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Old 06-15-2014, 09:01 PM
2 posts, read 1,745 times
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I'm a recent college graduate living in Lawrence, Kansas (~1hr out of Kansas City) and I would like to move to a new state next July. I figure now is about the time to make a concrete decision about exactly where I'm going to go.

I am trying to get my foot in the door in the non-profit sector (direct advocacy, program coordinating, or volunteer management in particular), so the most important aspect of any city is the job market for those type of positions.

I will be 23 when I move and probably won't know anyone when I first get there, so I would prefer to be where there are other young professionals. I'm also a lesbian, so somewhere with a decent ***** culture and dating pool is ideal. Something that would be nice would be to be able to drive to Wichita, KS without too much hassle or have access to an airport that has direct flights. I know that really narrows things down quite a bit, so that is negotiable. I just feel uneasy at the thought of being that far from my family.

I'm interested in any city that comes to mind, but there are a few in particular that I'd like to get some advice on. They are:

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Denver was my first thought when I decided I wanted to move, but God, the cost of housing! I have a brother in Atlanta and he loves it, so I'm open to that, but the heat would be a killer that's half the reason I wanted to move to Colorado! The other cities have been suggested to me but I know very little about them.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:24 PM
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The places to be for not for profit jobs are Washington DC & NYC. However, the cost of living is so high that they are probably not viable places for you.

I'd add Chicago to your list and keep Minneapolis strongly in mind
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:32 PM
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Yeah, DC is kind of the dream (I love the city) but I can't afford to start my career there! Maybe someday.

Chicago is a good thought – I will add that to my pile of contenders!
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:37 PM
Location: Philaburbia
32,432 posts, read 59,976,697 times
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Any medium- to large-sized city is going to have a significant nonprofit presence. The larger the city, the more nonprofits you'll find, and the wider the variety.

What I'd be most concerned with is the fiscal health of the nonprofits in the region you choose: what is the funding mix, what is the state/local government funding stream and how stable is it, how supportive and robust is the local philanthropic community?

Keep in mind, too, that the nonprofit world is not the best paying industry, especially to someone starting out, so you'll want to go where your salary gives you the most bang for the buck.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:34 PM
Location: Miami-Jax
6,325 posts, read 6,996,682 times
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How about the big cities near Wichita? Kansas City, St Louis, OKC, Omaha? Nonprofit Connect - Home is for KC, which I bet you're familiar with begin in Lawrence.

Check Volunteer, work, intern, organize, hire and connect. Change the world - idealist.org for NP jobs around the country. Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:47 AM
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,769,975 times
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I'm in the midst of the non-profit job hunt too, though I have already decided on Minneapolis and will be moving up later this year. Check out Nonprofit Job Board | Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to see what's available (spoiler: there's a big variety; having the capital in St. Paul helps a lot). MSP does have direct flights to Wichita, and by car it's probably 7ish hours straight up I-35 - similar to the drive to Denver, just with much more population density on the way. I've had pretty good luck in my preliminary housing search finding affordable options in good areas of the city (or at the very least, affordable with a roommate).

One of the things I love about the Twin Cities that helped convince me to move there is that you get the exciting, progressive, almost granola urbanity of the Northwest in Minneapolis alongside the "classic America" aesthetic and innate creativity of the Northeast in St. Paul. It's a very cool place to be.

My sense of Denver, having admittedly only been there once, is that it's very similar to the Twin Cities and possesses a good mixture of down-to-earth government vibe in St. Paul and the modern outdoorsy vibe in Minneapolis. I would say the fact that Minneapolis and St. Paul are separate cities allows their distinct qualities to be that much more pronounced.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:20 AM
56,846 posts, read 81,169,050 times
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What about Madison WI, given that it is a capital city and has a liberal vibe, while also being a growing city? Lansing and Ann Arbor in MI may also fit, if you don't mind smaller cities/areas. Again, Lansing is a capital city with adjacent East Lansing(home of Michigan State) being an option along with Old Town Lansing in terms of living. Ann Arbor is close to Detroit International Airport and has a liberal vibe and is somewhat close enough in order to seek employment in the Detroit area.
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