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Why you should pay nonprofit employees more

What is your value?It kills me every time we celebrate the per hour value of a volunteer. Not because I hate volunteers, but because it exposes one of the biggest double-standards in the nonprofit sector.

Independent Sector rated the national per hour value of volunteer time at $23.07 - essentially, that’s what we’d pay someone if we averaged out all of the in-kind value from volunteers everywhere. In Minnesota, it’s even higher at $24.83.

But here’s the thing: that $24.83 equates to an annual salary of nearly $51,600. Why are we paying our nonprofit employees so much less?

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Career power up: Professional mentor

mario.jpgI’ve been fortunate to have several opportunities for professional development in the past few years, both within and outside of my workplace. Among the webinars, cohorts, workshops and trainings I’ve pursued, working with a mentor has been the most beneficial.

First, I have to say that I can’t believe mentorships aren’t more common. I know people who have had similarly positive transformative experiences with personal and professional mentors, but it feels like an arrangement that remains massively underutilized on the whole.

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Who will go all the way in our March Madness Book Bracket?

A few words of wisdom can be just what you need to aim for that next career goal, or achieve a personal best. But where can a young professional find excellent advice on demand?

Books!

In honor of March Madness, we put together a bracket of the top professional/personal development books as recommended by YNPN board members and members of the YNPN-EPIP Leadership Institute.

We need your help to pick our champion, so take a look at our bracket (and read below for more detail.) Then leave us a comment here with your picks, take it to social media to let others know, and add a comment of which books we left out by mistake! 

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Member Spotlight | Alyssa Whalon shares the most valuable piece of advice she's received as a young professional

alyssa_whalon.pngWe are excited to feature Alyssa Whalon in our monthly YNPN Twin Cities Member Spotlight! Alyssa is Associate, Philanthropic Services, at Scholarship America.

Read more about Alyssa's background with AmeriCorps VISTA, how she has used YNPN Twin Cities to make progress on her career path, the best advice she's received as a young professional, and just which Harry Potter house she'd be in if she was at Hogwarts instead of the Twin Cities!

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The cavity in nonprofits’ human capital

Make ConnectionsNonprofits are growing – you already know this… Back in 2012 nonprofits accounted for 11.4 million jobs – and even during the recent recession and recovery (2007 to 2012), nonprofit employment steadily increased each year. But did you know that when surveyed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund (in their 2015 State of the Sector Survey), 44 percent of respondents hired someone for a new position?  That’s right – for NEW positions!  

Human capital plays an incredibly important role for nonprofits – and getting the perfect employee can be a real challenge. Nonprofits typically don’t have recruiters or large human resource departments dedicated to finding top talent from the Ivy League, but nonprofits can find good fits, especially through informal local networks.

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Creating a culture of vulnerability

main.jpgWe've all been there. Our anxiety goes up while we scroll down on Facebook. We think "Why is everyone else's life so perfect, while I'm a mess?" One friend just got her MBA ("I don't think I could pass the GRE"), another posted a whole album of photos of him and his boyfriend in Las Vegas-smiling and laughing in all of them ("Me and my partner are bickering a lot lately, is she the wrong person for me?"). A cousin just posted about their 7-mile jog around the lake ("I haven't worked out in 3 weeks, I'm so lazy").

Facebook updates are symptomatic of a broader cultural truth: vulnerability is not rewarded. Revealing our weaknesses and shortcomings is not wise. What we're taught to do instead is hide our faults, embellish our positive qualities and try to one-up everyone.

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A beginner's guide to fostering meaningful conversations

main.jpgOrganizations and teams that are able to foster meaningful conversations are ahead of the game. Meaningful and honest conversations help minimize communication problems, and increase productivity, by coming together around shared goals. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. Body language, subtext, and culture heavily influence the conversations we have. Additionally, organizational politics, mistrust or fear of vulnerability can hold back honest communication all together.

So how do you as an individual, regardless of position, begin to create the space for meaningful conversations? It takes patience, persistence, confidence and a checklist. This checklist is by no means an exhaustive summary on how to create meaningful conversations, it is a starter kit you can use to begin the process.

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"Two truths and a lie" with YNPN's newest board members!

new_board.jpgThis month, we wanted to give a big, giant welcome to this year’s newest board members!

To introduce them to you, we thought we would play a fun game: two truths and a lie! Read a bit about each new boardie, then see if you can guess which fun facts are true and which one is a fib.

And a big welcome to the YNPN-TC Board!

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Meet YNPN-TC volunteer Ben Addington!

ben_addington.jpg

Ben Addington is a YNPN-TC member, and also a content and engagement specialist at Metre, an integrated advertising agency that develops brand and communication strategies with offices in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, MN.

We recently chatted with Ben about his experiences with YNPN.

(With the help of graphic designer Cary Walski and photographer Marie Ketring, Metre developed our new YNPN-TC website!)

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Joining YNPN is the best career move you’ll ever make (& 12 other things I've learned so far)

main.jpgWhen I was a recent college grad in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I had lunch with a woman several decades ahead of me in her career. She had a job I wanted some day, and I was so grateful she had agreed to meet with me. 

She recommended many things to me that day. One of those things, however, was especially impactful.

A YNPN chapter was just starting up in Milwaukee, at that time. “Go seek them out and get involved,” she said. “You’ll really make a name for yourself.” This woman was well-respected in the nonprofit community, and her words seemed golden to me. I didn’t waste a moment seeking out YNPN. 

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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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Web Development: Metre

Photo Credit Marie Ketring (Unless Otherwise Specified)
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