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Tell Me What You Really Think: 360 Degree Assessments for Professional Growth

One of my favorite personal brand definitions is that it's what people say about you when you're not in the room. Of course, that raises the question: how can you get a good measure of your brand when people's most honest assessments take place when you're not around? Well, the most straightforward way is to go ahead and ask them.

I recently underwent a 360°Reach assessment that does exactly that. For one of these assessments, you ask the people in your life—friends, family, coworkers, classmates—to anonymously fill out a short survey. Questions include what attributes they most associate with you, what they perceive your strengths and weaknesses to be, and projective questions like what household appliance you'd be and why. (Interestingly, those last questions can be the most insightful.)

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YNPN-TC: Our Top 11 of 2011

This is definitely my favorite time of year - a time for giving, hot chocolate, and reflection. As we get ready to bring in a new year, I always appreciate the opportunity to take a look back at the year past to celebrate what went well, think about growth and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. 2011 was a BIG year for YNPN Twin Cities. Here’s a list of YNPN’s Top 11 of 2011:

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Organizations Are from Mars, Volunteers Are from Venus—Keys to a Successful Relationship

I’ve heard that volunteer recruitment is like dating. As a Volunteer Manager for a couple of organizations, I can say that I’ve experienced how similar these two activities can be. They both involve—

  • Meeting someone new
  • Learning a bit about that new person (or organization)
  • Both parties decide if they like each other enough to begin a relationship
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YNPN Twin Cities Insider: Catching up on turning it up (to 11)

You're busy. You probably miss a lot of events and opportunities for professional and leadership development. If one of those missed opportunities was our last Insider event—Turn It Up To 11: Finding the Next Setting in Your Leadership Path—you've got some homework to do.

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Strengthening Your Work and Reputation During Times of Change

The last year or so has been a whirlwind of activity and constant change. On November 14, 2010, my life changed dramatically when the most precious baby girl entered my life.

Being a dad has created a whole new set of responsibilities and experiences. I wouldn’t alter any of it, but all of this change had an impact on my personal and professional lives. I have a great supervisor at work and many great peers and role models to learn from. Change is still hard to deal with.

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Learning from Loss in Your Nonprofit Family: Finding a Way from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Tim Nelson
May 13, 1953 – August 11, 2011

The following blog is by Bridget Ulrich.

In my experience, working for a nonprofit is a lot like being part of a family. The people you are surrounded with go beyond the average coworker. I believe this is because you are bonded by the reality of working towards a common good instead of a common goal. So what happens when a tragic loss shakes your work family to the core? I recently had the unfortunate experience of finding out.

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The Basics of Personal Branding

If you couldn't make our "Stand Up, Speak Out" event on personal branding last month, you missed some great advice from four talented professionals. But - never fear! We have footage of one of our speakers, Meghan Suszynski, presenting on the topic of visual branding. This was the most popular segment of the evening, and offers creative ideas on how to build your own visual brand.

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Good in Theory, Problems in Practice: YNPN National Survey Results

main.jpgAmidst all the conversations taking place around leadership development in the nonprofit sector, have you ever wondered what, specifically, young nonprofit professionals think? YNPN does. In fact, it recently released the results of the YNPN national survey on popular leadership development strategies. The report, entitled “Good In Theory, Problems in Practice,” outlines the opinions of young people in our sector, the takeaways from these opinions, and recommendations on how to put these findings into action.

YNPN-TC played an important part in obtaining these results. Many of our members took part in the survey, and we also held a focus group of Twin Cities young nonprofit professionals to get more detailed information.

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In Social Media, Forget the Flash and Do the Work

main.jpgThe following blog is by Jenna Wade.

Think you need a Justin Bieber or an Ashton Kutcher to get things done through social media? Not so, according to "The Effectiveness of Celebrity Spokespeople in Social Fundraisers," a new report from PayPal and Zoetica highlighted in this month's The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a print and online news source about the nonprofit world. The report shows that big-name celebrities are much less effective in raising money through social media than other kinds of spokespeople, such as  influential bloggers, passionate followers, and regular people.

It's an easy trap to fall into. "If only we could get Mr. X or Ms. Z to help us raise money or promote us on Twitter, then we'd really raise bank/get in the news/become Twitter rock stars." Okay, sure, you might get a couple of donations or a couple of new fans or followers. But it's not a silver bullet/quick fix/game winner. (Try to break that news to your executive director gently.) It's easy to understand this kind of wishful thinking— celebrity advertising sure does seem to sell a lot of [insert consumer product here.]

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Same Game, Same Players, Same Results: Engaging with the political machine.

main.jpgA pretty scary realization hit me this week. I was in a room with about 35 young leaders, and when asked how many people had considered running for office about ten people raised their hands. When asked how many of those ten had changed their minds because of the current state of politics, about seven people put their hands down. What does this all mean? Fewer and fewer people are interested in entering politics, which means the people left on the playing field are those with extreme points of view. In essence, more of the same.

Whether we like to think about it or not, politics and policy affect us all. The bickering at the state capitol and in Washington may seem far-removed from our daily lives, but the reality is the resolutions from those fights will have an impact on our personal and professional lives.

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