Regionalism is not just a trend or a buzzword. It is something that is vital to any organization’s existence. Fewer resources, less volunteers, and a changing membership landscape creates an environment that demands organizations work together, merge, collaborate, and evolve. Look beyond your borders to your neighbors and capitalize on growth together.
Apply this with your young professional organizations (YPO). Over the last several years, YPO’s have gained a lot of popularity and momentum. Inevitably, the passion and zest fizzle, and the organizations start to suffer. YPO’s are unique in the sense that young professionals are often balancing a new career, a new family, and volunteer work. Work and family come first, and it’s easy and understandable for volunteer work to quickly take a back seat on the priority list. Another unique characteristic of YPO’s is aging volunteers who no longer fit into the young professional model. Hence, you are always circulating through new volunteers. The turnover process becomes tiresome.
What to do? Build a bigger more sustainable organization through regionalism or collaboration. An impressive factor for me is that YPO’s understand what is good for you is good for us. Last month, Coast Young Professionals attended the first ever Mississippi Young Professional Summit. I could not have been more impressed with over 300 people representing 24 YPO’s working together for the common goal of retaining talent in our state. We are powerful, but we are always more effective together. There is strength in numbers. Not to mention the benefit of shared resources.
If your YPO is not an affiliate of your local chamber of commerce or business alliance, I encourage you to explore opportunities to collaborate. Marketing, member management, events, and back office operations can take a toll on limited staff. Focus can become not on the mission or the ROI but on operations. Sharing resources can aid in minimizing expenses and maximizing staff productivity and effectiveness.
We’re in this together, why not work together?