Check us out at our new digs!

After a bit of branding tweaking, we are now blogging over at It’s set up on Tumblr, and with the collaborative style of blogging and all of our relinking, that seems like a better home for us. We do hope you’ll join us over there!

Come join us!


Leave a Comment

August meeting — Back to Basics

Although NextGen has only been around for a couple years, we’ve grown and changed substantially, evolving to suit our members’ needs. At our meeting this month, our guest is Lettie Haver, a librarian at the Paul Clark Nonprofit Resource Center, where our roots are. Lettie initially pulled the group together to begin the discussion we’ve continued to have through the dozens of meetings we’ve had.

We hope you can join us to talk with Lettie about what it means to be a young nonprofit professional. Come with questions, stories, ideas, and things to share. We want your ideas on where we’re going next, and what we can do for you.

Date:    Friday, August 20, 2010

Time:    12:30-2:00 PM

Place:   Allen County Public Library, Main Branch [map]

Conference Room A — 2nd floor, through the HR department on the east end

Email Andrew Hoffman, Neighborlink FW, to RSVP.

Leave a Comment

July 16 Meeting: The Importance of Volunteers

Be Good to Your Volunteers

Because remember: They’ve been good to you.

This month we’re going to meet with Jennie Rumschlag at Matthew 25 to discuss the importance of recruiting, tracking, managing and recognizing volunteers. They are often the eyes, the ears and the legs of your organization, and many of us don’t even have a formalized volunteer policy or tracking system.

We hope you can join us — as always, feel free to bring your lunch and be prepared for an energizing discussion.

Date: Friday, July 16, 2010

Time: 12:30-2:00 PM

Place: Matthew 25 (map)

Please RSVP with Andy Welfle if you’re able to come: andy {at} fwdc {dot} org

Leave a Comment

Vision 2020: Share your vision for the future of Northeast Indiana

This is the first of many guest posts from members of NextGen Fort Wayne. Below is a post by Monica Freeman, Vision Coordinator–Northeast Indiana Fund at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Have you ever felt that as a young professional in a nonprofit that your voice isn’t quite as loud as others?

Vision 2020’s Regional Economic Summit will change all of that.

On June 23, Vision 2020 will ask you—yes, you!—to share your vision for the future of Northeast Indiana. The summit will feature keypad technology for everyone in the audience to participate in real-time voting on specific goals, strategies and tactics that Northeast Indiana will put into implementation to change the course of our economic vitality.

Because, the truth is, we are suffering as a region. For every dollar the average worker in America makes, we make only 80 cents. Our per capita income is on a downward trend, and there is not resolution in sight. No one thing is hurting us–it is death by a thousand cuts. We must create the resolution. What are we waiting for?

The summit will be the culmination of a bold six-month visioning process. For half a year, we’ve been studying the region, reaching out to the 10 counties that make up our corner of the heartland, and forcing our residents to be outrageous in their thinking for the future.

The time is now. This is our chance. Let’s stop being comfortable with the below average earnings and declining economic vitality. Let’s make this region better than average.

Be bold. Be outrageous. Get uncomfortable.

We need you to be bold and outrageous. We need you to share your best ideas. This is your chance to be heard. Your chance to help. Make Northeast Indiana the best it can be. Tell us what you’d like to see happen in this community.  Tell us what the future looks like.

The event is free and open to the public, but please contact to reserve your seat. Share this message with those throughout the region so we can all share our vision for Northeast Indiana. Become a visionary. Shape our future.

You can find out more about Vision 2020, read reports from the process and get involved at

Leave a Comment

On being outrageous

Monica Freeman discusses Vision 2020

Monica Freeman discusses Vision 2020

We had a really great discussion at the Northeast Indiana Fund offices on Friday — our May NextGen meeting was held there. Monica Freeman, the Vision Coordinator, talked about her massive project, Vision 2020. There are five pillars of the project, 5 broad areas of interest within the community that the project encompasses:

  1. 21st Century Talent
  2. Competitive Business Climate
  3. Entrepreneurship
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Quality of Life

One of the mantras of this project is “Be Outrageous.” It’s easy to come up with good ideas, but it’s not easy to be truly outrageous. Outrageous, like Kelly Lynch’s plan to build a massive immersive historical experience, Headwater’s Junction, at North Clinton and 4th Street. (Kelly was in attendance at the meeting and spoke briefly about his project. See the Journal Gazette and the News-Sentinel covering Lynch and his plans.)

