YNPN Alumni Series: Alyssa Kopf- VP of Strategic Services, The Denver Foundation

I came for a beer and conversation. I left with inspiration and perspective. Alyssa Kopf, Vice President of Strategic Services at The Denver Foundation and the former CEO of Community Shares of Colorado, used to be one of us, having served on the YNPN Denver Board of Directors circa 2008. That September night, Alyssa’s sentiments and advice strongly resonated with our current young nonprofit professionals.

Alyssa joined YNPN Denver because it provided her with an opportunity to network with many  professionals who inspired her and earned her respect during a pivotal time in her career. She advised, “Your late 20’s and early 30’s are such a critical time in your career. You stop simply working, and you start to become more strategic and think about the direction you want your career to take.”

Alyssa’s involvement and service with YNPN Denver allowed her to connect with other professionals to leverage their skills and knowledge, helping her make important decisions for the trajectory of her career. “These aren’t the types of conversations that you normally have with friends and family… It was important to connect with those who could speak to some of the professional development opportunities and strategies to help me achieve my professional goals.”

Many of us are in between life transitions; we may have worked our way up or gone to college, but a vast majority of our membership base are in that spot just before things getreally busy. We’re making our names, we’re introducing ourselves, and sometimes people may call us to participate in various projects. However, we aren’t the seasoned experts in the field… yet. As we spend more time in the field and get promoted, more and more demands are placed on our time to a point that we won’t be able to invest as much in our development and connections.

Carpe diem! “This is a point in your life where you have time to invest in your networking connections, professional, and personal growth,” Alyssa advises.

Alyssa ceased her involvement with YNPN Denver because she earned a fabulous promotion to CEO of Community Shares of Colorado. In fact, Alyssa named several of her YNPN Denver peers who eventually stopped volunteering due to major promotions they received. I sat in amazement – many of the names Alyssa listed were the people who inspired me to do nonprofit work in Denver, Colorado. At that moment, things came full circle for me.

Alyssa invested her time in me to share something insightful so that I could share it with other young nonprofit professionals. The time is now. Become a member; invest in yourself and your future. The payoff could be tremendous.

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