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What are you waiting for?

main.jpgI quit my job today.

It wasn’t a bad job. It didn’t have a horrible boss or nightmare coworkers. In fact, I should have been loving it. I had my own desk with a window, flexible hours and a salary with benefits. I was one of the lucky ones. I had a job in my field guaranteed the day I walked across the stage and was handed my diploma. It was the epitome of a successful college career. What more could I ask for? 

But, after classes ceased and the mundane work days all too rapidly began to blend into a depressing spiral with an unforseeable end, I panicked. What had I done? How did I get to this point? Was this going to be my life for the next 20 years?

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Confessions of a bullet journal junkie

main.jpgHello, my name is Erica, and I have a Type A personality. To say that I can be obsessive is an understatement. It’s why I always volunteer as note-taker in meetings. It’s why I had memorized every lyric of Hamilton a week after buying the soundtrack. It’s why I frequently dive into new creative hobbies…most of which only last for about a week of intense investment. But one obsession that has stuck with me has been a desire to put my life down on paper. 

Like many adolescent girls my journaling began with a penchant for the dramatic. The middle school diary was a place for dissecting crucial issues like where to sit during lunch, what crushes had spurned my imaginary advances, and the reasons that Orlando Bloom should be worshiped. I wish I had these manifestos to look back on today, but with my embarrassed page-ripping and need to cleanse any lapses by tossing the previous failed attempt, nothing remains today but memories like smeared jelly roll pen. 

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You, among the universal

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Quotations enthrall me. The pithiness of the statements. The motivational, instructive, and validating natures of the strings of words. The sense that the somebody quoted is somehow larger than life, made infinite by their sustaining message that was gloriously earned the hard way. There is a timelessness to this stated wisdom, and we are reminded that our human experience isn’t quite so different from what others before us saw, learned, and shared in the course of their journeys around the sun. 

What endlessly fascinates me is how quotes are, in precisely the same moment, universal (in that they evoke a sense of shared resonance for myriad people across time and space) and unique (they spark something entirely different and specific to each person based on their life experiences and circumstances). Much like a river, I’d wager that no one experiences a quote in exactly the same way.

To test out my theory, I’ll share a couple of quotes about leadership below from which I have drawn inspiration and insight, and you let me know in the comments how you experienced the quote and the particulars of how it resembles your life. Here goes!

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Embarking on social good: Questions to ask and legal structures defined

main2.jpgAt some point during our lives, we may come up with a great idea to improve our society. These ideas often emerge when we identify an unmet need or gap in service. But then what?  Coming up with the idea can seem like the easy part. Figuring out what to do next, how to turn your passion into a reality, can be the daunting part.

Years ago, there was a go-to option for someone who wanted to pursue social good – becoming a 501c3. You had to fill out the 30-page application, pay a fee to the IRS, wait, then wait some more – sometimes upwards of a year — to finally get the go ahead to accept donations for your project.

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Hello from the other side: From interviewee to interviewer

main.jpgWhen I was seventeen years old, I had my very first interview for a sales position at a sports retail store in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m embarrassed to admit that I strolled in to that interview ten minutes late, wearing jeans, and with no resume. Even though I somehow managed to get that job (thank you, Rick, for giving that young kid a chance), I have thankfully learned a lot since then about preparing for interviews.

Like many things, interviewing is a skill that you can build with practice and preparation. Over the past couple years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to be the interviewer for a change. So in this post, I would like to share a few insights I’ve gained from being on the other side of the table.

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Member Spotlight | Meet Amanda "Cash" Cashman

cashman.jpgThere are so many incredible people in YNPN doing the mind-blowing world-changing work and with such a large and active member base, we know it’s not easy to meet everyone in the group. Heck, if anyone DOES know every single person in the group, let us know and we will have arts and crafts time to make an award just for you!

The YNPN Twin Cities Member Spotlight is intended to champion people in the group, highlight the work they do, and help create more connections between members. If you have a nomination for someone for the Spotlight, let us know.

This month we’re shining the light on Amanda “Cash” Cashman, Co-Executive Director of Students Today, Leaders Forever (STLF). STLF works with middle school, high school, and college students through service, relationships, and actions to strengthen leadership and energize generations of servant leaders.

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All about our evolving partnership with YNPN National

As we continue to celebrate the tenth anniversary of YNPN Twin Cities’ founding, we’re also excited to share how our partnership with YNPN National continues to evolve in new ways.

But unless you’re super connected, you may be asking the question, “Wait, there’s a YNPN National?”

Yes! In short, YNPN National is the catalyst connecting each of the 42 local YNPN chapters like ours. 

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Where in the World to Meet: Crowd Sourcing Edition

Meeting ClipartAfter 5 fun years of volunteering and serving on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities, I’m now spending time developing other networking and professional development opportunities that are near and dear to my heart.

What’s filling the YNPN-TC-shaped space in my heart at the moment? The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Nonprofit Tech Club or MSP NP Tech Club. This group, supported by NTEN, is devoted to providing a place to meet and learn from fellow nonprofit techies and digital marketers and fundraisers here in the Twin Cities (you can sign up for updates here!).

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The benefits of being a part of a network: A personal experience reflection

NetworkingThis past March, I had the good fortune to be sent to the NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in sunny San Jose, California. It was set to be an intense three days of learning and networking, which I was a bit nervous about.

I had been to a couple NTC conferences with close co-workers before, but this year I was going with the President/CTO of our company. While getting a chance to get to know him a little better was great, I also figured I’d probably be spending much of the conference solo - and I was right.

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YNPN Twin Cities is officially a 501(c)(3) organization!

We have exciting news to share as we continue to celebrate our 10th anniversary -- YNPN Twin Cities is now officially a tax-deductible nonprofit organization!

Just last month, the IRS approved our application for 501(c)(3) status for YNPN TC as a tax-deductible nonprofit. As former board chair Brian Gioielli shared in a blog post last year, our board made the decision last year to seek this status to help build the infrastructure we need to strengthen our current work and grow into the future.

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