Pages tagged "Nonprofit Sector"

How to Join a Board Without Really Trying

Applications will soon be opening for spots on YNPN-TC’s Board of Directors. This is your opportunity to take a leadership role and shape the future of the organization. To help you start thinking about if a Board position is right for you, Brandon Boat put together some advice from himself and others about what it takes to join a nonprofit board. 

Board service is a great opportunity to advance your career to the next level. Whether you’re trying to network, gain more experience, or an alien trying to learn “human feelings,” joining a board of directors will provide you with new connections, a sense of fulfillment, and ownership over a mission in a way that’s very different from being an employee or volunteer.

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Political Nonprofit Pitfalls

Working at a nonprofit says a lot about you. It’s an inherent trade off that many of us know all too well: you get to believe, really believe, in what you’re doing—and you get to do it for less money than in the corporate world. Even if your job is mostly data entry, saying you work for an organization that feeds the hungry or helps young people achieve their scholarly dreams makes you a do-gooder by default.

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Could You Be a Superhero in Disguise?

The following blog is by Maria Ward.

main.jpgLike many of you, I came to work in the non-profit sector because of my passion for social justice. Fresh from college and student-led advocacy groups, my head was filled with facts about inequality and injustice and my laptop plastered with bumper stickers.

When it came time to find a job aligned with my beliefs, however, I was at a loss. You can’t make a career out of just believing really, really hard in a cause, unfortunately. You have to gain some tangible skills to support the cause, skills which sometimes don’t feel all that connected to that passion that led you to nonprofits in the first place.

I tested out the nonprofit career paths that felt most connected to the passion I felt, dipping my toes in community organizing and direct service, areas where I could talk about the issues as a public figure. Much as I wanted to be the hero on the front lines, I found these jobs to be a mismatch to my personality. What kind of career could I build when I wasn’t a natural with a bullhorn or an extrovert with the energy to interact with people all day?

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Bite-Sized Leadership Lessons

main.jpgEver since hearing the inspiring words of Bush Foundation CEO Jen Ford Reedy and Humphrey School Associate Dean Laura Bloomberg at the 2014 YNPN National Conference, I’ve been thinking about how impactful it is to hear an individual speak about his or her perspective on leadership.

After all, what really is leadership? You can’t put it in a box or a clear-cut definition. Everyone lives leadership in his or her own way, and it is something entirely different and powerful when it emerges from a team of individuals.

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Moving On

Loading a Moving Van“HelloGoodbyeHelloGoodbye… I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello.”
-The Beatles, Hello, Goodbye

These lyrics come from what feels like my theme song of late: Hello, Goodbye by The Beatles. Since graduating college in 2007, my now husband and I have moved four times, never staying anywhere longer than three years. Perhaps we’re not so different from you or many others in our generation, who chase job opportunities wherever they lead.

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Great Effort and Great Schools

main.jpg“Closing the achievement gap” has become a hot topic in Minnesota, especially for members of the non-profit community. Twin Cities community leaders recently identified over 500 distinct initiatives designed to address this pressing issue. Despite broad acknowledgement of the problem, the solutions of education reform remain controversial. As YNPN members who work for many of these organizations, and future community leaders who will be responsible for this issue, it is important we think critically about the impact of all of these efforts. The myriad tutoring programs, district reform efforts and direct school service organizations certainly gives Minnesota an A for effort, but the key metric of success for our community is how many of schools are delivering equitable educational outcomes for all students.

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Mind the gap: Wage inequity and you

main.jpgToday is Equal Pay Day - what does that mean? Each year, that day marks the amount of time women have to work into the current year to match the earnings of their male counterparts in the previous year. (Women and men of color experience on average an even greater pay inequity and have to work further into the year to make up the difference.)

In Minnesota, we tend to pride ourselves as state that fosters strong, healthy communities and looks out for our most vulnerable residents. Although we do stand ahead of many states in community health and well-being in some measures, we still face challenges prevalent across the country and world, including a gender wage gap. Women make a fraction of the wages of their male counterparts, even with identical training and experience.

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Public Policy 101 for the Nonprofiteer

These days, I spend some time at the Minnesota Capitol complex. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who knows the ins-and-out of the political process and political maneuvering. I’ve realized in the last few weeks, I’ve got a ways to go before I can spout off different political scenarios and predict  how a particular piece of legislation will move through the legislature.  What I do know is that nonprofits and YOU have an important role to play in statewide policy making. Together, we can make a policy difference that will impact the lives of real Minnesotans. Most policy decisions are informed by lobbyists, interested parties, and constituents who voice their opinions to legislators. It is part of the democratic tradition and helps find real solutions to help real people.

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Expectations versus reality: moving from a tiny to a huge nonprofit

I’m a risk-averse person, but I’ve never been bothered by jumping from a secure pond to a comparably scary ocean. I went from a small town high school with 500 students to a metropolitan college with 50,000 students. I stayed in the English speaking world while studying abroad, but the size of the city I was living in jumped from 400,000 to 8 million. And just a few months ago, I left a job at a nonprofit with 3 full-time staff to a job with…a lot of staff. Something along the order of 150 people work in my building, which is the home base of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. Dozens more work at our health centers and offices around the region, and our three-state affiliate is part of a nationwide network with global reach, which puts us at some huge number or another.

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Saying “Non” to Nonprofit

I admit it: I’m a fan of the When You Work at a Nonprofit Tumblr. I’ve spent a fair amount of time (at work!) poring over hilarious captioned gifs that capture what it means to work for a nonprofit organization: the dizzying highs when you receive a major gift; the soul-crushing lows when you notice a typo in your annual report; the mad rush for new office supplies or leftover snacks from a board meeting…it’s all there. More than once I’ve found myself reacting to posts like this by saying “RIGHT?!” a little too loudly and looking around for someone to high-five in agreement.


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