Storytelling is a powerful tool used by nonprofits use to create connections with their audience. It allows individuals to experience the organization’s operations and values rather than simply reading a description. Most often, these stories are based on the real-life experiences and words of a specific person, but all-to-often communicators, development staff, and organizations can focus so heavily on creating a story that helps the organization that they forget to consider what is right and best for that individual.
Join YNPN-TC for a discussion about what it means to use ethical storytelling practices to create and share stories that balance the need to develop stories that fulfill organizational objectives with a deeper responsibility to honor and respect the individuals whose stories you share and the populations you organizations serve. Attendees will first listen to a webinar created by Ethical Storytelling, a group that has created a powerful pledge for nonprofit professionals who write and share stories. Next, participants will hear examples from local nonprofit professionals about what it has meant to do ethical storytelling in their work and be given the opportunity to have further discussions in breakout rooms.
Sandra Boone (she/her) is a proud communications professional, politics geek, and nonprofit nerd with 15 years of experience working in communications and research roles in higher education, nonprofit, governmental, and political settings. She is guided by a mission to create audience-centric communications that ensure people receive the information they need to make decisions, at the time they need it, and in ways they understand.
For the last six years, Sandra has worked as a Communications Specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Global Programs and Strategy Alliance where she leads communications strategy for International Student and Scholar Services and the Immigration Response Team. Sandra graduated this summer from the University of Minnesota with a Strategic Communication MA and Literacy & Rhetorical Studies minor, and she conducted her final research on the need for ethical/equitable storytelling practices for strategic communication and public relations professionals through an examination of anti-trafficking communications. Before starting her MA, Sandra served as YNPN-TC's Board Secretary, At-Large Board Member, and Managing Blog Editor.
Cori Ertz (she/her) career spans politics, policy advocacy and organizing, public health, healthcare access, international development and fundraising and branding; while advancing charitable missions that create more prosperous, inclusive and equitable communities.
As development director of the International Institute of Minnesota, a 100 year old social services agency dedicated to the inclusion of New Americans in Minnesota, Cori directs the organization’s fundraising, marketing communications, events and volunteer programs.
For the podcast Sugar Calling, Cheryl Strayed interviews authors during quarantine. In a recent episode, Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States, read and recited poetry. Collins is a poet who reminds me that I like poetry. In the podcast, he quoted Irish poet Eavan Boland, “Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.”
If ever there was a time that felt like a shadowy accident, it’s now. Thus, I can’t write anything resembling advice. Dozens of COVID-19 think pieces exist or will soon, and I can’t do that to you or to myself. Also, I have no sourdough tips.
So instead of a blog, I’ve written a poem, followed by some poems I enjoy.Read more
What kind of person do you picture when you hear the words board of directors? Take a few seconds and think about it. Now, take out the old white guy you’re imagining, and put yourself in.
Yes, you. Millennials are vastly underrepresented on boards of directors in the nonprofit world—only 17% of nonprofit board members are under the age of 40 (meanwhile, more than half are over 50). While a typical board recruit might be someone with decades of job experience, young professionals have more to offer as board members than one might think.Read more
How effective do you feel in your ability to challenge the power structure? Where do you start? How confident do you feel in characterizing it?
We in the nonprofit sector are some of the most familiar with the consequences stemming from society’s balance of power. We hear the stories of communities most affected, we see the downstream effects of decisions made from remote places. If we are to advance social, racial and economic justice, we need to understand, recognize, and wield the power we have more effectively in our work.
P.S. I don’t have all the answers. But I believe in the premise that everyone can be powerful.Read more
Since becoming a single mom, I realize just how much the nonprofit sector relies on single moms to tell stories of our work, and it’s weird. I’ll admit, I probably didn’t notice this before having this experience myself, but now I cringe when people tell a narrative that aligns with their idea of an experience and not the person’s story. So I thought it would be helpful to write about what it IS like to be a single mom.Read more
One day last fall, I texted my mom, “soooo…. I’m either getting fired or getting promoted.”
I had just gotten out of a meeting where I had the least amount of positional power of anyone in the room, and I had basically told everyone, including my boss’s boss, that the plan we were making didn’t hold true to our values. We weren’t trusting the people we served, and the plan would be flawed without that value at its center. I was calmly furious, my hands were shaking, and I questioned the wisdom of the experts at the table who had been working longer than I’d been alive. The result? My boss and coworkers raved about it, our program staff felt like the values of our work were supported, and we changed our plan.Read more
It is not surprising to anybody in the nonprofit world that we all end up doing a lot more than what our job description initially entailed. In many cases, organizations have too much work to get done with not enough hands to help, so we all end up pitching in. I am the first one to admit that I usually have a hard time saying “no” when my boss asks me to take on extra projects, or to take over projects from other staff members. It took me a long time to be able to say “I’m sorry, but I can’t”. I don’t say it often, but the first time those words came out of my mouth I panicked. What if my boss was mad because I said no? What if they thought I was incompetent?Read more
Is your nonprofit organization required to have a financial statement audit for the first time? If so, the information below will help you gain an understanding of what to do before, during and after the audit.Read more
YNPN Twin Cities is an all-volunteer led organization dedicated to providing and promoting opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals.
We strive to be transparent about our budget and how funds will be used. In addition to covering operating expenses, the primary use of funding is to invest back into young Twin Cities nonprofit professionals by:
- Expanding professional development opportunities like conferences and skill-building workshops
- Seed funding innovative projects
- Sustain capacity for current programming
"I feel like I have an army of smart, young professionals backing me up in my endeavors for equal pay and better opportunities.”
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