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Pages tagged "Personal Development"


The Power of the Personal Rant

I will make almost any excuse to get on my soap box. In fact, I am a master at making mountains of mole hills. For years and years, these skills were only really useful for driving my parents crazy. But recently, I learned to harness this energy to create my own powerful and infamous “peanut rant.”

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5 things we're not telling board applicants

by Lauren Van Schepen
follow me on Twitter: @lvanschepen

I have been dreaming of fiduciary responsibilities.

Caught in the throes of YNPN officer and chair elections, board recruitment, a fast-approaching board election at my day job, and a recent ELN on board service, it's all I can think about at the moment. While it's essential to understand the legal requirements of a board member, and great to consider the professional development opportunities, I've been ruminating on my first year on the YNPN board and the things I’ve learned - things no one told me. 

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Journey of Nonprofit Leadership and Self-Actualization: A Haiku

by Virginia Brown

follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies 

I’ve spent the last several months on a journey of self-discovery. And to know me is to know how cynical the tone of my voice is as I say that. And yet, despite my reluctance and skepticism, I have been journeying my little heart out. I’ve taken every self-assessment known to man (it feels like), upped time with my therapist, started a discussion group of women talking about this book so aptly blogged by a fellow YNPNer, got my book club to discuss TED Talks instead of a book this month and and and.

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Diversity dilemma: What would you do?

What Would You Choose?This post comes on the heels of YNPN Twin Cities’ August Diversity, Inclusion, and You: an Open Space Conversation event. The following post, a real account from a young nonprofit professional, is published with express permission. Identifying details have been omitted.

This post is similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure story. It’s very similar, except you won’t be protecting the jewels of Nabooti, hunting a Yeti in the mountains of Nepal or deep diving in search of Atlantis. Nope. Your mission is of a more mundane but no less daunting variety.

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Sweet tweetins: Balancing personal and professional on social media

Remember the collective freakout that happened once the world realized that employers could see what prospective employees posted on social media? All those pictures of young professionals making poor decisions vanished, along with their capslocked tweets about how they wished their bosses would die in car fires.

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The Nonprofit Olympics

main.jpgSo what do the Olympics have to do with working in a nonprofit anyway?

I unabashedly love the Olympics! The global spirit, ceremony, fanfare, and anticipation of athletes representing far corners of the world stir in me excitement, joy and wild rooting usually reserved for strategic planning! Seriously. As I’ve been watching the games these last two weeks, I have marveled at the supernatural feats of Olympians. But I know they are just humans – at the top of their game.  In addition to their raw talent, incredible commitment, endurance, and strength, I also admire how they play the game, their triumphs and defeats.

There’s a lot we young nonprofit professionals can take away from the Olympics.

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How to make better decisions with stakeholder engagement

main.jpgStakeholder engagement. There’s some nonprofit jargon that can easily overwhelm anybody. But it’s really just about who to involve in decision making, when to involve them, and at what level - all pieces that are essential to working with clients and others. 

As a nonprofit consultant at Aurora Consulting, I talk with my colleagues about stakeholder engagement in relation to organization assessments, program evaluation, strategic planning, nonprofit governance, and many other areas. The questions of who needs to be heard from, what quality of information we need, how important consensus is, where will authority lie all become very important. 

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How to participate in politics while maintaining professionalism in the workplace

main.jpgIt’s 2012. Can I get political or do I have to keep it under wraps if I call myself a professional? 

A life of service in nonprofits often means addressing quality of life issues in the places we live and for the people and communities we serve. (Sometimes, it’s animals, trees or water we’re saving.) Even if you aren’t working on issues pertaining to people or for a political advocacy organization per se, the initiatives you support most likely have politics written all over them. As election season rolls around, your first instinct may be to jump right in and wave a flag of support for the issues on the ballot you care about most.

There is nothing wrong with showing your true colors, but how can you do that and still maintain professionalism in the workplace? 

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Financial Sanity for the Young Nonprofit Professional

Ever felt like one of the people pictured above? Well, you’re in good company. In 2010, Thrivent Financial and Kiplinger asked folks how they felt about their financial situation. More than 30% said they were “struggling” and another 24% said they were “worried.”  Check out more survey findings and take the survey to see how you compare. The point is, many of us don’t feel very good about our money.

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Out of Your Field: How to Be Successful Without Expertise

main.jpgI openly acknowledge that I am the outlier at my organization.

As Communications Coordinator at Nonprofits Assistance Fund, I do not dream budgets nor get excited over financial statements. In school, I never took a single stats or finance class. While I have learned to read a balance sheet or a loan document over the past year, I am by no means the “go-to” person on those topics. In fact, I can tell you with utmost certainty that I will never be a finance guru. My roots are planted deep in the arts and humanities, where my passion grows from words and design standards.

Despite my lack of affinity for all things finance, it’s my job to tell the story of this organization focused on just that: the nuts and bolts of nonprofit finance. How do I do it?

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