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Meet some of our members!

YNPN-TC is all about providing opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals! During January, we will be putting the spotlight on just a few of our extraordinary members. Each day meet a new member and learn how YNPN has made a difference in their careers!

Become a member here!


Xavier

YNPN-TC Status: Has been a member for 3-4 months and is now a new board member

Career: Alumni Program Coordinator, Boulder Options

Why did you join YNPN-TC?

Honestly, it was because my coworkers were joining the peer mentoring event and they invited me to do it. I did and I loved it! Now I'm part of the board so that says it all.

Why should people join YNPN-TC now?

We make sure all your needs are covered. From expanding your network and grow professionally, to "just for fun", there is always reason to join.

What advice would you have for other young nonprofit professionals?

Find your passion in life and go for it. How do you know? If you have a very overwhelming day at work and you can still end your day with an "I love what I do".

What is your favorite networking strategy?

Build rapport. When someone connects with you, it is a lot easier for them to commit to something. Having events at breweries and distilleries is never a bad idea.


Robin

Name: Robin Stramp

Organization / title: Development & Communications Coordinator, St. Stephen's Human Services

How long have been in the nonprofit sector?

I celebrated my five-year nonprofit birthday this fall. I served at a nonprofit through Lutheran Volunteer Corps straight out of college, and have been in the sector ever since.

Why did you join YNPN-TC?

In my first nonprofit role (in another state), I worked out of the country's largest multi-tenant nonprofit center. With 70 other nonprofits in our building, it was so easy to meet others in my field! It turns out that most workplaces aren't like that, so I joined YNPN-TC to connect with other nonprofit professionals facing similar challenges, opportunities, and crossroads so we can navigate them together.

How long have you been involved?

I've been a YNPN-TC member since I moved back to the Twin Cities in 2017. In 2018 I became a volunteer as a co-moderator of the new YNPN Facebook Group, and in 2019 I became a monthly donor because YNPN adds value to my professional life and my well-being.

What advice do you have for other young nonprofit professionals?

Believe in yourself, trust your gut, and say yes to opportunities.

Why should people join YNPN-TC now?

It's free to join, and there's something for everyone. I joined YNPN-TC to meet other people, but what I have done the most is learn! Through Leadership Breakfasts and monthly educational events, YNPN-TC members have access to a treasure trove of learning opportunities. Plus, there are sometimes opportunities for discounted conference rates! In 2017 I was able to attend the MCN Annual Conference for one-quarter of the price because I earned a scholarship through YNPN-TC.

Favorite career memory?

When Minneapolis hosted the Final Four last spring, road closures and traffic left one of our emergency shelters without volunteer groups to serve the evening meal for several days in a row. My team members and I were tasked with raising $600 on Facebook to cover the costs of those meals. We walked around our office, recruiting help in brainstorming a LONG list of basketball/fundraising puns, and then decided how many we could meaningfully fit into one Facebook ask (six, it turns out). It's one of my favorite memories because it was a lot of fun, because I could feel the way that inviting colleagues into the fundraising process increased their investment in the outcome, and because exceeding our goal had an immediate and positive impact on the people that we serve.


Audra

Name: Audra 

YNPN-TC Status: I have been involved for about 6 months now!

Career: Campus Representative for HECUA!

Why did you join YNPN-TC?

I joined YNPN because I wanted to connect and engage with other people who are as passionate about non-profit organizations as I am! I also wanted to learn more about other organizations in the Twin Cities and how our work can intersect.

Why should people join YNPN-TC now?

There is no reason not to! YNPN has great events and programming and besides being a great form of professional development, it is really fun to meet other people who work in nonprofits!

What advice would you have for other young nonprofit professionals?

Definitely join YNPN first! Then after that, I highly recommend connecting with other people who work in the field. Meeting folks for coffee is a great way to learn more about potential job opportunities and what a typical day looks like for people who work in this diverse field!

What is your favorite networking strategy?

When I meet someone I love asking, "Who else do you think I should be talking to?". It is a great way to get introduced to more people and set you on the track for success.


Cole

Name: Cole St. Arnold

YNPN-TC Status: Member / Board Member since 2015 

Career: Community Development Manager 

Why did you join YNPN-TC?

I was new to the Twin Cities and having been previously involved in chapters in Denver and Phoenix, I knew that YNPN-TC would be a sure fire way to be connected to the young folks working in the nonprofit sector.

Why should people join YNPN-TC now?

