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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
So 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.Read more
If you’ve had any interaction with a nonprofit over the past five years, you know that it’s a time of never-ending change. Realignments, redistribution of talents, tightening belts, cutting costs, closing organizations, rebirth of organizations, shifting departments, shifting responsibilities — the list goes on and on. You may find yourself doing a completely different job than when you began, or you may be the new guy or gal who’s come on board as a result of these changes. So how do you navigate shifting seas? How do you choose your battles and still manage to stay afloat?Read more
Stakeholder 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.Read more
I 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?Read more
My friends know that I don’t have a lot of time for video games anymore, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t select mornings when I wake up at 4:00 a.m. to get a few hours of pew pew pew in before heading to work. Originally I thought part of my career would be to build awareness of female gamers, and I did get one article published, “Why Women Play Games,” in a nonprofit magazine. While passion for games helped introduce me to nonprofit publishing, it wasn’t until writing this post that I realized just how much my virtual worlds have helped max out my real-life XP bar.Read more
Mentorship was a hot topic at YNPN’s Turn It Up to 11 event last November and continues to be on the minds of our board as we look toward the future of YNPN and our own personal career paths. Just as YNPN looks to other organizations to show us next steps, we members can do the same in our personal lives and careers by choosing mentors who have collected knowledge, experience and finely honed talents we admire and hope to emulate in the future.Read more