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Stay Classy, Minnesota!

classy.jpgDisclaimer: About two months ago, I started a new job with Jefferson Awards for Public Service, an organization whose mission is to recognize, inspire and activate volunteerism by presenting awards to those that exhibit outstanding service to their community.

In late March, I attended the National YNPN Leaders Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan and learned about a unique relationship that the San Diego YNPN chapter began with The Classy Awards. The Classy Awards recognize the top philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses, fundraisers and volunteers from across the country, and last year they decided to partner with YNPN San Diego to honor an Outstanding Young Nonprofit Professional. 

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Mind the Age Gap: Tips for Navigating an Intergenerational Workplace

main.jpgIt was my first day at a new job. I almost made it through lunch before facing the dreaded question: “How old are you?" Four hours on the job and I'd realized that most of my colleagues were 20-30 years my senior. I’d hoped to not reveal exactly how young I was until I’d been there a bit longer, but it was not meant to be. "I'm 26." "Oh, I thought you might be about my daughter's age," my colleague replied. "She's 24."

Starting a new job is often nerve wracking. Starting a new job when you're the youngest person at work can be even harder. I remember the questions running through my head: “Will my colleagues think I’m too young for this job? Will I fit in? Will my contributions be respected?”

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Demystifying Board Service: Part 1

Last fall I registered for a class at the Humphrey School that required me to be on a board. I knew little about boards, but was interested in them. I just didn’t know why anyone would want me on a board or how to find one. I’m young-ish, haven’t worked in the Twin Cities nonprofit sector for very long, don’t have a lot of money, and I’m not well connected to rich or prestigious people. But there I was, required to serve on a board.

My boss was just finishing some consulting working with Rainbow Rumpus. She thought it would be a good fit for me because the organization was in a period of growth; they were high functioning board; the people on the board were good people to work with; and there would be a lot of leadership opportunities. So I contacted them.

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Reflection in times of crisis

I answered a call by making a call.

From my cozy, sunny office, I made two phone calls (of course, on my break time and from my cell phone)–one to Senator Klobachar and one to Senator Franken.  As a constituent, a former AmeriCorps member and public interest lawyer that facilitates legal volunteering, I explained how I have seen AmeriCorps improve communities through education, jobs training and environmental programs. Until it all came tumbling out of my mouth on those phone calls, I didn’t realize how much service meant to me and the people in my life.

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The Folly of Fearing Facebook

At last week’s Emerging Leaders Network lunch, we talked a lot about how to handle current or prospective employers and colleagues looking you up on social networking sites. Several suggestions bounced around the room: Direct professional contacts to your LinkedIn profile instead of Facebook, restrict certain Facebook updates to a more select group of people, maintain two different Facebook accounts (I’m not a big fan of that last one). And then we started talking more extreme measures: Ramping up privacy settings to 11 to be unfindable, or even altering your name so it doesn’t look like you at all.

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Scratching the Surface: Conversations on Race & Privilege in the Nonprofit Sector

“What we do not say, what we do not talk about, allows the status quo to continue.”
-Stephanie Wildman, Making Systems of Privilege Visible

YNPN-TC partnered with the Racial Justice Program at the YWCA Minneapolis a few weeks ago to host a discussion of race and privilege in the nonprofit sector. We had a tremendous response to the event: Tickets sold out in the first day and a subsequent wait list was some 70 people deep.

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What or Who is MAVA?

Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administration (MAVA) is a membership association of about 800 leaders of volunteers, mostly professional volunteer program administrators, from across the state. It's a forum for members to become engaged with professional development and share resources. MAVA conducts the latest research on volunteerism, including engaging new immigrant communities, best practices for engaging baby boomers and the impact of the recession.

Jay Haapala—current board chair for MAVA and volunteer services administrator at the Minnesota Children’s Museum—was gracious enough to provide The Bridge an inside view of MAVA.

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Meet Our New Board Members Part II

main.jpgYNPN-Twin Cities is led by a dedicated board of nonprofit professionals. In November, we put out a call for new board members and we were thrilled by the number of talented young professionals that responded. After a competitive nominations process, we're excited to introduce to you our newest board members.

In this two-part series, we asked the new board members to grill interview each other, so that we could get the nitty gritty on who they are. Next up to bat, Jamie Millard and Lisa Joyslin.

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In defense of the nonprofit generalist

The following blog is by Stephanie Jacobs.

main.jpgHello, my name is Stephanie Jacobs, and I am a nonprofit generalist. 

I have worked for nonprofits for the past nine years, but I don’t have deep expertise in any particular field, nor do I have years of experience in one kind of job. I’ve worked for a humane society, an organization that serves senior citizens, a nonprofit consulting firm, and a grantmaker membership association. I’ve done everything from grant writing to program planning, and I’ve never done the same job twice. I know a lot about the nonprofit sector as a whole, the various positions and roles within the sector, and what part nonprofits play in relation to the other sectors.

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2011 YNPN National Leadership Conference: 20+ Faces, 20+ Takeaways

Some of us flew. Some us drove—10+ hours from the Twin Cities. And some of us took a brisk walk over to the 2011 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network National Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Regardless of the method, we all came with one overarching goal in mind: To become stronger leaders, a stronger network and ultimately a stronger sector. 

To see a list of locations for other YNPN National Leadership Conferences, please click here!

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