Dear Giacomo: I'm too busy

Nonprofit master Giacomo Crostini is here to answer all your burning questions about life in the nonprofit sector. Email him at for advice and guidance.

giacomo.jpgDear Giacomo,

Holy moly! I’ve been noticing lately that when people ask me how I’m doing, my answer is almost always…”busy!” I’ve got so much on my plate these days that I’m having a hard time managing it and need some tips and tricks!

Busy & Underwater. Today & Tomorrow Stressed

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Member Spotlight | Tyrai Ross

tyrai.jpgWe know it’s nearly impossible to get to know all the young professionals in our vast network, which is why we shine the spotlight on one person who is making an especially significant impact in their field. Hearing other people’s experiences and perspectives gives us a chance to learn, grow, and shape the nonprofit sector of tomorrow.

In that spirit, we introduce to you Tyrai Ross, Metro Program Manager at Reading and Math Inc. and winner of the 2016 Catalytic Leader Award, presented by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Tyrai and her colleagues work with schools, school districts, and nonprofits to train and place AmeriCorps fellows where they’re needed most. They bring research-based math and reading strategies for pre-K to 8th grade students. Disadvantaged adults can get training, credentialing, and education to help them in their quest for a living wage job.


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Take the YNPN-TC Member Survey!



YNPN-TC wouldn't be what it is without all of our wonderful members like you. 

Tell us what your experience with YNPN-TC has been, and what we can do to make it even better. After all, we aim to be your hook up for development & networking opportunities tooled specifically for young nonprofit professionals like yourself.

So let us know how we’re doing. 

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5 blogs for nonprofit leaders (without "nonprofit" in the title)

main2.jpgIf you are like me, you love to find that perfect article to get your day started. And maybe another one during your morning coffee… and then perhaps another one during lunch. A great article can give you that boost to deal with that question about your career path, the tough situation at work, or even just to get through the day. The best thing though is to find a blog that consistently motivates you AND gives you awesome information that can help you rock in your role as a nonprofit leader! 

I've decided to share with you my top five nonprofit & social impact blogs. They jump across a variety of issues, from HR, to strategic planning, to board leadership. Some are written by big organizations and some by a handful dedicated contributors. Oh, and none have "nonprofit" in their name—can't make it too easy!

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Shimmy and swim to confidence

Speak Up. Don't Speak Up. Be Assertive. Raise Your Hand. Calm Down. Interrupt. Be Nice. Don't Be Intimidating. Don't Be Angry. Calm Down. Stop Shouting. Dress Respectably. Be Confident.Every person at the latest Pollen Work Redux event about Confidence was beautiful. I mean this in the sense that the folks attending were projecting a seriously genuine aura of belief in themselves, support, and kindness, and it was absolutely amazing to be in a room with 250 other women with that kind of vibe.

This is true of every event I go to in this series focusing on bringing together “women spanning diverse backgrounds to reimagine the future of the workplace.” Unfortunately, there’s no space large enough for every woman in the Twin Cities to simultaneously experience a Work Redux event, so this blog is my little part to share the message far and wide – women are in the workplace and, in the words of Pollen’s Jamie Millard, we have a crisis of confidence, but together we are going to totally rock the world.

Pollen's Work Redux events embody what Nancy Lyons of Clockwork (and one of the panelists) advised – “As leaders, we make room for people to come exactly as they are.” Outside of our jobs, we have families, passions, hobbies.  We are activists and artists, naturalists and explorers. We can’t leave our worries, our mental and physical illnesses, or our insecurities at the door. We are whole people, and accepting a whole person in a space – especially a work place – can bring so much to the table. How we accomplish this can look really different, depending on the space.

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Does your boss have your back?

main4.jpgLife in the nonprofit sector is challenging. The pay is often low, the challenges are high, and burnout is a real and serious concern. Many people come to YNPN looking for insight about how to succeed in this challenging field. Proactive workers looking for ways to excel can have an especially difficult time accepting that they don’t have total control over their own destiny in an organization. The reality is that your boss or supervisor holds the keys to a prosperous or painful path, and they need to want you to succeed if you’re to shine.

As the person who dictates your duties, evaluates your performance, and has the final say on whether to pursue the ideas and projects you propose, your boss is a critical figure in your professional life. It benefits you to do what you can to encourage a positive relationship. But sometimes it can feel like you’re on different teams, despite both of you working for the same organization with the same mission.

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10 gifs about why you love YNPN Twin Cities

YNPN Twin Cities turns ten this year, and it’s no secret that we love GIFS. We probably love GIFS a little too much, but that’s a discussion for another time. To celebrate ten years of providing and promoting professional development opportunities for young nonprofit professionals, here’s ten GIFS about why you love YNPN Twin Cities.

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How I learned about power

main2.jpgFighting for a position to fight for people that need a better position is a real… well, fight. And, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know all the questions to ask to move my organization’s mission forward. Or how best I can implement the ideas from the answers I come up with. I need others’ perspectives to understand what’s right, and to make sure what I am doing isn’t wrong. I need all the help I can get and I get the best tools for helping others from working with others. This is what I was hoping for when I applied for the YNPN-TC scholarship to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2016 Nonprofit Essentials Conference, and this is what I experienced in spades.

As a fairly recent graduate and one of the newest additions to the local world of nonprofits, I am not wealthy. However, I do have a certain relationship to power that I didn’t have as a little kid in a working-poor family in South Minneapolis. Today, I have a role and an opportunity that I never imagined I’d have. I am an idealist at heart, but I understand the demand for practicality. I think this tension was masterfully named by the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Vanjelis Ngwa in his deep exploration into the subtleties of power.

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We want your blog

main.jpgHave you always wanted to write a blog but didn't know where it could be published? If so, you should sign up to be an YNPN-TC blog writer!

We hear all the time from people across the country (and even people across the world!) that love the YNPN-TC blog, so this is a great opportunity to get your name and ideas in front of a whole variety nonprofit professionals. 

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The do’s and don’ts of grants

main2.jpgApplying for grants can seem like a scary clown living under your bed. You don’t entirely understand how you were put in this situation, it can feel like there’s no one there to help you and there’s a lot of mystery to all of the logic involved. I hope to offer you some advice on how to navigate this process if you’re new to applications and if nothing else, hopefully some of this might get rid of Mr. Pennywise who’s below the mattress.

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Our mission, vision and values guide all that we do at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC).

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