The networking events and personal developments workshops allow for the kind of training that might not be readily available at your organization. Taking advantage of these allows you as a member to fully work on progressing your career. Also, friends! I've gained a lot of friends from YNPN-TC and think it's a great way of expanding your own personal circle of cool folks.

What advice would you have for other young nonprofit professionals?

The nonprofit sector in the Twin Cities is much MUCH smaller than you think it is and that's a good thing. That means it's easier to know more folks within the community and build a supportive network that you can lean on in your career. Whether you're working in communications, development, program management, are a frontline worker, back of the house, running the organization, or what have you, it's vital to know who else is in the sector that you can talk to and rely on for help.

What is your favorite networking strategy?

Coffee meet ups! It's a great way to connect with other members outside of events and ensure that you can continue to develop your network deliberately.


Sarah

Name: Sarah Fowler

Organization / title: AdoptAClassroom.org/Account Manager 

How long have been in the nonprofit sector?

My entire career, including before I graduated from college. Post college graduation, it's been almost 8 years. 

Why did you join YNPN-TC?

To connect to other professionals in the sector for networking, to make new friends, and to learn from my peers. I like that YNPN is specific to the nonprofit sector. I'm also a member of other young professionals groups, but I don't always find the content or topics of conversation within those groups relevant to my specific experiences or career goals as a nonprofit professional. YNPN offers a safe place to talk honestly and specifically about nonprofit life, and the members are easier for me to relate to when compared to other groups I've participated in or joined. =

How long have you been involved? 

Since Oct. 2017 when I joined.

What advice do you have for other young nonprofit professionals?

To keep an open mind and try new things when you have the opportunity. If there's something you want to do, but don't feel you have the required experience or expertise, start by volunteering at another organization, or join a board to gain the skills and knowledge you need or want to learn. I've served on two boards and volunteered with several organizations (and still do) and have learned a lot and advanced in my career by doing so.

Why should people join YNPN-TC now? 

There are so many ways to participate in YNPN - events and workshops, the board, writing for the blog, the new peer mentorship program (to name a few), and membership is free, so it doesn't hurt to join! You get out of it what you put into it. Depending on how involved you want to be, it can be an active or more passive experience. I also appreciate the diverse content in the blog, and the newsletters do a good job of sharing relevant updates and important information.

Favorite career memory?

I really don't have one. There have been high and low points throughout and the best memories involve accomplishing goals (big and small), getting to try new things that challenge me and expand my skill set and experience, and being part of a supportive team that works well together and truly enjoys each other's company.


Jade

Name: Jade Schleif

YNPN-TC Status:I've been involved with YNPN-TC for a while now, it all started when I wrote a guest blog in 2017 about Restorative Practices as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow. I always check out newsletter updates to stay connected and attend events when I can. The new peer mentor group this year has been a hit! 

Career: YIPA's Training Coordinator

Why did you join YNPN-TC?

I joined YNPN-TC when I first heard about it through my AmeriCorps service with the MN Alliance With Youth. I saw what a great platform it was to share and learn alongside other young non-profit professionals so I got involved by first sharing my own voice. I knew that wherever the non-profit world would take me next I'd need the wisdom of others in my area to help get me there.

Why should people join YNPN-TC now?

It's easy to feel disconnected, or to want to disconnect with everything happening in our world today. It's so important to be able to resist that feeling and instead lean in 100%. Work in the non-profit sector can be challenging, but YNPN-TC is here to help you remember you're not alone. Feel hope and support and get inspired by others as you continue your non-profit journey!

What advice would you have for other young nonprofit professionals?

Through my work with youth, I've come to realize how right the Search Institute is when they say that "relationships are at the heart of what young people need to learn, grow and thrive". I'll take it a step further by saying that's true for just about anyone. No matter your age or background, you need allies! Making efforts to actively stay in touch with young nonprofit professionals you already know and connecting with new ones may bring benefits down the road you may not even dream of, even if the focus of your connection isn't your job. Everyone has unique experiences and talents, and it's our collective responsibility to bring them all to the table to help each other be our best selves. My biggest piece of advice is to think of yourself both as a mentor and a mentee in whatever you do. Stay connected and get involved however you can! Never stop learning!

What is your favorite networking strategy?

Turn it into a game! Give yourself a mission and track points (examples - you'll talk to 3 new people in the office this week, make 2 new LinkedIn connections, send 5 emails to colleagues at your last job. Or put all those networking options in a hat and randomly choose one each week). Earn a reward like your favorite meal or a self-care activity for even more motivation.


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