Pages tagged "Development"

Ethical Storytelling with Sandra Boone


Storytelling is a powerful tool used by nonprofits use to create connections with their audience. It allows individuals to experience the organization’s operations and values rather than simply reading a description. Most often, these stories are based on the real-life experiences and words of a specific person, but all-to-often communicators, development staff, and organizations can focus so heavily on creating a story that helps the organization that they forget to consider what is right and best for that individual.

Join YNPN-TC for a discussion about what it means to use ethical storytelling practices to create and share stories that balance the need to develop stories that fulfill organizational objectives with a deeper responsibility to honor and respect the individuals whose stories you share and the populations you organizations serve. Attendees will first listen to a webinar created by Ethical Storytelling, a group that has created a powerful pledge for nonprofit professionals who write and share stories. Next, participants will hear examples from local nonprofit professionals about what it has meant to do ethical storytelling in their work and be given the opportunity to have further discussions in breakout rooms.


Sandra Boone (she/her) is a proud communications professional, politics geek, and nonprofit nerd with 15 years of experience working in communications and research roles in higher education, nonprofit, governmental, and political settings. She is guided by a mission to create audience-centric communications that ensure people receive the information they need to make decisions, at the time they need it, and in ways they understand.

For the last six years, Sandra has worked as a Communications Specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Global Programs and Strategy Alliance where she leads communications strategy for International Student and Scholar Services and the Immigration Response Team. Sandra graduated this summer from the University of Minnesota with a Strategic Communication MA and Literacy & Rhetorical Studies minor, and she conducted her final research on the need for ethical/equitable storytelling practices for strategic communication and public relations professionals through an examination of anti-trafficking communications. Before starting her MA, Sandra served as YNPN-TC's Board Secretary, At-Large Board Member, and Managing Blog Editor.

Sandra Boone


Cori Ertz (she/her) career spans politics, policy advocacy and organizing, public health, healthcare access, international development and fundraising and branding; while advancing charitable missions that create more prosperous, inclusive and equitable communities.

As development director of the International Institute of Minnesota, a 100 year old social services agency dedicated to the inclusion of New Americans in Minnesota, Cori directs the organization’s fundraising, marketing communications, events and volunteer programs.

Cori Ertz
September 29, 2020 at 5:30pm
Virtual Event via Zoom

The magic key that will transform the nonprofit sector

main.jpgWe’ve all heard it, I’m sure. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Right?

Whether or not you’ve heard this aphorism, I’d be willing to bet you’ve experienced it. I sure have – in different sizes and types of organizations, and in different ways within those organizations.

But never have I been more frustrated by this truth than when it relates to the lack of a culture of philanthropy in a nonprofit.

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The do’s and don’ts of grants

main2.jpgApplying for grants can seem like a scary clown living under your bed. You don’t entirely understand how you were put in this situation, it can feel like there’s no one there to help you and there’s a lot of mystery to all of the logic involved. I hope to offer you some advice on how to navigate this process if you’re new to applications and if nothing else, hopefully some of this might get rid of Mr. Pennywise who’s below the mattress.

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Sustaining the future

25_WT_EU_CAMPAIGN_BEST_OF_web_900px.jpg“Foundations are really nothing without nonprofits," said John Fetzer from the Northwest Area Foundation at Pollen’s Sustain-A-What event. It was a good line to open with when speaking to a room full of nonprofit practitioners because who doesn’t want to feel like they matter? It definitely got tweeted out on the #sustainawhat hashtag, and set the tone for the rest of the talk – we were not gathered to be yelled at about earned income strategies or that we needed to act “more like a business.”

Because let’s face it, when people talk about nonprofit sustainability, that’s often what they are referring to – how are you going to make money that’s not a grant or donation? What is your clever strategy for monetizing your content or the populations you serve? How are you going to work in ways that make business people and lawyers feel comfortable about it? 

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Is my class showing? Reflections on the class dynamics of fundraising

main.jpgOutside a fancy lounge in downtown Minneapolis, I duck behind a marble column and change my winter boots to dress shoes. I breathe heavily, having booked it from the lightrail, and bend to notice the crack along the front of my right shoe. 

I have researched the people I am about to meet inside, because that it is what fundraisers do. The people have Ivy League educations, wear neutral tones, and speak in low, even keeled voices. I prefer jewel tones, no one researched my public school education before this meeting, and my voice is a product of a confusing mix of messages about who a working class woman is to be: a fighter, strong, and also vulnerable to the whims of men around her, suddenly cut off and quiet.

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Collecting Amazing Stories

I think we’ve all heard it before – tell the stories of the individuals and families who your organization impacts. Stories are emotional, paint a picture, and build awareness. But when it comes down to it, why do we shy away from collecting and telling stories?

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