A reminder of why it all matters

by Lauren Van Schepen
follow me on Twitter: @lvanschepen

In December a childhood friend of mine signed a major record deal. Another friend, previously unhappy in a PR gig, took a director position in a presidential campaign last month. Someone in my professional network is getting ready to move to West Africa to do economic development work

And I'm sitting here at my desk, answering another email about conference registration.

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Get Your Resume in the "Good" Pile: Notes from a Hiring Manager

by Virginia Brown
follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies

When you’re job hunting, everyone from your parents to your neighbor from five years ago that you ran into in the grocery store wants to give you advice about resumes, cover letters, interviewing and the like. And if you’re job hunting—take that advice. Seriously.

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On Board - Governance as Mystery

As a young nonprofit professional I had, until very recently, no idea what a board of directors did. Even as someone fascinated by the structure and composition of nonprofits’ organizational charts I could give you only the vaguest of answers when asked what the responsibilities, activities, and benefits of board service actually are. (I’m completely aware that this last sentence outs me as a governance geek, which I hope you will not only forgive me for, but come to see as endearingly dorky.)

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The Scoop | News from Our Members

YNPN-TC members are all over the place, from MinnPost to the Star Tribune to upcoming conferences and more. Learn what your peers are up to in this month's edition of The Scoop. And email updates for April to [email protected].

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Showcase Yourself: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting at Conferences

mic.jpgHave you ever seen a request for conference proposals and thought, “Hey, I should do that,” only to find a million excuses to miss the deadline? I’m a terrible public speaker. They wouldn’t accept me anyway. What could I teach a group of experienced professionals?

You’re not the only one. Presenting at conferences or seminars can be a daunting task, particularly for young professionals who may be addressing a more experienced audience.  But, fortunately, there are brave souls who have gone before us and – despite being younger and less experienced than some of their peers – presented at a professional conference.

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Changing ain’t easy

bank.jpgChange. It’s a word that carries a lot of connotations these days, many of them political. And while we can certainly learn a lot about change in the context of politics (Change is not instantaneous! Change can’t happen on campaign slogans and good vibes alone! Change is actually kinda hard to achieve sometimes!), I’m going to focus on change that affects all of us on a much more intimate (hubba hubba) level—professional change.

A good friend shared this blog by Eklund Consulting with me recently, and it was seriously one of the raddest, most feel-good things I’ve read in a long time. That may sound a little weird since the thesis is essentially “change blows,” but don’t let the downer message fool you. If you look at it the right way, the main point of the blog is actually a much more powerful upper than ten cups of coffee or [insert illicit substance here] could ever be: change is hard.

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What's So Scary About Fundraising?

by Kelly Rowan
follow me on Twitter: @kellykay30

As emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector, a solid grasp of fundraising basics serves us and our organizations well, no matter our department or role. But like so many things that are crucial, fundraising isn’t always appealing. So…why is fundraising so scary? What do we really need to understand about philanthropy’s role in our organizations? How can we build our skills and experience related to fundraising?

A group of young nonprofit professionals gathered to explore these questions for the February Emerging Leaders Networking Lunch. Attendees shared lots of great questions, resources, and insights related to fundraising. Here are some highlights, with a generous dose of my own commentary.

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Have you fallen out of love with your nonprofit job?

main.jpgValentine’s Day has come and gone. By now, the flowers you received are brown and drooping, and the weird fruit-filled chocolates are the only ones left in the box. Is this what your nonprofit job sometimes feels like?

Let’s be honest here. Sometimes it’s hard to work at a nonprofit. The board agendas, work plans, white papers, fundraising letters, metrics, phone calls, and meetings seem endless. And occasionally you can’t help wondering if it’s worth it. You could be making more money. You’re sick of being short-staffed. And your work—alleviating homelessness, poverty, global warming, illiteracy—can be overwhelming, frustrating, and more than a little depressing.

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Board of Buddies: Making your friends a force in your professional life

main.jpgIn their excellent book Superconnect, Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood emphasize the “strength of weak links,” recognizing that we can yield “enormous dividends” by reaching out to the acquaintances in our lives. This is the half of networking we’re always told to work on—as we build our group of professional acquaintances, we increase the chances that one of them will lead us to that perfect new opportunity or connection. There’s certainly some truth to this.

But the authors of Superconnect pay short shrift to the other half to networking (or as we should really be calling it: connecting). It’s not just about expanding your group of random “weak links.” It’s about habitually strengthening the bonds you have with your closest connections. When your good friends know what’s going on in your life, it makes it easier for them to offer support, accountability, and ideas. 

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Nonprofit Spotlight | The LEAD Project and "A Toast to LEAD" Benefit

An Interview with Peter Wagner, LEAD Board Member

What is The LEAD Project?

main.jpgLEAD was founded in 2006 and stands for the Leadership Emergence and Development Project. Our goal is to engage young professionals in the charitable and philanthropic communities of the Twin Cities.

How do you achieve your goal?

LEAD’s goal, and our mission, is to engage young professionals in the Twin Cities nonprofit community. We host various events that are all aimed at creating relationships between the young professional community and the nonprofit community through skills-based volunteer opportunities. We host several different types of events including Board Bootcamps, PhilanthroFairs and large scale charitable events. To learn more about our events click here.

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