talent round-up day

Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  • Rosetta Thurman’s list of 10 Young Nonprofit Bloggers to Watch in 2011  is extremely diverse, with writers covering a range of topics from social justice to philanthropy to chasing your passions.  I was thrilled to see the inclusion of folks that I already follow along with new writers to admire.   Despite what some may think,  young people are ably pushing, prodding and pulling the kicking-and-screaming nonprofit sector into the future and redefining what it means to be an emerging leader.
  • Betty Farrell and Maria Medvedeva’s article, “Sea Change” (excerpted from the Center for the Future of Museums’ report Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums) implores museums to account and plan for demographic shifts in the United States from both programming and staff perspectives.   The article is timely as I have been conducting research about African-Americans in the museum field and carefully examining my own career in light of what I discover.   Anyone who works in museums with even the slightest responsibility regarding programming, visitor services and/or human resources should pay special attention to Elizabeth E. Merritt’s “call to action.”  As the founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, she challenges her colleagues to addresses issues of diversity and inclusion (or the lack thereof) in concrete rather than theoretical ways. 
  • The Kansas Arts Commission is fighting back against Governor Sam Brownback’s decision to legislate them out of existence in his proposed fiscal year 2012 budget.  Mr. Brownback supports transitioning the Kansas Arts Commission from a state-supported entity to a nonprofit organization, which would result in the immediate loss of federal matching funds and grants and services from other local partners.   It seems ridiculous that anyone has to make the case that the arts are big business –with a demonstrated ripple effect that carries far and wide into surrounding communities–but time and again, when administrators seek to trim their budgets, the arts are first on the chopping block. 

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how to become a nonprofit rockstar

Last week, I had the honor of being the guest speaker at my alma mater’s Nonprofit Administration class.  The students were awesome, enthusiastic and dynamic.  I felt I was prepared for the talk (after all, nonprofits are one of my favorite topics) but one question stumped me: “What do you know now that you wish you knew before entering the field?” I paused, not wanting to deliver a flippant response, and eventually replied that I wished I had considered  the culture of the organizations I applied to when I first completed my degree more carefully, rather than blanketing every place with 501(c)3 status with my résumé.  I definitely had a “please hire me” vibe rather than “show me how my skills will be put to the best use”, and the stink of desperation undoubtedly put me out of the running in more than one situation.

While that was a perfectly honest answer, I realized later that I should have said, “I wish I had a game plan for advancing in the field once I entered it.”  If the book How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar had been available before now, I would have avoided that pitfall.

Written by Rosetta Thurman and Trista Harris, How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar offers 50 tips  for those who have been in the sector for more than a  minute but find themselves stuck, frustrated and envious of celebrated colleagues who seemingly have the Midas Touch.   As the authors reveal, those folks you admire are in no way better than you; it’s simply because “the most successful nonprofit careers are marked by a proactive approach to professional growth and leadership development.”   If you read this book and follow the advice within, you will soon find yourself joining their ranks.

Tips include:

  • Learn How to Raise Money
  • Build Your Own Frankenmentor
  • Stop Trying to Be Two Different People
  • Cultivate a Slash Career
  • Fall Back in Love with Your Job
  • Get Paid What You Are Worth
  • Ditch the Martyr Lifestyle
  • Run with the Big Dogs

If Shelly Cryer’s The Nonprofit Career Guide is the definitive how-to book for entering the nonprofit sector, How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar is the quintessential style guide, providing step-by-step instructions on how to design a fulfilling, sustainable and creatively challenging career. 

Add How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar to your library via Rosetta and Trista’s affiliate program! Click here to purchase and a portion of sales will support an aspiring nonprofit rockstar (me)!