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Lucky 13

There is so much I’ve been able to take away from the various nonprofits I’ve been involved with. I have worked several jobs outside the nonprofit social sector that were enjoyable, but when I found nonprofits whose missions I could align with, I found careers.

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Nonprofits, why do you need an audit? An auditor’s advice.

Is your nonprofit organization required to have a financial statement audit for the first time? If so, the information below will help you gain an understanding of what to do before, during and after the audit.

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Tinder for the apocalypse

I was recently told that I am a negative person. As a Positive Person™ I was, of course, appalled by the idea. Faced with this shocking news, I contorted my face into what could be graciously interpreted as a smile and objected with good humor. While this came as a blow to the innermost core of my being, the biggest challenge was that I was locked in a cabin with this person. Or rather, it would have been, had my close friends and partner not been there to back me up with the reality check I needed.

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What I’ve learned from three years of leadership breakfasts

You might be familiar with YNPN’s Leadership Breakfast series where a different nonprofit leader hosts a group of 20 YNPN members to talk about their leadership journey and share some of the lessons they’ve learned. If you aren’t, you’re missing out!

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Dating for nonprofit professionals: it's complicated

I align with 30 Rock heroine, Liz Lemon, on most things. I, too, have a penchant for comedy and would prefer to spend my free evenings “working on my night cheese.” One place I can really relate to Liz is in her jaded stance on romantic relationships, and the fact her job often stands in the way of pursuing them. But before this blog turns into a missive on my love for 30 Rock, let me backup a little and tell you more about my decidedly non-sitcom life.

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On fundraising and the white savior complex

White people, we need to talk. Despite our talk of equity and inclusion, there is an insidious thing happening. Nonprofit fundraising still hinges on a relic of white supremacy that it seems white people are just not willing to quit.

I’m talking about the white savior complex, discussed in Nonprofit Quarterly here. The article quotes Teju Cole, who describes a white savior as someone who “supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.”

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How can you benefit from a peer mentor circle?

(A huge thank you to Lindsay Bacher, Sarah Sheldon, and Kristin Swedlund for sharing their reflections on our Peer Mentor Circle with me while I was preparing to write this blog.)

Looking for a mentor, but don’t have connections to anyone “high up” in their career? Consider forming a “Peer Mentor Circle.” What is a Peer Mentor Circle, you ask? I like to think of it as similar to a book club, but is made up of a small group of peers who have come together to act as mentors for one another.

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All the friends you didn’t know you had

There’s been a lot of really great content on the YNPN-TC blog recently; insightful, powerful, personal writing about the pressing needs of our times and the practical challenges faced in nonprofit career development. Coupled with the fact that March 20 is World Storytelling Day, I want to take a slightly different tack and talk a little bit about self-care and continued inspiration. Specifically, through podcasts.

Take a deep breath.

Imagine putting on your headphones.

And whatever you have to do, whether powering through a grant report, or logistics for a donor event, or even just your daily commute, let that melt away as you drop into a story or conversation. Experience some other perspective, get inspired, figure out how something works – that’s fuel for moving forward.

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Living into the answers

“Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rilke

At Minnesota Rising, our mission is to build trust, relationships, and a shared vision for the future of Minnesota, while developing the collective capacity of the rising generation to lead collaboratively. Just how we do this has evolved over time, as we continue to inquire into and assess our strategic intent and impact. For those nonprofiteers who also value emergent learning and developmental evaluation, we offer a couple of our questions and answers.

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5 things to consider before going freelance

Going freelance has its perks: you can work in the middle of the night, take more than 2 weeks vacation, and hang out with your cat all day. About a year ago, I quit my comfortable nonprofit job (with stellar benefits) to pursue my web development dreams. Here are 5 pieces of advice I’d give anyone else looking to strike out on their own.

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