By Luke Elzinga, Communications and Advocacy Manager, DMARC
In Polk County, Iowa, 52,000 people are food insecure, and an average of 18,500 people use a food pantry every month. October is here, and Hunger Awareness Month is in full swing. DMARC has been proud to be recognized as a leader in efforts to alleviate food insecurity and assist those who face it in Greater Des Moines. But we’ve learned over the years that only through evolving as an organization and adapting to the needs of the people whom we assist are we most effective in impacting positive change in their lives.Read more
Vu Le, author of the book “Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits and Foundations Can Build EPIC Partnerships” and executive director of the Rainier Valley Corps nonprofit, was the keynote speaker at the Unicorns Unite event on August 12, co-sponsored by YNPN. His speech was both an indictment and a celebration of the nonprofit industry.
Here are 4 takeaways from his presentation:
Based on the YNPN Discussion Group on April 11
Nearly every nonprofit job description includes that pesky little bullet: “other duties as assigned.” Some can be exciting new challenges that transform your perspective and career. More often than not, though, they tend to be menial tasks like organizing closets, making endless phone calls, or driving around town until your car runs out of gas and you end up calling your boss in tears.
The nature of nonprofits pretty much requires these “other duties,” but we’ve brainstormed some ways to escape the worst of them and make the best of the rest.Read more
We all love a day off work, and a conference is one of the best excuses to get away from the grind for a refresh. While Des Moines in February isn’t exactly San Diego in the summer, there are still lots of reasons to head over to Grand View University for YNPN’s annual NON-CON for young professionals. Here are 9 of them.Read more
Based on The YNPN Discussion Group: Is Mentorship for Me? on January 10 at West End Salvage
Jackie Norris will knock your socks off. First you’ll want her to be your mentor for the rest of your life. Then she’ll make you feel so powerful you’ll realize you don’t need a mentor. At least not in the traditional sense.
You don’t need one mentor. You need 100 mentorship meetings with 100 different people. That’s what Jackie calls situational mentorship.Read more
Based on the YNPN Des Moines Discussion Group: Confidentiality in Storytelling on November 8, 2018
During the past five years, the marketing world has woken up to what writers and readers everywhere have always known: People crave stories. And storytelling is often way more effective than data when it comes to convincing donors to give, because it builds on emotion, empathy, and trust—universal human values.
In our number-centered world, that means stories have real ROI, as this chart by Michael Brennan, CEO of Marketing Insider Group shows.
In the nonprofit world, stories are extra effective, but they can also be extra tricky, especially when you’re writing about people with lived experience of poverty, trauma, or abuse. You must walk the fine line between telling a good, true story and respecting the wishes and safety of your subject.
Here are a few tips to get you started:Read more
Meghan Smith is the RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps Program Director at EMBARC. She has a Bachelor's in Business Administration and Economics from Wartburg College.
Interesting Facts: My first two "jobs" after graduating from college were first to be a camp counselor in rural Iowa and then to serve as an AmeriCorps member in New York City. Very different experiences, and going straight from one to the other was a bit of a culture shock.
Love/Hate: I love finding connections, whether it's an actor from an old favorite turning up somewhere unexpected, meeting someone with whom I have an unexpected mutual friend, or something deeper. I can be impatient, so I hate waiting - I always have a book or my phone handy to distract me when I can't avoid a wait.
Passions:I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had in my life, so I'm passionate about others having opportunities to thrive and removing the barriers to success that too many people face. Also tea - I always have some nearby.
Food: I don't really like cake, so for special occasions my mom always makes mint chocolate brownies going back to my elementary school birthdays. My favorite time of year is whenever I have a pan or two of these in the fridge to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Steph Ferguson is the Digital Coordinator for HCI Care Services and Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa. She attended Iowa State University where she studied Culinary Science and Journalism & Mass Communications.
I was once a food writer and recipe developer for Cuisine at Home magazine, hence the culinary science degree. And I attended a culinary school in Spain! I'm a native of Des Moines and have recently returned to my hometown after a two-year stint in Omaha. I rescued my border collie, Beans, from the Nebraska Humane Society in 2015 and we have been inseparable ever since.
Mary-Kate Lange is the Volunteer Support & Wish Assignment Coordinator at Make-A-Wish Iowa. She has a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communications with a Public Relations emphasis and a minor in Child, Adult and Family Services from Iowa State University
What else you should know: