Emerging Leaders Network Lunch
Topic: Youth Empowerment: The Challenges of Attaining a College Degree and What You Can Do to Empower Our Youth to Succeed
When: Friday, July 17
           12pm - 1pm
Where: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
             St. Paul

The Cost of Low Wages

What impact does low wages have on the nonprofit sector, especially around diversity?

When: Tuesday, July 28
   Programming begins at 6
Where: Bedlam Theatre, Lowertown 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


It’s the YNPN-TC Ugly Sweater Happy Hour!

It’s that time of year again! The time to head to the store and sort through the racks and racks of sweaters until you find that one that is so overly the top tacky it that you scream, “Why was this ever made? I must absolutely wear it!”

In other words (in case you couldn’t follow our excited brains that are full of visions of tinsel and jingle bells and felt elf cutouts), the Annual YNPN-TC Ugly Sweater Happy Hour from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Red Stag Supperclub.

In addition to being a great opportunity to connect with other young nonprofit professionals, this event will feature a fierce Ugly Sweater Contest. Make sure to pull out all stops if you want to win a White Elephant gift for your:

  • “Cutest” ugly holiday sweater Best DIY-project sweater
  • Most “glitter and glam” sweater;
  • or Overall “ugliest” holiday sweater

So, get to the store or pull out the craft supplies. The sweaters want to celebrate but they aren’t going to wear themselves!


New Year, New Skills! Volunteer for YNPN-TC

Are you interested in growing your skill set, and your professional network? Joining YNPN-TC as a volunteer is a great way to do both of these things, and hang out with some fun and pretty awesome people at the same time (if we do so say ourselves...)

Please check out the many, many volunteer opportunities we have on our website. Currently, we especially need help with updating the website, creating our fabulous the monthly enewsletter, and greeting people at events.

There are opportunities to help out that vary according to your availability and interest. If you have any questions you’d like to ask us before filling out the volunteer application, please email us at info@ynpntwincities.org.


Scattershot Cafe: Peer Circles Edition

This year's Scattershot Café event offered small conversation and peer networking circles across the Twin Cities. A few highlights from some of the discussions:

Where do you work?

On a scale of lemon juice in a paper cut to root canal, job hunting ranks smack in the middle. "Where Do You Work" discussed the travails of job hunting while you're already working full time, how to determine a work environment is a correct fit in the interview process, and how to make a successful transition into previously unchartered waters. The vital ingredient? Courage: courage to ask for help, courage to volunteer your free time and courage to take on every new challenge one step at a time.


#yesallwomen explored the limitations of organizing in online spaces. How do you connect with community? How do online spaces open up dialogues that might not happen in real life? How does this anonymity also create unsafe spaces - so how does it perpetuate violence against women and misogyny?

How has feminism historically excluded certain communities of people? What does it mean that "women" is a central part of the #YesAllWomen hashtag and who does this exclude (like gender nonconofrming people), or how does the insistence on the universal "women" invisibilize the experiences that specific groups of women have? Suey Park's article on Hashtags as Decolonial Projects was particularly helpful here.

Another major point we talked about was balancing our online selves and our professional selves. What does it mean for us (as mostly young women) to engage in online activism on public platforms? Does this delegitimize our professional voices? How do you balance that?

Some further reading, for those interested:

Jack Halberstam's piece on Trigger Warning and Neoliberal Politics (very problematic)
And THIS amazing response from Katherine Cross

Event Planning

Everyone at Event Planning came from organizations putting on very different events — from capacity-building conferences to fundraising galas to charity rides — yet each person was able to share expertise, ask questions, and really get hands-on with resources. It was a great experience to be able to talk with other nonprofit event planners about a variety of topics that apply to every event (program evaluation, incentivizing participation, staff anxiety, speaker time management, software options, free space options, and engagement).

LOCUS: Affirming Authenticity

For individuals whose cultural and traditional identities lay outside the mainstream, there is great value in gathering together in safe spaces for self-reflection, reconciliation, and healing. In these places, we again affirm our diversity as a powerful asset, which urges us to step purposefully into our identities for the benefit of ourselves and our communities.


