Yesterday, I was honored as a New Leader in Philanthropy in the inaugural Class of Change 2008 by Greater DC Cares at a reception along with nine others committed to social change in the D.C. area. I was honored and excited to be recognized for the work that I’ve done in collaboration with others to improve the community & engage young professionals in the nonprofit sector. The best part of the story is how I got on the list with the cool kids. One of my fellow board members for the DC Young Nonprofit Professionals Network nominated me. Another Gen Y nonprofit leader took the time to fill out a form and tell the committee why I should be chosen. I was nominated by my own, and now I have the opportunity to represent the leadership of so many other young nonprofit professionals in our region.

This is the power that we have to showcase the work of our colleagues that might otherwise go unnoticed. If you know of an emerging leader that’s doing something fantastic, please take the time to spread the word! The more Gen Y leaders are celebrated, the more respect we earn as young professionals. If we are perceived as leaders, it makes it easier for us to lead. Publicity tends to legitimize our contributions, and we can leverage it to impact even more change in our communities.

I do believe that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. So let’s start supporting each other even more by nominating our own. Here are a couple opportunities, but please know that there are so many more in each particular community.

  • The Charles Bronfman Prize celebrates the vision and talent of an individual or team 50 years of age or under, whose humanitarian work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world. Its goal is to bring public recognition to young, dynamic individuals whose Jewish values infuse their humanitarian accomplishments and provide inspiration to the next generations.
  • An internationally recognized panel of Judges selects the Prize recipient(s) and bestows an award of $100,000. Nominate an Outstanding Social Service Professional. The Superstar Foundation is accepting nominations for grants to recognize the highest-performing social service professionals. The grants will be awarded across five categories to high-performing social service professionals who have demonstrated a substantial impact on social change. Each grant will be worth $2,000. The application deadline is Friday, October 31.

imageRosetta Thurman is an emerging nonprofit leader of color working and living in the Washington, D.C. area.  She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and blogs about nonprofit leadership and management issues at Perspectives From the Pipeline.