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Share and Share Alike - Knowledge Transfer in the Nonprofit Sector

by Virginia Brown
follow me on twitter: @3manypuppies

Do you talk about knowledge transfer at your office? You should. It’s a tough concept, though – how to get what's in my head out and put it in someone else's.

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The World Cafe Model | A forum for gathering collective knowledge

main.jpgMy name is Catherine, and I'm an eventoholic. I LOVE events! Mention the possibility of attending an event, planning an event, or hosting an event, and I’m all over it. But this post isn't about me (or the potential events anonymous group I probably need to attend). This is about an exciting event trend I was first introduced to at a Torch event, and have continued to see at subsequent events: The World Café model.

What is it exactly? The World Café website explains this model as “an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community.” So in other words, peer advice on anabolic steroids.

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Professional Development: 140 Characters At a Time

I’m a huge fan of Twitter. No matter your passion, you’ll likely find a like-minded community there full of influential and insightful people. This is no less true for the young nonprofit leaders’ community, where Rosetta Thurman (YNPNdc member) and Allison Jones (YNPN-NYC member) host a monthly conversation called #YNPchat. During this hour-long chat, young nonprofit professionals from all over respond to five questions on a set topic, and take this opportunity to engage with and learn from each other.

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In The Year 2000

by Nathan Magel
follow me on Twitter @nathanmagel

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops, conference sessions, and meetings galore trying to make sense of the crazy mixed up world we live in today. What does our current milieu of threadbare budgets, frenetic innovation, and the ever clarion call for measurable results mean for the work of our organizations? A question we’re all grappling. But for a moment or two, let’s shove away from our desks, quit clinking our iPhones, and look into the future. Yes, that’s right the future. As Conan would facetiously exclaim, all the way to the year 2000.

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A few good mentors

Emerging into your professional self is a lot of work. The through line isn’t apparent, and in that moment, it appears as if you’re just muddling along. But, you don’t have to muddle alone.

At the June Emerging Leaders Network Lunch  on mentoring, a friend who was in my cohort at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Leadership Institute identified me as one of her mentors. (I would have self-identified her as a peer with a certain skill-set.) Throughout our conversation about mentors and mentoring, it was clear that many of us simultaneously occupy both roles. 

In our jobs and as volunteers, we are often called on to help others. But at the same time we are also finding our way, developing and honing skills, and building our networks. This dynamic is one reason I find mentors and peer networks so appealing.

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Taking a strategic step forward

This blog is by Stephanie Jacobs, YNPN-TC's board retreat facilitator.

If you come to a YNPN-Twin Cities event, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be welcomed and greeted by one of the organization’s board members. These dedicated young nonprofit professionals not only put time and energy into their events, online presence, and partnership activities, but they are also committed to the organization’s long-term impact in the nonprofit community. They care about providing the most valuable opportunities to the members of YNPN-Twin Cities, and they are taking new steps to ensure those opportunities align with the organization’s mission and vision for the future.

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Taking Sides in the Volunteerism Debate

By Virginia Brown
Follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies

There’s a debate happening in the world of volunteerism. My previous job put me right in the middle of it.

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MCN Leadership Conference Reflections: Putting up speed bumps in the giving back drive-thru

Last week I had the honor—along with a group of former and current participants of Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) Leadership Institute—of meeting Jan Masaoka, Editor-In-Chief of Blue Avocado and self-proclaimed “contrarian.” The discussion was lengthy around what Jan critiques as “drive-by volunteering” –the quick, one time opportunities that can result in a supervisorial nightmare, and in the end often don’t contribute the high-level skills the organization could really use.

The next day I attended the Redefining Philanthropy session at the MCN’s Leadership Conference, which featured various groups in town attempting to make giving of time, money, and expertise accessible to all.  (I admit that you’ll probably see me at their next “party with a purpose.”) But with my mind still on drive-by volunteering, I couldn’t help but wonder whether drive-by philanthropy is helping or harming the nonprofit sector?

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