On the first Thursday of December, I flocked to the Starbucks in City Center on 6th Street in the attempt to try to get some work done while fire alarm testing was conducted in my apartment building. As 9:30 in the morning came, the flurries fell as the line of drinks – caramel macchiato, chai tea latte, hot mocha – and their recipients, are recited in a somewhat poetic fashion.
It is an unusual sight for a Thursday morning – a packed Starbucks where the people are not worried about deadlines, or the fact that it’s the beginning of the workday. Whether it’s the two women sitting in front of me having a chat as I type on my iPad or two people at a window-side table discussing prospects, the coffee shop has been equated with the ability to nurture curiosity and enrich the spirit.
Joining YNPN Twin Cities was the easiest thing I did upon moving to Minnesota a few years ago. After months of planning and orchestrating a cross-country move, I crossed off my top professional networking task simply by filling out a super short form and clicking a sign up button – no dues, no back and forth.
Within weeks of joining, I was at my first YNPN-TC event and plugging into a network which has since helped me make important professional connections, build professional skills, and be a part of a meaningful space for questions and conversations on how we can shape the nonprofit sector from within.
I knew there were other YNPN chapters across the country, and that there was an overarching YNPN national organization as well, but never quite knew how it all worked together.
In the time since, I’ve joined the YNPN-TC board and in my current role as National Liaison, I am passionate about helping our local YNPN members take advantage of being part of our national network as well!
Below, I’ve listed five ways I’ve learned to plug into the YNPN landscape beyond the Land of 10,000 Lakes:Read more
Come have lunch with me.
No, seriously, it’s really that simple. I want you to come have lunch with me.
Let me tell you my reasoning behind that.
As nonprofit professionals, we understand the benefit of community and how it helps make our work meaningful. Many of us have seen first-hand how awe-inspiring it can be to have the feeling that our work is so much more impactful when it is community-led and community-driven. YNPN ensures that community building has the components of diversity, inclusion, and access in order to guide our actions and programming as YNPN members. However, how often are we individually undertaking these values in our own professional and personal lives? The idea is simple to understand but much more difficult to execute.Read more
The schedule said the speaking event started at 5:30. I had a class at 6:30. If I left a little early, I could catch most of the panel on generational interaction in the workplace. I showed up a little before 5:30 and was ready to go.
But 5:30 rolled around, and it didn’t look like things were going to start anytime soon. 5:35 comes and goes and people are milling around, chatting and networking. I asked one of the people working the welcome table when the panel would start.Read more
As a self-described introvert, I’ve looked forward to conferences with great anticipation and a little bit of dread. Ranging from packed all-day affairs to week-long marathons, nonprofit conferences are a great way to learn and share dialogue with a group of people from diverse backgrounds and strengths who are passionate about the sector and their communities.
From my time as an AmeriCorps VISTA (yay PSO!) beginning my nonprofit career to positions with more leadership potential, I have attended a wide variety of conferences. When I register, I’m super excited to look at sessions, speakers, and hear which of my colleagues will be attending. But just a few days out, I inevitably think, “Gosh, I know there’s going to be so much to learn and so many people to talk to, but how am I ever going to be ‘on’ for this long?”
At the beginning of my career, I decided to attend conferences with a “play it by ear” attitude, and often left them at the end of the day with introverts’ guilt of feeling left out or that I wasted some really good opportunities to learn and make connections with new colleagues, mentors, potential future employers, and all around super cool people.Read more
This past March, I had the good fortune to be sent to the NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in sunny San Jose, California. It was set to be an intense three days of learning and networking, which I was a bit nervous about.
I had been to a couple NTC conferences with close co-workers before, but this year I was going with the President/CTO of our company. While getting a chance to get to know him a little better was great, I also figured I’d probably be spending much of the conference solo - and I was right.Read more
Are you destined to be a chopper? No, I’m not talking about the motorcycle enthusiasts, or even taking up a new career as a sous-chef. I’m referring to a phenomenon called “Chapter Hopping.”
Chapter hopping is when a young nonprofit professional like you uses the YNPN National network to find opportunities to move to a new city. You might not be aware of this fact, but our Twin Cities chapter is a part of a nationwide network of YNPs who collectively have formed over 40 chapters. Our national office is based out of New York City.Read more
You know what a purple squirrel is, right?
It’s kind of a joke--a recruiter’s term for an imaginary candidate that fits their open position perfectly. It’s an animal that might exist in reality, but probably not. This candidate is mythically good, impossibly rare, and costly to chase. Some would even say chasing them is a waste of time, that you’re better off training applicants to fit. There’s a lot out there explaining why you shouldn’t chase purple squirrels. I’ll focus on how the search for the perfect candidate affects the recruitment of people of diverse backgrounds, who we’ll be calling “squirrels of color” (SOCs).Read more
The energy in the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage was palpable, nearly every seat in the house filled. But this wasn’t opening night of the theater’s latest production. Nonprofit leaders from across the Midwest were gathered for the keynote at bushCONNECT.Read more
YNPN-TC held their second annual Volunteer & Member Appreciation event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on April 3rd. The evening was a dedication to all of the amazing people who make YNPN-TC the fantastic organization that it is, and also used as a way to let people get to know our mission, vision and values a little better.
The event started out pitting our committees of Membership & Communications against Programming & Governance to see who knew our mission, vision and values the best – Family Feud style.
Membership and Communications won by a landslide (sorry ProComm and GovComm!). Both teams did a great job though, the questions weren’t easy. Do you know YNPN-TC’s mission, vision and values?Read more