One of the faces of the new FOX19 reality show Queen City is also the face of one of Cincinnati’s newest organizations. Tracey Conrad founded the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati (YPS) earlier this year, and it has really struck a chord with the young professionals of the city.
The young professionals of today seem to be of a new breed. It used to be said that young adults were interested in one thing – their own personal gain. Today’s young professionals, however, are putting that selfish stereotype to rest by proving they are interested in more than self-serving purposes and more concerned with building the community that surrounds them.
Conrad says she saw this dynamic and wanted to provide people with an outlet to get involved with non-profit organizations across the city. Through YPS, professionals work with non-profits in various capacities and with different commitment levels. "They may just want to volunteer, attend fundraising events or be a host or hostess for the event," she says. "Others may want to be more involved with a committee or on a board."
Conrad says she created this organization to give its members experience with today’s community leaders to keep Cincinnati’s community and leadership strong for generations to come. Cincinnati is constantly growing and improving, and she says she hopes that by getting young professionals in the scene now they can learn from the best, so there can be seamless transitions from one generation to the next.
"We were inspired by our city’s current board members and philanthropists," Conrad says. "They have been such strong supporters of Cincinnati over their lifetimes and continue to make an impact on others in the community. We not only admire them but look to them as mentors so we can be prepared to continue the strong tradition of leadership they have provided."
Conrad says she believed so strongly in this organization and its mission that she left her career so she could become a full-time volunteer for Cincinnati’s arts and non-profit community. YPS keeps Conrad’s daily life busy with her presidential duties. Currently, she is connected with more than 30 non-profit organizations and building a membership base that right now stands at more than 100 members, with new applications coming in daily.
"I am constantly meeting with non-profits to identify their need for associate boards or young professional committees," says Conrad. "I also meet personally with members who are interested in becoming more involved in the community. In addition, I promote and attend fundraising events each week."
Those interested in joining the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati just have to visit the organization’s website to fill out an application. Membership is free, and once the application is filled out and submitted, board members will match applicants with organizations based on demonstrated interests and history with non-profits.
There are no requirements to being a Young Philanthropist Society member other than a dedication and commitment to volunteering and philanthropy. Although previous experience working with non-profit organizations is encouraged, it is not necessary to become a member.
"As a member, one can expect support and advice from other young professionals in the community. Members can also find out about leadership opportunities to serve on non-profit associate boards and young professional committees," says Conrad. "We are also in the process of forming a mentorship program with YPS and current philanthropists, so members can be prepared to take over board leadership in the future."
Conrad says she has big dreams for her organization that she will make happen with her love for Cincinnati and her passion for its arts and non-profits being the driving force behind her organization’s success. "Our goal for the future is to become a long-term organization that is constantly working with non-profits to help develop the next generation of leaders," says Conrad. "We want to be an umbrella organization that young professionals can look to for information on opportunities to get involved at different levels of commitment and leadership."