All my life, I’ve been taught that you have to “be strong” either for yourself or for the people around you. Showing emotion made people look at you with pity and treat you like you were a child.
“Awww, look at Alishia crying again.”
“You’re always so dramatic.”
“If you want to get ahead, you have to be tough and not let people know they got to you.”
“Why can’t you just let it roll off your back?”
I know I’m not alone in hearing these things. In the 2016 election, we heard time after time about Hilary Rodham Clinton’s temperament and whether or not she was friendly enough to be President. The assumption is, she’s a woman and all soft and squishy, she can’t be strong enough, be “professional” enough to be an effective leader. The assumption is that showing vulnerability at all is a weakness. Well, my friend, if you haven’t heard this before, let me tell you that being able to show vulnerability is not a weakness. It’s a strength.
Despite what we’re calling unprecedented, challenging times, for many of us daily work seems to carry on as normal. Even before the pandemic, many of us were intimately familiar with never-ending to-do lists. Now, as the nonprofit sector is increasingly strained, many have taken on more work with fewer resources. In a culture that favors productivity, even as we’re marching through hell and high water, there is always another email to send and task to complete.
It’s important to establish practices that can help hack the to-do list, identify what is truly important, and cultivate a feeling of fulfillment — both at work and in life. I am admittedly no pro, but I’ve gathered a few of these actionable items that have helped me along the way.
In the span of a few weeks in two unrelated settings, I heard it: “Nothing about us without us.” The first time was in a meeting about peer-assisted recovery for survivors of substance use disorder. The second time was in a community forum about empowerment training for marginalized Black youth. The separate speakers who said these words imbued them with the same meaning: they were an incantation of self-determination. The speakers didn’t attribute them to any person or source, but they clearly made an impression on the audiences.Read more
Unless you are my grandma, I am probably not going to listen to your voicemail. Voicemails are clunky and awkward- I find it easier to just follow up. But recently, I listened to a voicemail I want to share with you all:
“We understand that this pre-employment assessment does not account for nonbinary individuals, such as yourself, and apologize that you will be misgendered throughout the timed exam. We have called the creators of the assessment and raised our concerns. They have assured us that they will continue to work on this problem. You have the option to forego the assessment if you wish. Please give me a call back to discuss how you would like to proceed.”Read more
I have a confession to make; I no longer work in the nonprofit sector in Minnesota, nor do I live in the state. I recently made the big decision to pursue graduate school in order to further my own passions and learning. While I am enjoying this new and challenging journey, I still find myself deeply connected to the nonprofit sector, a place where I spent the majority of my 20’s working, learning, and growing.Read more
Content warning: police brutality
Happy holiday season, everyone.
As we reach one more year’s end and look ahead to yet another new year, I’m doing that thing that’s maybe expected, maybe common: thinking about things I hope can be better next year, and into the future.
And I just can’t shake one dominant thought.
We need to be more human with each other. I don’t mean be awful to each other – to follow our worst human impulses, or hew to the lowest common human denominator. I mean recognize our own and others’ humanity before anything else.Read more
As a CPA, one of the things I enjoy most about my job is getting to work with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and seeing all the great work they do. In my opinion, one of the best opportunities to learn more about the issues affecting your nonprofit organization is at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) Annual Conference, which was held recently in St. Paul. I attended the conference and there was so much good information that I took two pages of notes! My favorite session was about generating monthly donors.Read more
Working in the nonprofit industry can be an incredibly rewarding experience but, like any job, it can also be incredibly draining. So, with that in mind, I’m committing in 2018 to focusing on my personal health and wellness as well as my professional development and success. And I am, of course, doing this in the most cliche way possible: a list of New Year’s Resolutions which I would like to share with you.
Author’s Note: I want to be clear that nothing in this blog is meant to imply that anyone (liberal or conservative) should feel forced to participate in the conversations that I propose here. It is up to each person and organization to decide if these types of conversations are appropriate for their cause, and they should consider what they will do to create an expectation of respect for and from all participants. This decision should be made only after organizations have conversations with their members and/or those in the communities they serve.
I recently watched President Barack Obama's panel with young leaders in Chicago. It was a 90-minute discussion with a tone of hope that has been missing from the news lately (if you haven't, watch it now).
When I said in 2004 that there were no red states or blue states, they're the United States of America, that was an aspirational comment. But I think it's ― and it's one thing... that I still believe [you see] when you talk to individuals one-on-one — there's a lot more that people have in common than divides them.
I, feeling inspired, volunteered to write my first YNPN-TC blog on an issue I've been thinking about a lot since the election: the need for people of different political ideologies to talk with each other and the role that nonprofits can play in purposely making spaces for these conversations. I was pretty nervous to write it given today’s heated political climate, but I strongly feel we must find ways to get out of "own little bubbles" and create meaningful dialogues through which we can recognize that the "other side" is human and not, just, a faceless enemy.Read more
The following blog is by Alyssa Roach
In Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Nonprofits, communications professionals, technology managers, and fundraisers (and let’s be real, at many organizations, all those jobs are one position) are working to strategically adapt to new technologies, while still meeting the double bottom line. The April 9th Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Technology and Communications Conference brought hundreds of non-profiteers to examine topics like web design, social media, technical project management, and more. As a member of YNPN, I was thrilled to receive a scholarship to the event. I was impressed by the knowledge and passion of the presenters, particularly the keynote which was delivered by Madeline Stanionis, Principal & Creative Director at M&R.Read more