Waiting List: Breakfast of Champions with Judy Alnes
Friday, Nov. 14th
7-8:30 am
MAP for Nonprofits, St. Paul

Emerging Leaders Network Lunch: Strategies for the Ultra-Small Organization
Friday, Nov. 21st
12-1 pm
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, St. Paul


Annual YNPN-TC Ugly Sweater Happy Hour
Tuesday, Dec. 9th
5:30-8:30 pm
Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis



* Notes from Creating Leader-full Spaces presentation at 2012 Nonprofit Leadership Conference.

* Facilitation resources on topics such as Open Space Technology and World Cafe, and groups such as the Public Conversations Project and the international Art of Hosting network.






We provide and promote opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals.

We envision a world where young nonprofit professionals:

• connect through purpose
• challenge to change
• lead together

Our values:

● We strive for respect and inclusiveness
● We seek opportunities to collaborate
● We respond to the evolving needs of our community

Subscribe by E-mail

The Twin Cities chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is a community of nonprofit staff, volunteers, supporters, and allies: current and future leaders who want to connect with others in the social sector.



Breakfast of Champions: Jennifer Ford Reedy

Words by Lauren Van Schepen // Photos by Marie Ketring
This post originally published on Pollen. Reposted with permission

Jennifer Ford Reedy, President of the Bush Foundation, is somewhat of an omnipresent leader — seemingly everywhere at once. You know the type: they speak at conferences, happy hours, and block parties. We hear their voices on issues like housing, transportation, social services, and healthcare. We see their work in education and racial disparities. We are certainly lucky to have them, but even luckier to have the rare chance to go beyond talking points to a different type of exchange.

A small group of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities members and Pollenites met with Jen at the Bush Foundation, to watch the sun rise over St. Paul, and — as the caffeine kicked in — pushed her to discuss what she considered “really hard” topics.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Even at a young age I was fascinated by all the different ways to do good. When I was young I planned on doing good by being a cowboy or a Harlem Globetrotter — I dribbled my paper route — but that fascination to do good has certainly continued.

When you say you’ve always wanted to ‘do good,’ it sounds like you may also want to be liked. What’s the difference?

Wanting to do good is dangerously close to wanting to be liked. I’ve certainly tried too hard to be liked in the past, and I’m afraid I’ll likely do it again in the future. But I’ve come to realize there are some people who will never trust me because of this job. The more power you have, the more suspect people are of your actions.


Were you uncomfortable being in leadership positions as a young person?

I have spent most of my career in rooms full of people older than me, and I haven’t been anxious. The best piece of advice I got was to use humor. If you tell a joke you’re also saying, “I’m comfortable here. I belong.”

What lessons did you take from your time as a consultant?

The biggest luxury of consulting was a clear developmental path and structured feedback process. Before working at McKinsey I couldn’t take personal or professional feedback; I’d immediately respond with a defense (ask my husband). But I learned that it’s the caring thing to do to tell someone how they can be better at something, and eventually people’s feedback on my performance made me feel valued.




What are your current personal or professional development goals?

This year I’m working on balancing accessibility and necessary structure, not jumping into problem-solving mode too quickly, and becoming more comfortable with power. I’ve been asking myself, “If someone who has extreme comfort with power — Bill Clinton, for example — had my job, how would they do it differently?” When you’re willing to share an honest need and be vulnerable about what you want to work on, people help. I’m thankful for that because I want to be good at this job, not just believe I’m good at it.










This piece is a summary of a conversation with Jennifer Ford Reedy, which took place at the Bush Foundation on September 19, 2014, as part of Pollen and YNPN-TC’s joint Breakfast of Champions series. For more information, or to register for an upcoming event, check ynpntwincities.org


The Gifs of Leadership

By Eriks Dunens

It's been seven months since the EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute—an intensive ten-month skill-building and networking cohort program for young nonprofit professionals—began. As a cohort, we've been teaching each other all sorts of useful things about work-life balance, tips for evaluation, ideas for managing up in our organizations, and—most recently—addressing how we can lead abundantly and resiliently. The following are five reflections I've had raised by our cohort's discussions and questions, in gif form. 

1. Abundance is a mindset, not a comment on time, money, or other resources

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/creepy-no-boys-P8yIb9Hqib7tm

Leading from abundance doesn't mean our organizations are flush with cash or that we secretly have Hermione's Time-Turner. It's about realizing the assets we have and leveraging them confidently. It's about sharing information and data, supporting colleagues in their work, and giving other people credit for their contributions. And just as much, it is about re-framing our expectations around how much is necessary and how we define success.

