Pushing Forward

Yes, the results of the 2016 election shocked the nation. Many YNPN chapters, including National, responded to the outcome of the election via blog posts and emails to members who were reeling from the results.

I don’t need to go into the dangers surrounding President-elect Trump’s cabinet picksconflicts of interest or haunting pastswe’re all well aware of what’s coming down the pike. Some people say this is a time to come together and show support for our President-elect, to give him a chance.

I disagree.

The rhetoric coming from the Trump campaign is dangerous and spreading across the country—the so-called “Trump Effect” or “Trump Talk.” It is time for action. It’s time for us to take action as a nonprofit community. With strategic action our work can achieve even more in a light of a Donald Trump presidency. 

The election of Donald Trump and his cabinet appointments definitely won’t make our jobs any easier, but I have faith in our community to thrive even in these adverse circumstances. Part of YNPN National’s response to the election read:

“I believe this is the time when our network becomes more critical than ever. The coming years will be a marathon, a sprint, and a relay race. Sometimes we will move quickly toward justice, and sometimes we will go slowly. As individuals, sometimes we will carry the baton, and sometimes we will need to be carried.”

In these tough times when we’re not exactly sure what is going to happen next, it’s essential that we utilize our networks within the sector. I’m thankful that I have the YNPN community to lift me up when I struggle. I’m happy that I can support my fellow nonprofiteers as we navigate new challenges.

So, time for the big question: what can we do NOW?

First of all, take care of yourself. Self-care is essential, yet it’s often forgotten when we are stressed. It is difficult to move forward and help others if we cannot even help ourselves. You cannot expect to devote time to others if you are not your best self. Get sufficient sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat right. Take time for yourself; that may be going for a run or vegging out in front of Netflix (guilty!), just make sure you set aside at least an hour a day to participate in self care. For more on self care, check out this blog post written by YNPNmaine member Leila Hunter.

Connect with other nonprofits - Collaboration is key. If you’ve found YNPNmaine, you’re in the right place. One of the many reasons I became involved with YNPN was to help bring more nonprofits together. So many organizations have the same or similar mission statements, but aren’t collaborating. Growing up, adults always told me that two heads are better than one. The same goes for organizations. We can accomplish so much more with shared resources and talent. We are all striving toward a better world, let us work together to get there. We’ll get there that much faster.

Stay engaged and aware. I am traveling to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington after the election. I will arrive in town on Inauguration morning and will leave the Monday after. There are many other ways to stay engaged, from participating in protests to reading reliable news sources and dialoguing about current events. While being aware is important, moving forward from those engagements and being prepared for action is essential. Many people attend rallies and feel that they’ve done something to make the world a better place, but the work doesn’t stop there. Take the energy and momentum and translate it into positive change. I’m going to quote those adults from my childhood again, actions speak louder than words.

Be ready to act. Make sure nonprofit supporters are informed and ready to mobilize. Encourage constituents to talk to their Representatives and Senators in person or to send emails and make phone calls. Our U.S. Senator, Susan Collins, is especially important during this cycle. I was part of a group traveling to Senator Collins office earlier in December delivering holiday cards asking her to protect the Affordable Care Act. Action is extremely important right now and we need to show we are united. Here’s an easy way to send a message to Senator Collins proclaiming your support for the ACA, asking her to protect it.

I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we move forward to an uncertain future. Remember that YNPNmaine is here to help keep the nonprofit community connected and engaged. The national YNPN network is made up of over 50,000 nonprofit leaders dedicated to making the world a more inviting, accepting, and overall better place. Thank you for your commitment. Let us passionately strive to make 2017 a year to celebrate our accomplishments.

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