Written by: Jeanette Gass, CAP, CNP, CVEP, DES
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At the December 2021 Association of Certified Nonprofit Professional webinar, Christa Beall Diefenbach, CNP  gave CNPs some tips on using the credential to land their next job. She explained that the CNP is not only valuable in your job search but can also help you build your personal brand and expand your network. The CNP credential can help you to build your network intentionally by connecting you with like-minded individuals with similar career paths and goals. These connections may help you land your next job, provide you with advice on work-related issues, or serve with you in volunteer roles. Building your network will help you reach your professional goals and set you up on the path to success. 

Below are the top 3 ways to leverage your CNP: 

  1. Have an elevator speech for the CNP. Many people may not know what the CNP is but this is an opportunity to explain it to them. The CNP is a leadership development program based on 10 core competencies ranging from governance to communications to fundraising and beyond that are needed to have a successful nonprofit career.
  2. Showcase the CNP on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you add the digital badge to your certifications list. Digital badges carry metadata that helps recruiters or others looking for nonprofit experts find you. The 10 core competencies are located within the metadata and hiring managers, recruiters, and search firms are actively searching on LinkedIn.
  3. Join the Association of CNPs. The Association provides opportunities to volunteer, learn, and network with other CNPs.

In addition, you can use the CNP network for a host of resources such as conducting informational interviews to find out about different career opportunities and organizations, writing and receiving recommendations for people you have worked or volunteered with, finding nonprofits that are looking for volunteers, and advertising for open positions with your nonprofit. The CNP network can also provide you with best practices for common nonprofit needs such as fundraising and communication strategies, and help you understand the latest trends in the sector.   

The CNP is so much more than the courses taken to earn the credential. In fact, CNPs are 7 times more likely to reach a leadership position than non-CNP peers. Earning your CNP is the first step in a lifelong journey of professional nonprofit success.

About the Author:

Jeanette Gass, CAP, CNP, CVEP, DES

Jeanette Gass, CAP, CNP, CVEP, DES is Membership & Development Director at the American Association for Public Opinion Research. She is Membership Chair on the Association of CNPs Executive Committee, Vice Chair of The Association for Women in Communications, and a member of ASAE’s Young Professionals Advisory Committee and has been an employee and volunteer in the nonprofit space for more than 10 years.