The common vocabulary of StrengthsFinder created immediate connection: rather than needing to spend time asking basic questions and getting to know each other, we focused on "So what?" and "What now?" Every person shared openly about why StrengthsFinder speaks to them: they love of being valued for the way they process, think, and perceive things. Having a common language for specific, similar traits meant the group could value not only shared Strengths, but differences, and problem solve together.


Setting standards, soliciting feedback, and achieving your goals: Breakfast of Champions with Jennifer Ford Reedy

By Izzy Sullivan

What I love most about YNPs – what makes us so wonderful, and so unique, is just how excited we all become when talking about nonprofits. Whether the topic is fair pay, mission-based work, fundraising techniques or leadership development, we YNPs are enthusiastic. Then add the opportunity to interface with a well-known local CEO, and we reach a whole new level of excitement. This past month we gathered with Jennifer Ford Reedy, President and CEO of the Bush Foundation for our Breakfast of Champions event to hear the story of her career journey.

Photo by Marie Ketring

Apart from her short-lived dream of being a Harlem globetrotter, Jennifer Ford Reedy was always interested in working towards the public good. She took on leadership roles in the community from a young age: before graduating college, Jennifer was a city council member and also on her local United Way board. As someone has frequently been the youngest in the room throughout her career, Jennifer relates well to us as YNPs and the morning was jam-packed with excellent pieces of advice:

Don't let the drive to be good slip into the desire to be liked. Be confident in your standards for decision-making. You have control over how you behave, but not how you are perceived. Jennifer openly admitted that she tried too hard for a while to be liked – this is something I can also attest to struggling with. The solution? Define for yourself what it means to be a good person, and have confidence in your assessment. Aim to live up to that standard, not to anyone else’s definition of good.

I want to be good at this job; I don’t want to believe I am good at this job. Can we all look in the mirror and say this? Are we truly seeking honest feedback so that we can improve, or do we look to supervisors, managers and colleagues for that pat on the back? Jennifer spent 9 years at McKinsey, a place where she acknowledges she was able to stretch and grow in many ways because people felt that giving feedback was the caring thing to do. How can you put this into practice? Ask a trusted friend to watch you in a meeting and let you know how you appear.

Photo by Marie Ketring

Work/life balance can exist but it will look very different for everyone. Find time for something you care about. Have a bell weather to determine if you are adequately balancing the priorities in your life. Ask yourself, “Am I making time for x?” Jennifer knows that if she is making time for tennis, things in her life are pretty balanced. For me, I know that if I am not making time for running, something’s got to give. Identifying the x in your life that can be your bell weather will help you with work/life balance.

Don't ask, "What job do I want?” Ask, "What do I want to do, and where can I do it?Early on in her career, Jennifer was able to articulate that she wanted to be the CEO and President of the Bush Foundation. And then she made it happen. Talk about an achievement! Yet what Jennifer explained to us was that she took the time to think long and hard about exactly what she wanted to do (be a free-range community problem solver), and then was able to identify a place where she could do that work (the Bush Foundation). It didn’t happen overnight, but through hard work and determination she was able to reach her goal.

Photo by Marie Ketring

The Breakfast of Champions series is sponsored by Pollen (http://bepollen.com), and is held once a month (check the YNPN Twin Cities calendar for more information). Do you know an Executive Director that would be the perfect guest for this event? Contact Lindsay Marcil at lindsay.marcil@gmail.com.


Can Improv Enhance Your Career?

Make your Friday lunchtime fun on October 17th: join YNPN for an improv comedy workshop! Brandon Boat, co-founder of The Theater of Public Policy, will lead a session on how to make the skills that improvisers use on stage useful in your everyday work life. Come learn simple techniques and skills to make meetings more fun and productive or help you defeat writers' block. You'll stretch your brain, get the innovative juices flowing, and feel confident when confronting creative challenges. You will be asked to participate in this workshop, but it'll be painless. Mostly.

Emerging Leaders Network Lunch: Everyday Improv
October 17, 2014
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
No RSVP necessary. Bring your lunch and business cards!

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