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Blog Home > NonProfit Executive LaVar Young Reflects on PLI Fellowship
NonProfit Executive LaVar Young Reflects on PLI Fellowship

Fundraising, Branding, Outcomes, Evaluations, Reporting, Proposals, Lobbying, Event Planning- there are probably several other categories I am missing, but if you are a non-profit executive, you too are very familiar with the terminology. These terms are the lifeline of any viable organization; most of the time the responsibility of managing those task lands on the desk of the Executive Director. Taking time to research and ultimately fulfill those tasks can be unnerving.

In October of 2013 I was fortunate to graduate from the inaugural class of the Practitioners Leadership Institute (PLI) Academy. PLI was developed by the Center for Urban Families, and is an 8-month, non-traditional leadership program designed to assist nationally diverse leaders in growing their network and expertise in the areas of responsible fatherhood, family strengthening, workforce development, and boys and men of color.

PLI connected my classmates and me to experts in the fields of philanthropy, branding, policy and other topics crucial to the success of families, communities and non-profits. I consider the most enjoyable aspect of PLI to be meeting my peers from around the country who do similar work. The work that we do is extremely challenging. Meeting inspired individuals who do the same type of work and experience similar challenges truly motivated me. The passion and knowledge displayed for our particular communities reassured me that our field of work is on the right track.

PLI was created to enhance and sustain practitioner capacity and to create stronger networks of support. The Academy certainly did that for me. I now have a network of peers with whom I can speak, exchange ideas and discuss what works and what doesn’t. PLI assisted me with prioritizing what next steps are needed for me and my organization to take our work to the next level. As long as I work in this field there will be Fundraising, Branding, Outcomes, Evaluations, Reporting, Proposals, Lobbying, Event Planning and lots more. PLI helped me think outside the box to address those topics!

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