Attendees of the NeXtGen Fort Wayne May meeting

Heather Shoegler from the Parkview Foundation attended, and spoke about the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana’s concurrent visioning, 2020 Vision (confusing, right?), and how it fits into the Fund’s vision plan.

Some resources to take away from the meeting:

  • Heather spoke about FastCompany and a yearly feature, Fast Cities 2010, featuring the best and boldest ideas that cities have come up with. These encapsulate the idea of thinking outrageously perfectly.
  • An attendee, who lived for a time in New York, mentioned that although he had good friends there, it seemed to him like there was only one cool person for every 8,000 who aren’t. Whereas, in Fort Wayne, people were much cooler per capita. We’re still playing with the project, but it is conceived as an online art project that features cool people, movers and shakers in Fort Wayne.
  • The 2010 Regional Economic Summit is June 23, 6 pm at the Grand Wayne Center. This is a change for the community to hear ideas proposed by the Vision 2020 task force and vote on their favorite ideas and give feedback. Monica Freeman encouraged everyone to come, and bring with them everyone they know. RSVP to to let them know you can attend!

Visit the Vision 2020 website to read reports and discover more about the 5 Pillars.

Leave a Comment

May 21 Meeting: Community Visioning

The next NextGen meeting is taking place at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Our host, Monica Freeman, is the Vision Coordinator for the Northeast Indiana Fund, a foundation that supports the Partnership and economic development. She’ll be leading a discussion about the region’s economic vision and how we as young nonprofit professionals fit into that vision. We are meeting Friday, May 21 from 12:30-2 at the Partnership offices in the Fourthwave Building, 300 E. Main St. [Google Map] Parking is to the east of the building, on the corner of Main and Lafayette. As always, you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Although dropins are certainly welcome, it would help us out if you would email me your RSVP at andy [at] fwdc [dot] com.

Thank you, and I hope to see you May 21!

Andy Welfle
Managing Director, Fort Wayne Dance Collective
NextGen Fort Wayne Executive Committee Member

P.S. Next time you see Andrew Hoffman, congratulate him! He is about to be a new father, literally any day now. His wife’s official due date was Monday, but it looks like baby Hoffman is a stubborn one. We hope to see him at the meeting, but if we don’t, we can’t hold it against him.

Leave a Comment


Members from NeXtGen Fort Wayne have been cultivating a relationship with a number of executive directors who are members of NINA over the past 2 years. This relationship continues to develop and move towards developing mentoring relationships that are mutually beneficial for us. We need experienced leaders to share their wisdom with us and offer us a safe environment to ask tough questions about our career pursuits. The best part is that they’ve also expressed their need for connecting and learning from us.

Below, you will find an invite from Becky Hill, Director of NINA, to join with them for a half day retreat. I encourage you to make this a priority and join us. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one us on the Executive Committee.

As a continuation of our quest for building lasting connections among generations, among peers and among friends, we have planned a day out of the office at the YMCA Camp Potawotami on Friday, June 4 from 9 am to 2 pm.

NextGen is a group of young nonprofit professionals who are becoming an affiliate of NINA. The YMCA staff and we are planning “age-appropriate” activities in the area of team building and problem solving, but low key. There will be plenty of just “do nothing” time near or on the water. Lunch will be served. Joe Conrad has helped plan this event and will be joining us.

We need reservations for a minimum 15 to make this a successful outing.  The cost is only $20 per person which includes lunch.


IPFW Kettler Hall-261
2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

You deserve a day away for rebuilding and refreshing your mind and spirit, moving into summer with renewed enthusiasm and joy.

You can RSVP by emailing me, Andrew Hoffman, at Andrew (at) and by sending your check to Becky at the above address.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »