Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 33: The Mixer

Photo of the Day: Working the Room

I felt like such a yuppie today (but in a good way) after hobnobbing at a networking event after work hosted by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in New York City. Held at Slate, a stylish little bar and venue in the Flatiron District, I had a wonderful time meeting like-minded people over drinks and conversation. And unlike other professional mixers, the attendees were engaged, genuine, and authentic about their excitement for their work. I only got to talk with a select few people, but everyone I met had such diverse backgrounds and were working on very different causes, but all for the public good. Due to the recent re-branding of our organization, I didn't have any business cards on hand, which made it difficult to network efficiently. But I did get some key contact information, and hopefully I'll be able to develop some valuable professional relationships from the interactions I had.

The guest speaker and co-host of the event was Rachael Chong, the president of CEO of Catchafire, a company that matches professionals with short-term, discrete projects for nonprofits. They do similar work to Taproot Foundation, but on an individual scale, and with a much more sophisticated matching system. It's actually a really interesting and admirable model, and I think our two organizations complement each other well. She was very passionate about her work, and I think I'll definitely be contacting her in the future to explore further opportunities for partnership.

The standard sign-in and nametags.
Networking with fellow nonprofit professionals at the bar at Slate.
My colleague and fellow AmeriCorps VISTA member Francesca (far right) floats through the room.
Rachael Chong, founder and CEO of Catchafire, offers insights into her unique business model.
It was raining steadily by the time I was heading home. I wish I'd brought an umbrella.

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