The Dissolution of Unemployed in Des Moines

by "Get it Done Girl" on December 22, 2014 · 0 comments

in Des Moines,Networking

When I was laid off from my last traditional job in February 2009, I searched high and low, as did many individuals at that time, for my next job.

I found many individuals who were in the same situation, with few resources to help us become better job seekers. That’s why I founded Unemployed in Des Moines. This group helped me hone my website building skills, helped me understand the power of social media to bring people together around a shared interest, understand the value of networking and to be more comfortable speaking in public.

About six months after founding Unemployed in Des Moines, I decided to start my own business, which meant that my time available to spend with this group was going to decrease. For the first several years, a handful of amazing volunteers, who understood the value of assuming a leadership role, stepped up to keep the group operating – coordinating speakers, sharing the event on online community calendars and LinkedIn Groups, maintaining the networking calendar on the website, etc.

What’s happened over the years is that there are fewer and fewer unemployed which means there are fewer and fewer individuals to volunteer to keep this group afloat. My business is taking me on an amazing journey which means that it’s time for this portion of the journey to come to a close.

Thank you to everyone that has supported this group over the years. It began at a time when there was a huge need and I hope many people were helped.

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So, I Co-Founded a Non-Profit This Year…

by "Get it Done Girl" on December 19, 2014 · 0 comments

in Des Moines

 

Who does that?

Earlier this year, I had trouble sleeping. Christmas had just ended and I was infatuated with the German-inspired Christmas markets (Christkindlmarket, Christkindlmarkt, Weihnachtsmarkt,) that I was seeing displayed all over Facebook. Having lived in Cologne, Germany for two years, I was able to experience these markets first-hand.

The nostalgia, the smells, the history, the culture. This is what kept me up at night. With my event planning/marketing experience and my knowledge of the Christmas markets, I thought Des Moines could use an event of this type. And I was the one to make it happen.

So, I started researching and making lists of everything that needed to be done. Becoming quite overwhelmed, I reached out to members of Stammtisch – Des Moines German Club which I founded over 5 years ago as a way to maintain my language skills. Fifteen members attended the feasibility meeting which really warmed my heart. These individuals also felt that I was on the right track and they wanted to be involved.

After several additional meetings, we realized that to produce this large community event and to make it sustainable for many years to come, we needed to create a non-profit (independent of my business). Two individuals have stayed with me for this portion of the journey. None of us have experience with neither the legal nor the financial aspects of establishing a 501c3, but we were referred by a friend to the Drake Legal Clinic. They offer an amazing pro-bono support service to groups like ours. We worked with two legal interns for a semester to draw up the by-laws, articles of incorporation and apply for our 501c3 status. The tax-exempt status for the “Des Moines European Heritage Association” is in the works.

If you would have asked me earlier this year if I would ever be the Co-Founder of a non-profit and President of its Board of Directors, I would have laughed. My passion for celebrating Iowa’s European heritage remained my focus and helped get me through the tedious paperwork.

We would love to have you support “Christkindlmarket Des Moines” taking place the first weekend of December 2016, whether that be as a sponsor, vendor, volunteer or attendee. Please stay tuned for more details as the event comes together! If you’d like me to add you to our mailing list to receive details about the event, just send me an email!

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A few weeks ago, I received the sweetest “Thanks for Doing Business With Me” item in the mail…and I mean postal mail!

 

I’m not a graphic designer, nor do I aspire to be, so I work with Cinnamon Rost of 1809 Design to help fulfill my Clients’ needs.

How do you thank the people you do business with this time of year?

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When I was laid off in February 2009, I had a hankering to practice my German-language skills. If you don’t use it, you lose it, right?

After realizing that Des Moines didn’t have any German-language clubs (Google said so), I decided to start one?

I was extremely nervous. I added the first event (at Hessen Haus, of course!) to every online calendar I could find, all of the Des Moines-based LinkedIn Groups, contacted the German-language instructors at local high schools and universities, etc. I thought to myself, “What if nobody comes; what if a hundred people show up?” This was my first foray into creating a Tribe. Inspired by Seth Godin, I felt mildly confident in my abilities…

Over 5 years later, our e-newsletter list has grown to over 250 with the help of Facebook and word of mouth marketing and average event attendance is 20-25 German-speakers.

I’ve made such amazing and cultured friends in this group over the years. Below are a few pictures from a dinner party hosted by Stammtisch – Des Moines German Club Members, Eric and Pam Hyde.

 

I was really proud of my cheese plate (Part I)

I was really proud of my cheese plate (Part II)

Do you speak German? Know someone who does? Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive our event announcements! We’d love to have you!

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National Philanthropy Day

by "Get it Done Girl" on December 10, 2014 · 0 comments

in Des Moines,Networking

On November 14, 2014, the Central Iowa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) held its annual National Philanthropy Day event at the downtown Des Moines Marriott hotel. I’m the association’s Chapter Administrator (maintain the finances, organize monthly luncheons, etc.) and it gives me great pleasure to be associated with this group and to be a small part of this amazing annual event which recognizes the philanthropic contributions of our Central Iowa citizens. Shoot me an email if you’d like to be more involved with AFP!

2013 National Philanthropy Day

About the Association of Fundraising Professionals

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change and supported efforts that generated over $1 trillion. AFP’s nearly 30,000 individual and organizational members raise over $100 billion annually, equivalent to one-third of all charitable giving in North America and millions more around the world.

About National Philanthropy Day

National Philanthropy Day® is a special day set aside on the fifteenth of November.  The purpose of this day is to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—to the enrichment of our world.

Last year, more than 130 AFP chapters held NPD events and activities across North America. In addition, AFP launched #NPDLove, a global social media outreach and awareness campaign to engage the global charitable sector, the philanthropic community, and the public in activities to demonstrate “love of humankind” and highlight how they (or their organization) are helping to change the world.

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