.

So you’ve recently moved to the DC area, you may be living with a friend or family member, and are in the midst of job hunting. Or you have recently started a nonprofit job and want to acclimate yourself to the DC nonprofit sector. I’ve been there. I quickly absorbed information about the nonprofit players, and learned about networking, volunteering and professional development opportunities. Below are some nuggets of information that I have learned about over the years.

Welcome to DC! Flickr image by user Echo9er

  1. If you have signed up to receive YNPNdc emails, then you have made a step in the right direction (if you haven’t, you can sign up right now). I have attended YNPNdc happy hours, panel discussions, professional development workshops, and speed networking events throughout the past 6 years. Through these events you can and will learn more about the nonprofit sector, network with your peers and get access to upcoming events. So attend our events; in fact register for our Annual Conference titled “The Complete Professional: Individual Growth, Momentous Development” which is on Friday, May 18.
  2. Foundation Center, a friend of YNPNdc, offers free workshops on fundraising, developing a budget, working with your board, social media and much more. They even have a  library where you can conduct prospect research on foundations, corporations and individuals and borrow books on a variety of nonprofit topics. Before I started my first fundraising job in DC, I attended every fundraising related workshop to bring me up to speed on trends and best practices. I still attend their workshops to get new ideas.
  3. The Center for Nonprofit Advancement, another friend of YNPNdc, offers workshops, has events, and provides membership benefits. The one offering I have taken advantage of for the past 5  years has been The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management event. First it is FREE. Second you learn about best practices in nonprofit management and different ideas, policies and procedures that have worked for the finalists. You can bring back some of these ideas to your supervisor or begin to implement some of them yourself. Third, you get to network with leaders in the DC nonprofit sector. And, as if all that wasn’t good enough, there is free food too. This year their event is on May 24. You can register on their website.
  4. The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, a friend of YNPNdc, offers roundtable discussions for their members, provides nonprofit resources, and convenes community  meetings on new nonprofit and economic trends. I have been to several of these community meetings and it is a great way to learn more about the players in DC, the new trends and to network.
  5. Publications – Of course you have to keep up with the news. Some of the publications I subscribe to are Bisnow, Chronicle for Philanthropy, Washington Business Journal, industry specific publications, and the Mayor’s Office of Partnerships and Grant Services’ Funding Alert (which lists volunteer opportunities like reviewing grant proposals for area nonprofits. This is a great way to learn dos and don’ts in grant writing.).

There is so much more to learn and absorb. I’d like to hear from you about things you’ve learned over the years or being a recent DC transplant. Please share your nuggets of information!

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