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Pages tagged "Nonprofit Sector"


Culture Transformation Part 1: The Importance and Diagnosis of Culture

main.jpgIn my post, 'An Approach to Dealing with Resistance in Your Organization', I discussed how change in your organization could cause resistance, and I suggested strategies to work through it. This post will focus on culture in an organization and why it is important to understand the culture of an organization before, during, and after implementing change – a Part 1 if you will. Part 2 will focus on what you can do during organizational change and how to ensure culture change sticks. It is important to remember that an organization does not have culture; it is the people that create, form and maintain a culture. Culture can dictate if an acquisition, merger, or organizational change goes successfully, and it is vital to understand how structural changes will impact said culture.

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Show US the Money

"The state of worrying where your next meal is going to come from – you have uncertain income or you have more expenses than you can manage and you have to juggle all these things and constantly being pre-occupied about putting out these fires – takes up so much of your mental bandwidth, that you have less in terms of cognitive capacity to deal with things which may not be as urgent as your immediate emergency, but which are, nevertheless, important for your benefit in the medium or longer term."

That’s research fellow Anandi Mani quoted in The Guardian on the hypothesis of a study showing the negative effects of financial worry on decision-making. In the study, two groups – one rich and one poor – were given two test scenarios. The first scenario presented an “easy” car repair costing $150, and the second scenario presented a “hard” $1,500 repair, and then both groups took IQ puzzle tests while pre-occupied with their scenario. Both groups performed comparably on the easy repair, but the poor group struggled in the hard scenario. The study found that “their average IQ was 13 points lower when they were thinking about serious financial troubles.”

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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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2014 YNPN-TC Survey Recap

As a member-based organization, feedback from our members on how we’re running YNPN Twin Cities is vital to the success of the organization. Recently, we sent out our annual member survey, and respondents told us what we’re doing well and what we can do to bring more value to you, our members.

Here are 5 key things you had to say this year:

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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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An Approach to Dealing with Resistance in Your Organization

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As Millennials in the nonprofit sector, our ideas for trying new approaches are often met with responses like: ‘this is the way we have done things for 10 years’ or ‘I don’t see why we need to change, things are going well’. To understand how we can better influence people with our ideas despite resistance, we must first understand what resistance is and learn strategies to help us manage professional situations in which we find resistance (and not let those moments get the best of us). 

Resistance is natural; it occurs in and outside of work and shows up wherever there are human interactions. Resistance is often an emotional process, and it is a reaction against the process of being helped (Burke, 2008, p.109). Sometimes we see resistance within our organizations when there are changes taking place, when stakes are high, or when roles shift among co-workers. We ourselves might be resistant to new ideas, suggestions, or a different way of doing our work. Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that resistance rarely has anything to do with you. Rather, it is reaction to the challenge created by new changes or ideas being proposed.

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Lessons Learned From The Lentil Underground

I spent this year’s holiday break doing something a bit unusual—reading a newly-published book about my dad’s life work. Lentil Underground tells the story of farmers in Montana who rejected the industrial, pesticide-heavy trends in agricultural and charted a new, sustainable, organic course (before organic was even a word Montana recognized). My father plays a lead role in this story as a lead recruiter of others to the cause and as CEO of Timeless Seeds, the business enterprise that the movement grew into.

Reading someone else’s chronicle of your dad could be an unusual experience at times: apparently he has the carefree-but-earnest jocularity of a fifties sitcom?!? But it did get me thinking: how much of my life can I see in my dad’s experiences? Does the Minnesota nonprofit world have much in common with some organic farmers in Montana? After a little reflection, I think it does! 

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The True Meaning of Give to the Max Day

gtmd.jpgGive to the Max Day is an annual charitable giving event hosted by GiveMN. The event draws attention to the thousands of nonprofit organizations and schools serving communities throughout the state and encourages philanthropic giving. Last year, Give to the Max Day raised over $17 million for Minnesota organizations in 24 hours.

Give to the Max Day has become something of a holiday for me. I race to my inbox early on the morning of Give to the Max Day to tally up donations to my organization the same way I used to race downstairs to see what Santa had brought me. The energetic buzz around my office on Give to the Max Day is infectious—coworkers shout over cube walls when big gifts come in and create complex high five gestures to congratulate one another. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

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Top 5 Nonprofit Buzzwords of 2014

main.pngI know it’s only early November, but-let’s face it–stores are already decked out for Christmas, so it doesn’t seem too early to do a 2014 retrospective. As a board, YNPN Twin Cities has committed in our new strategic plan to being and supporting other members in being thought leaders in sector-wide conversations.

So, in order to get that conversation going, I’ve developed a list of 5 “buzzwords” or terms that I think are highly relevant to what has gone on in the nonprofit sector–and in particular in Minnesota’s sector–in 2014.

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Doing Something With Your "Do Something"

main.jpgApril, 2009 Click… Bushfire in Australia kills over 150 people, exact numbers still unknown … Click… the WHO now considers the swine flu outbreak to be an emergency of international concern … Click…an Alabama man kills 9 people before committing suicide … Click …  

I wanted to “DO SOMETHING”. Only, I wasn’t really sure what that “SOMETHING” was- I just had a fuzzy, unfocused and sincere desire to help. I had recently graduated college, was stuck in a boring job, and my only response to horrible things happening in the world, was to click over to cat videos or, at most, write an impassioned Facebook post, where friends would join me in my outrage and inaction.

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