2. Leading abundantly is similar to servant leadership

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/ram-ranimalsbeingjerks-servant-XOQgqhhEV2wSI

Servant leaders see their primary role as serving others, especially their coworkers. It often takes the shape of emphasizing the importance of caring and inclusivity as being central to management and coworking relationships. Robert Greenleaf, author of The Servant as Leader, provides the test question "Do those served grow as persons... (and become) more likely themselves to become servants?" Imagine the possibilities of a workplace like that...

3. Servant leaders get things done

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/cindysuen-art-animation-animated-cfph3o9Wx0KKk

Researcher Adam Grant has reported in his book Give and Take that servant leaders not only feel better about themselves and are better respected, they also are more productive as well. So as we share more of our resources, information, and insights, coworkers reciprocate in kind.

4. We need to be ready to address conflict to lead resiliently.

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/daft-punk-36YqI8kS9gk5G

Conflict is unavoidable and can often be a drain upon energy and motivation. Taking an abundance mindset into conflict can mean looking for generative and positive opportunities within conflict. And addressing conflict in ways that are healthy can make a team more resilient and ready to move through the next conflict with an open mind.

5. When we lead abundantly and resiliently, we can take on any challenges.

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/threaten-tough-X5i2BoQeD9kWY

Mary Kate and Ashley know what I'm talking about.


When It’s Okay to Quit

By Amelia Colwell Reedy
Follow me on Twitter: @ameliareads 

I need to quit something. It’s a something that is a net good thing for the world–it brings me extra income, it accomplishes positive things for people–but it is a something that is not good for me.

Lately, I’ve been challenged to think about the dangers of people pleasing and its negative health consequences. Fellow do-gooders, nonprofit professionals, and people pleasers of the world, I’m here to tell you: if something isn’t feeding you, it’s okay to quit. That thing–that volunteer gig, that second job, that thing that helps you 10 percent but runs you ragged–can survive without you. I am replaceable, and you are replaceable. That’s a really freeing thing if you’ll let it be. 

When contemplating whether to quit an extracurricular time suck in my teenage years, my dad gave me this advice, “Think of not quitting. How do you feel? If you feel anxious or exhausted, it may be a sign that you need to quit.”

Maybe the thing you need to quit is a person–a draining friend, a controlling partner. Maybe it’s an addiction or a time waster. Maybe it’s a noble thing that keeps you from buying that cocker spaniel you’ve always wanted or conquering that next step at work. 

People might not understand. But it is important to understand yourself, above all else. It doesn’t matter if someone else understands. If you want to discern whether an activity or gig is right for you, take some time to reflect. Be absolutely selfish for a minute. Does this contribute to your life’s narrative? Is this accomplishing good things for you? Is it giving you the skills you want to develop? If the answer is no, consider quitting.

In her book The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, Ariel Gore writes: 

"If you've abdicated your right to create your own life story, vow to take it back. If you're ruled by your possessions, give them away. By a toxic lover, diplomatically take your leave. By addictions, wean yourself with compassion, and if that doesn't work, go find a quiet shelter on a mountaintop, far from liquor stores and dealers. Welcome angels as you breathe through your parade of demons." 

It is hard to say no, or rather, it’s hard to say no after you’ve first said yes. I find myself chasing possibilities at full speed and six months later, pausing to wonder how I got started on this thing. I am trying to cull out the things that don’t contribute to the narrative I want to tell people about my life.

So here we go. Say it with me now, “I quit…”


The True Meaning of Give to the Max Day

The True Meaning of Give to the Max

By Andy Brown
Follow me on Twitter @andybrownMN

Give to the Max Day is an annual charitable giving event hosted by GiveMN. The event draws attention to the thousands of nonprofit organizations and schools serving communities throughout the state and encourages philanthropic giving. Last year, Give to the Max Day raised over $17 million for Minnesota organizations in 24 hours.

Click to read more ...


Top 5 Nonprofit Buzzwords of 2014

By Leah Lundquist
Follow me on Twitter @leahlundquist

I know it’s only early November, but-let’s face it–stores are already decked out for Christmas, so it doesn’t seem too early to do a 2014 retrospective. As a board, YNPN Twin Cities has committed in our new strategic plan to being and supporting other members in being thought leaders in sector-wide conversations.

Click to read more ...