Emerging Leaders Networking Lunch
Friday, Dec. 18
12 - 1 p.m.
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
St. Paul


* Notes from Creating Leader-full Spaces presentation at 2012 Nonprofit Leadership Conference.

* Facilitation resources on topics such as Open Space Technology and World Cafe, and groups such as the Public Conversations Project and the international Art of Hosting network.






We provide and promote opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals.

We envision a world where young nonprofit professionals:

• connect through purpose
• challenge to change
• lead together

Our values:

● We strive for respect and inclusiveness
● We seek opportunities to collaborate
● We respond to the evolving needs of our community


April’s Featured Member: Courtney Bergey

Interview by Brittany Hustad

Courtney Bergey is the Director of Advancement for Lanesboro Arts, a nonprofit arts organization in Lanesboro, Minn. We wanted to get to know her better, so we asked her a few questions!

What was your first job? Feeding baby calves on the farm where I was raised. I got paid in Gymboree leggings and M&Ms.

What has been your greatest career success? In September 2014 we threw a big community festival to celebrate the completion of our $850,000 Lanesboro Arts Campus campaign, a project aiming to weave the arts into the social and municipal infrastructure of our small town. After intense city council meetings, high pressure grant deadlines, a stressful community planning process, and countless hours of work, seeing the community come together with such pride in our work was the highlight of my career to date!

Describe YNPN in just a few words. It's like a super friendly support group showed up at the nerdy table in a high school cafeteria and they all threw a party (that they planned, fundraised, and marketed themselves, thank you very much).

Have an idea for YNPN? Working in out-state Minnesota, I think it would be great to bring resources and events to different parts of the state outside the metro. I'm one of only a few young nonprofit professionals in my county, so it can be a little isolating. I think urban and rural can learn a lot from each other, so having a connective tissue between the two would be mutually beneficial.

What’s your party trick? You know, that one weird thing you do to impress people … I don't have a party trick, but I really like to play my 1970s country music records when I'm hosting a party. No one makes you feel more welcome than Dolly Parton, in my opinion.

Best advice someone has given you? "Don't fall in love with your own words.” In high school I was a journalism intern at my local newspaper, and my editor uttered this handy phrase to me when I was stuck one day — I had written a sentence that wasn't leading anywhere, but it sounded so good I couldn't bear to delete it. As a grant proposal writer and publicity gal, I've used this advice to avoid getting caught up in the jargon.

Favorite restaurant? The Spud Boy Diner in downtown Lanesboro. It's a vintage 1920s railroad diner car serving up crispy-on-the-outside-juicy-on-the-inside cheeseburgers and homemade pie. It only seats 18 people, but my grandpa and I find room for ourselves to eat lunch there together about once a week in the summer.

If people want to reach out to hear more about your awesome work, how can they contact you? E-mail me at courtney.e.bergey@gmail.com or find me on Twitter @courtneybergey.


Your Tax Day Survival Guide

By Megan Wolle

The collective American deadline called "Tax Day" is Wednesday, April 15th. This time of year is what people in the business like to call a natural “money moment.” Thanks to Uncle Sam, we’re all wading through our personal financial information from the past year, so why not spend a few minutes taking stock? Here are some things to consider during the next break in your Netflix marathon. (Or Prime, for those of us who just might be addicted to Downton Abbey.)

  1. File your taxes for free. If you are an individual who made less than $30,000 or a family who earned less than $53,000 in 2014, Prepare + Prosper will take care of everything for nothing more than a high five. If you earned less than $60,000, you can file online for free here. However you decide(d) to file this year, check out these common credits and raise your tax IQ.
  2. Be clear about your goals. When I met with a Financial Planner for free last year at the Twin Cities Financial Planning Day, I was ready to talk about 401(k) savings versus an IRA. Instead, she asked about my life goals. Yes, retirement savings are important, but so is being debt free, buying a house, or going back to school.
  3. Track your spending and set your budget. We’ve all heard this one before. Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it are key steps for stretching that nonprofit salary. Start by simply tracking your spending for two weeks to see where the money goes. (The Surly Taproom, in my case.) Use this information to set your budget. There are lots of apps to help.
  4. Get that company match. Most employers will match your contributions to the company 401(k) or 403(b) up to a certain percentage. This is free money, folks. If your budget surplus (are you guys still reading after I used that phrase?) is mostly dedicated to student loans and the like, try your darndest to squeak out that percentage so you can start a cushy retirement account. Remember, compound interest is our friend.
  5. Build your emergency savings. If you are lucky enough to qualify for any of the aforementioned tax credits, why not use some of this year’s tax return to build your emergency savings? The gurus suggest having three months worth of expenses squirreled away, but if that seems daunting, start with $1,000.

