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Pages tagged "Generation Y/Millennials"


Optimistically yours

I know I’m not alone in thinking there are a lot of super complicated things going on in the world right now. But I also have a hard time keeping world happenings separate from my own life.

We live in a world where Donald Trump is running for president and might win the Republican nomination, a world where a large number of people agree with his assertion that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to enter the U.S. In this world, terrorism and mass shootings are not altogether unexpected, and the discussion of racism in the Twin Cities has been pushed front and center.

Every time I hear the news, I find myself thinking, “How do I fit into all of this?”  Because none of these things look like a future I really want to be a part of.

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Give to the Max Day, everyday

Since the wild success of the Ice Bucket Challenge last year, the impact of successful social media marketing has become a hot topic among nonprofits. Personally, after seeing countless friends douse themselves with iced water in the name of charity, I started to look more closely at how my favorite nonprofits use social media. Unfortunately, I see too many nonprofits’ Facebook pages that haven’t been updated since 2014 and Twitter accounts with ten posts per day. Navigating social media can be a difficult task for marketing purposes—and a daunting one for fundraising.

Thankfully, GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day is a statewide crowdfunding initiative that makes it easier to use social media for fundraising. It’s unprecedented growth each year is a testament to the importance of crowdfunding in modern fundraising. If your organization isn’t capitalizing on crowdfunding through social media, here’s why it should:

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Living life with intention

Mountain TopAs millennials, we are often blamed for being self-centered and self-focused - a claim which I whole-heartedly deny. Just look at the sheer number of volunteer hours and interest in the nonprofit sector of our generation! One thing I blame for this misconception is our interest in living our lives with intention. Growing up, we were told by our baby-boomer parents that we could do and be whatever we wanted to be – the world was our oyster. Now that we’re stepping into the “real world,” we want to get out of it everything we can. We want to live less out of habit and more out of intent, but sometimes that can be difficult.

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The path less taken

Path in the WildernessWhen I heard we were going to do a session on non-linear career paths as part of the EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute, I was super excited. I’m a pro at this; I’ve spent the last six-ish years having absolutely no idea where my career was going.

I graduated in 2009 with a double major in International Relations and Arabic and a concentration in Middle Eastern studies, so I had one very clear career option: becoming a spy. (Or, you know, going into international business, working as a translator, becoming a diplomat, etc.)

Unfortunately for me, none of those careers panned out, and it was the height of the recession. There were no jobs for recent college grads, so my career focus had to shift from dreams of shaken martinis to attempts at gaining job experience and building my resume.

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An Entitled Millennial's Secrets to Retaining Young Employees

main.jpgSince I’m (sorta) a millennial, I’d like a pool table in the office. I also want “take your parents to work” days, a free pop-tart station, an Atari for kicking back between meetings, and fun, wacky team-building activities where our office slowly becomes family, like in an Aaron Sorkin show (preferably Sports Night, the best tv show ever).

Actually, stop. None of those things are important to me. In fact, I would be mortified and a bit insulted at “take your parents to work” day. Not that my parents aren’t cool, but it’s not like I’m printing out my annual reviews to hang on their fridges.

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Quality, Not Quantity

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I’ve gotten used to sounding apologetic when I explain to people what I do for a living. After all, I have a Master’s degree in Public Policy from one of the best policy schools in the nation. How could I possibly just be an assistant? I get defensive and feel like I have to justify my decision to take a job that would not impress any of my peers. Since starting, I had feared this job wouldn't allow me to learn any tangible skills, and I would leave it having accomplished nothing.

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Being Fearless

“She’s fearless.”

I had just put in my two weeks notice at my job and was informing my coworkers I was leaving. As I came around the corner of the cubicle, the grantwriter who sat across the hallway from me said those words to another coworker, shaking his head in admiration.

I’m very rarely stunned. But I was in that moment.

This man, whose personal and professional respect matters immensely to me, thought I was fearless by taking on new, bigger, more challenging work.

It’s not an adjective I’d apply to myself. I’m afraid of a lot of things: Snakes. Dying without saying important things to the important people in my life. My dogs dying. Snakes. Ok, so I’m mostly afraid of snakes and death. But fearless?

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Where Did All The Men Go?

I was listening to a panel discussion on career change when it hit me for the first time. All five panelists were women. In my AmeriCorps cohort, there were five men to the 35 women in the room. This was the first time that I had really taken notice that the nonprofit world had a greater number of women than men in the field. While this may be obvious to some of you, when I asked the panelists about it, they hadn’t even realized it. So if you’ll bear with me, I’d like to talk briefly about the where all the nonprofit men went.

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From Sideline to Frontline: Taking the Plunge

main.jpgIt's hard to believe it was only a year ago that I began volunteering with the YNPN-TC Programming Committee. The truth is, though, that I dabbled with the idea of joining YNPN-TC a lot sooner. I just didn't have the gumption to take the plunge.

I've been working in the nonprofit sector since I graduated from college. Fortunately, the supervisors I've had throughout the years have been incredibly supportive and encouraged me to pursue professional development opportunities whenever possible.

The problem was I didn't have a clue where to start looking for these opportunities. So, naturally, I did what anyone would do to find the answer to this question: I Googled it. And when I hit the search button, I got a ton of results, but the top ones featured this group called Young Nonprofit Professionals Network-Twin Cities.

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Hello to Good-bye (A Treatise on Transitions)

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ― Lao Tzu

Emergence as evolution

As the founder of Minnesota Rising, a generationally-based group, I’m often asked about the point at which our Millennial generation will no longer be referred to as “emerging,” but instead could be considered “emerged.” While there will be a point in time at which, as individuals and as a cohort, we could be said to have moved on from the “emerging leader” moniker, that is not to refute that our journey and learning is lifelong and thus we will always be emerging into the next experience. For this reason, it will be increasingly valuable to have a sustaining generational cohort to help us mark, grieve, and celebrate transitions, and with whom we will be able to note our progress as individuals and as a group.

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