First off, let’s clear up one question: How do I know if I’m a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC)? If you’re anything like me, you might not be exactly sure what membership means. I started attending YNPN-TC events several years ago as I was finishing up a term of national volunteer service and starting to explore my career options. Did that make me a member? I got more involved and starting volunteering on the Programming Committee. Did that make me a member? I applied and joined the board. Did that make me a member?
Short answer: YES! (From the get-go!)
Long answer: Once you attend an event with us and/or sign up for our email list, you’re official! YNPN-TC membership is 100% free so you never have to worry about paying dues. (Side note: We now have 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit, and supporters are always welcome to donate to us to help us continue to provide high-quality programming without charging a fee to members.)
Now that you know how simple it is to become a member, let’s talk about how to get the most out of your membership.
Keep up on the latest news
First off, you’ll want to keep up-to-date so you know when something awesome is coming up. Following our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages are all great ways to do that. Also make sure to read our monthly e-news when it hits your inbox. We send out email blasts announcing our upcoming events, but the e-news is the best way to hear about everything currently happening with YNPN-TC.
If you’re interested in hearing what’s on the mind of other YNPN-TC members, make sure to read our weekly blog (hey—great job there!). We’re also always looking for members to write for our blog, so if you have a burning topic relevant to young nonprofit professionals that you’d like to write about, reach out to us at email@example.com with your idea! The volunteers on our Communications and Membership Committee are responsible for keeping our members up-to-date and engaged through email, our website and social media channels.
If you really want to dive into the “behind-the-scenes” updates, minutes from our Board meetings are also posted on our website. They aren’t always riveting, but this is one of the ways we are carrying out our value of being radically transparent with our members.
Join us for an event
So now that you’re in the know about what’s happening at YNPN-TC, want to get a little more involved? There are several ways to do that. One of the most familiar elements of our programming are the events we host typically once a month in the evening. These events are planned by our board members and volunteers on the Programming Committee. If you’re looking to grow your network and/or learn about a topic related to professional development, these monthly events are a great way to dive into YNPN-TC! When you attend, try to break out of your comfort zone and talk to someone new. Our volunteers and board members are always on the lookout for new faces to greet.
Once a month we also hold our Leadership Breakfasts, which are coordinated by our Leadership Breakfast team. At these breakfast gatherings, a leader at a local nonprofit organization will tell their story and answer participants’ questions. These breakfast gatherings are intentionally kept small so they can be more conversational in nature. In order to give more people a chance to attend, we use a lottery-based registration system, and participants are asked to submit questions ahead of time to confirm a spot at breakfast.
There are a ton of other benefits to joining YNPN-TC. One is the EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute that we partner with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) on each year. This is a unique cohort experience that encourages participants from the local philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to explore career questions while sharing skills and networking. These cohorts typically run from March to December, and have a sliding scale fee to cover meal expenses.
Another way to reap the benefits of membership is to apply for a conference scholarship through YNPN-TC. Keep an eye on your email to watch for notifications of these opportunities for reduced rates to Minnesota Council of Nonprofits conferences, MAP for Nonprofits workshops and other professional events. There is an application process for each scholarship. In addition to these scholarships, YNPN-TC members are eligible for discounts on all MAP for Nonprofits trainings, and we also offer a $15 individual membership to the Minnesota Council for Nonprofits.
Become a volunteer
There are many ways to become more involved with YNPN-TC by committing to a volunteer role. I already mentioned our Communications and Membership Committee, and our Programming Committee, but we have one more—Governance Committee! The Governance Committee is responsible for developing our governing policies, leading the board recruitment process, organizing our strategic planning, and keeping track of other issues relating to organization structure.
We also have several sub-committees, including our new Diversity, Inclusion and Access (DIA) Action Force, our Radical Welcoming team, our Leadership Breakfast team, and our Elections Task Force. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to connect with our volunteer coordinator to learn more about any of these or other committee roles.
One extra perk of becoming a volunteer with YNPN-TC is that our volunteer listserv regularly serves as a way for volunteers to share great job openings with one another.
Join the Board
YNPN-TC is 100% volunteer-run, so everything that we do is led by our committee volunteers or our board volunteers. Our board meets once a month to discuss current projects and issues, and to set the strategic direction for the organization. Members of the board serve as the chairs of our committees, as well as serving in other capacities to support YNPN-TC’s work. Each board member’s term is a minimum of two years. We will be starting recruitment for new board members this fall. Reach out to a current board member if you would like to learn more about what it’s like to serve on the YNPN-TC board.
We look forward to meeting you.
Photo Credit Marie Ketring