Already got these five things figured out? Congrats. You've earned at least another four hours binge-watching your favorite new series. 


5 Takeaways On “For Good Measure: SROI and Current Trends in Nonprofit Impact Measurement”

By Madeline Graham

For the March event, YNPN-TC hosted an evening conversation on Social Return on Investment and impact evaluation. Not familiar with SROI? Check out the definition here.

  • More rigorous, financial-based evaluation is the direction all sectors are moving (nonprofit, government, philanthropy). As nonprofit professionals, we need to recognize this trend and be ready for the change. Because we are at the beginning of this shift, don’t be afraid to be the benchmark. It’s too early to rely on what’s been done before.
  • Measurement and evaluation should be used internally FIRST. They should be central to improvement of your programs and services and should guide your organization’s strategy. Data should not be created solely for funders.
  • There is a significant downside to SROI. Boiling down your impact to a single number is what busy funders want, but it can be dangerous. We need to dig deeper and look at the methodology. Just as important as the number is why we are getting the results we are getting.
  • Impact measurement is not all created equal. Activities are not as valuable as outcomes, and outcomes are not as valuable as evidence (see continuum below).

  1. Activities: what you do

  2. Outcomes: the results of your activities

  3. Evidence: evidence that these outcomes would not have occurred without you

  4. Systems integration: collaborating and leveraging other organization’s work to benefit all

  • Run before you walk - if you currently report on activities, no need to jump into complicated SROI. Work first towards pushing yourself to measure and report on outcomes.

Learn more! Check out these resources mentioned at the event:

  • Results Based Accountability - not a resource, but a method that could be useful to those not ready to dive into SROI

  • TRASI - tools and resources for assessing social impact

  • B Corps/Lab


The Scoop

Change helps us grow and learn new things, become more adaptable, and gain perspective.

See which YNPN-TC members have embraced career changes recently in this month's Scoop!

  • Samantha Zastrow was promoted to Project Manager at Gage.
  • Jessica Zimmerman is now Program Officer at PFund Foundation.
  • Abigail Dominguez was promoted to Meeting and Events Representative at Neighborhood House.
  • Julie Cohen was named Communications and Engagement Director at Pollen.

Do you have some great news you'd like to share with the YNPN community? Do you know someone who might be too shy to toot their own horn? If so, send a note over to bridge@ynpntwincities.org and we'll put it in next month's Scoop!  


YNPN-TC selected as a National OS Pilot chapter

By Josh Lambrecht

During our Strategic Planning process, "Innovative Thought Leadership and Sector Shaping" was identified as one of our network's strategic priorities for the next three years. A key objective for us to accomplish this will be to create tools and programs with the intent to share on a regional and national level.  When YNPN-National put out a call asking local chapters to participate in the National Operating System Pilot, the YNPN-TC Board of Directors figured we better put our money where our mouth is!

By participating in this pilot, YNPN-TC will be able to better share data and programming in real time with YNPN-National and other chapters a across the county. The first step is to begin migrating our data over the next year from our current data systems to a new platform, NationBuilder, that will be coordinated with YNPN-National. YNPN-TC will also be supporting YNPN-National to help identify supports and resources necessary to build strong chapters. While we are proud of our vibrant and engaged membership, we also see our participation in the pilot as an opportunity to explore how we define our own membership with the ultimate goal of better serving you, our members!

As any early adopter knows, there may be some bumps along the way, however we believe that any challenges we may encounter will be worth it for building a stronger, more connected national young nonprofit professional network. If you would like to learn more about the National OS Pilot or see which other chapters were selected, check our YNPN-National's website here.

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