Name, position, organization:
Samantha Groff, Volunteer & Events Coordinator, Scottsdale Arts

How long have you been a YNPN Phoenix member?

Favorite YNPN event or memory?
When I was doing my Masters, before I even joined YNPN, I attended LINK… at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Now I’m the Events Chair for YNPN, have served on the LINK committee, and work at Scottsdale Arts!

Favorite new quarantine hobby?
Aerial yoga! I have a “totally safe” set up in my garage. I’ve also been experimenting with pickling things.

What was it about your organization that made you want to be involved?
I met our director while I worked for an advocacy organization and was really impressed with how he included everyone, listened, and even asked me about what I thought, even though I was just an office coordinator, brand new, and very nervous. I’ve always supported making high quality arts experiences accessible to our community and I could tell he was going to be really good for Scottsdale Arts, so when I saw a job, I applied!

Tell us about one of the most valuable things you’ve learned from working for your organization (or nonprofit orgs in general).
An old boss of mine once told me “If you walk in on surgury half way through… it looks like murder” while we were in the throes of planning a big event. I don’t know if that’s the most valuable but I think about it a whole lot.

Favorite podcast or book?
My favorite podcast, and place for book recommendations, is Unlikable Female Characters.

Where is your dream vacation destination, and why?
Iceland. Pretty lights and elves. Not a beach person.

What one piece of advice would you offer someone who’s new to the nonprofit industry?
You can learn pretty much anything. One of the reasons I joined YNPN is because after graduating from college I had a pretty good grasp on art history, art education, and anthropology… but absolutely no idea how to write a grant, budget, evaluate programs, train and manage volunteers, etc. I basically had no idea how museums or nonprofits actually worked at all. This is the case for a lot of people I’ve come across in nonprofits. They know sustainability, they know mental health, they know the importance of the arts. We know and love the mission… everything else can come later. You can learn anything and YNPN can help!

What do you hope to contribute to YNPN Phoenix as a new board member?
I know how much trouble I had figuring things out and I owe a lot of helpers big thank yous. I’d like to be a helper too.