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Board of Buddies: Making your friends a force in your professional life

main.jpgIn their excellent book Superconnect, Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood emphasize the “strength of weak links,” recognizing that we can yield “enormous dividends” by reaching out to the acquaintances in our lives. This is the half of networking we’re always told to work on—as we build our group of professional acquaintances, we increase the chances that one of them will lead us to that perfect new opportunity or connection. There’s certainly some truth to this.

But the authors of Superconnect pay short shrift to the other half to networking (or as we should really be calling it: connecting). It’s not just about expanding your group of random “weak links.” It’s about habitually strengthening the bonds you have with your closest connections. When your good friends know what’s going on in your life, it makes it easier for them to offer support, accountability, and ideas. 

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Nonprofit Spotlight | The LEAD Project and "A Toast to LEAD" Benefit

An Interview with Peter Wagner, LEAD Board Member

What is The LEAD Project?

main.jpgLEAD was founded in 2006 and stands for the Leadership Emergence and Development Project. Our goal is to engage young professionals in the charitable and philanthropic communities of the Twin Cities.

How do you achieve your goal?

LEAD’s goal, and our mission, is to engage young professionals in the Twin Cities nonprofit community. We host various events that are all aimed at creating relationships between the young professional community and the nonprofit community through skills-based volunteer opportunities. We host several different types of events including Board Bootcamps, PhilanthroFairs and large scale charitable events. To learn more about our events click here.

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The Scoop| News from Our Members

There's change happening all around our network, and we aim to keep you in the know through our ongoing e-news column, "The Scoop." Share your updates for March by emailing bridge@ynpntwincities.org.

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Getting to Know the New Crew - Part 2

We’re thrilled to introduce three of YNPN’s new board members, Aisha Eady, Krysten Ryba and Sara Shaylie. Here they are saying a quick hello and highlighting an event they are looking forward to in YNPN’s 2012 season. You and folks you know are invited to come on out to sharpen your skills and connect in person with them and other great YNPNers!

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Myth Busting: Nonprofit executive salaries

Most young nonprofit professionals are not yet executive directors, but the policies and attitudes around nonprofit executive salaries already affect us. Negative perceptions and underpaid talent devalue our entire sector and make it an undesirable place to devote one’s career.


Recent data from the 2011 Daring to Lead report supports the sentiment that most executives are underpaid: the median nonprofit CEO salary falls between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, an average of 20–40 percent less than his or her foundation/government/business sector counterpart.

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Sunshine and Showers: The highlight reel

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

It was a thought that sat right smack in the front of my 19-year-old mind as I, a credulous improv comedy “actor," woodenly blurped random sequences of words to the blank, slightly pitying faces of the audience before me. Needless to say, I am no longer an improv comedy actor. And needless to say, it can be tough to know what to do when you don’t know what to expect next.

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Confessions of a new board chair

Can I be honest? Sometimes a new leadership opportunity doesn’t feel like a thrilling adventure, or a great next step in your career path. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a long-awaited chance to use your skills.

Sometimes it feels just, well, scary.

Maybe it’s unexpected. Maybe you don’t feel prepared. But there you find yourself and you have a choice. Say no, or face your fears and accept the challenge.

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Nonprofits Are Ready to Take the Plunge

main.jpg“Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change—this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision and fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.” —Bruce Barton

In the spirit of the New Year, change is on our minds, in the form of resolutions and goals. Nonprofit organizations and staff are thinking about it, as we map out the next fiscal or programming year.

We want 2012 to be better, to be more successful, and to operate more efficiently, through our use of better practices. In order to make the year better, we need to be better. We need to excel and improve, and to improve, we need to adapt, to evolve. Luckily, humans are equipped to do just that.

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The Scoop| News from Our Members

You spoke, and we listened. You want more information on our members and their professional accomplishments. So, beginning this month, we're starting "The Scoop" - a place for YNPN-TC members to share news with our network. Email your updates to bridge@ynpntwincities.org.

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Romancing the Survey

Romance. It’s not a concept typically associated with success in a nonprofit, but rest assured, it’s underlying in the very basic operations.

A romantic nonprofit, like a romantic partner:

  • Proactively asks about your needs 
  • Listens with care and consideration
  • Makes adjustments & delivers

So that’s what we did. And we thank you, our members, responding in full force to our 2011 YNPN member survey.

The results are in and we are listening closely to understand what will fulfill your needs in the future.

So what did we learn?

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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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