Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati
They say it’s better to give than to receive, and one local lady is making it her life’s mission to instill that concept in the hearts of young adults across Greater Cincinnati.
Tracey Conrad, founder of the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati (YPS), launched her organization in 2011 in hopes of providing people with an outlet to get involved with non-profits across the city. Through YPS, young 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. The idea is to intermingle young professionals with established organizations and philanthropists, so there can be seamless transitions from one generation to the next.
Shortly after launching YPS, Conrad left her career to pursue the role of YPS President and full-time volunteer. “In addition to my volunteer work with YPS, I continue to be an ambassador for the arts here in Cincinnati. I serve on committees for Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Fotofocus, Enjoy the Arts, ArtsWave, and Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts,” Conrad explains. “In addition, I have been a host for events for the Contemporary Arts Center, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.”
Growing YPS through her presidential duties keeps Conrad quite busy. In her first year, she connected with more than 30 non-profit organizations and started developing the YPS membership base. Today, YPS has upwards of 80 non-profit partner organizations, and has connected more than 100 young professionals to local nonprofits committees. “Our partner organizations offer diverse opportunities for young professionals to get involved. YPS helps partner organizations by referring volunteers to serve on their committees and boards,” Conrad explains. “YPS also helps promote nonprofit events through our website, e-blasts, and social media. If a nonprofit does not currently have a YP committee YPS offers free consulting to help them get one started.”
Those interested in joining the YPS 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.
“The main mission of YPS is to connect young professionals to nonprofits to serve on a committee or board. We are a ‘matchmaker’ between volunteer and nonprofit,” says Conrad. “When someone applies they are offered the opportunity to meet personally with me to learn about nonprofits that have committee opportunities available. YPS focuses on getting YPs on committees and boards.”
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. Young professionals who are already serving on a nonprofit committee can also apply. YPS has a member roster of volunteers that it uses to connect and help other young professionals find YPs that share their passion for philanthropy.
“We believe if young professionals serve on a non-profit committee they will be more engaged as a volunteer and be more committed to philanthropy in the future,” says Conrad. “If a YP is not ready to serve on a committee we refer them to Give Back Cincinnati or other organizations where they can volunteer without the committee commitment. Our goal is and always will be to get young professionals on nonprofit committees!”
The 100+ YPS members are already making a big difference through their new committee roles. “The impact is invaluable. They have brought new ideas to local nonprofit organizations and help with fundraising and community outreach,” says Conrad. “So many of our members say they have found a new love and passion for the City of Cincinnati after meeting with YPS and getting connected. They have made new friends and have a stronger sense of community by being a part of something. They have become ambassadors not only for the organizations they volunteer for but also the city.”
To learn more about YPS, visit www.ypscincinnati.org.