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Breakout Sessions

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Round 1 Workshops

101 Track: Small Nonprofit Struggles & Successes Sharing Session
The financial and sustainability issues of small nonprofits play out differently than for large nonprofits. Join this panel of small nonprofits as they share their experience being a small guy. Bring your questions and share your wisdom in facing road blocks. Hear from the panel and other session participants about practices to navigate the road of a small nonprofit. Leave with tips, advice and best practices!
Scott Artley, managing director, Patrick’s Cabaret and Kathleen Stephan, board treasurer and volunteer, Pine River-Backus Family Center

Does the Software Really Matter?
Have you ever wondered if you need different finance software? How important is it to have just the right software anyway? What factors go into choosing an accounting system? Join a panel of presenters as they introduce the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of finance software. Plan to participate in a Q & A session custom designed to help you ask (and answer) the right questions about financial software.
Curt Klotz, finance director, Nonprofits Assistance Fund and a panel of nonprofit leaders

The Hard and Soft Costs of HR Practices
This informational presentation will address both the hard and soft costs of your organization's HR practices. Presenters will provide practical suggestions for managing risk in hiring, managing and terminating staff. Additionally, presenters will share an overview of key employment laws impacting your nonprofit and will provide you with a simple tool to audit your HR practices.
Kelly Rietow, owner, Roo Solutions, LLC

Think, Plan, Do: Nonprofit Strategic Real Estate Planning
Real estate costs can be one of the largest expenditures for any organization. Having the right tools and a strategic plan in place can help greatly to secure the best space with the most advantageous financial terms. Join this session to hear from Tech Dump and their real estate advisor to learn through Tech Dump’s experiences as they’ve grown as an organization, evaluated and leased many different types of real estate. Along with the real life examples, presenters will share resources and tools to help nonprofit organizations develop timelines, strategic plans, programs, budgets and financial analysis. The Think, Plan, Do model helps organizations make not only a good real estate decision, but also a good business decision.
Kate Gillette, vice president, Avison Young and Amanda LaGrange, C.E.O., Tech Dump

10:45 a.m. – noon
Round 2 Workshops

101 Track: The Big Picture: Connecting Details to Strategy
Program managers are asked to wear many hats. Supervising staff and driving programmatic outcomes are essential priorities that can overshadow financial savvy. Yet there is great value in having a deep and strategic understanding of the bottom line throughout the organization. Hear about the road one organization has traveled from having managers trapped in the weeds of budget details to more fully participating in the overall financial health of the organization. You will work with a rubric for assessing their organization’s current level of financial savvy. You’ll leave with a tool-kit for implementing positive change.
Debbie Cushman, associate director and Paul Kirst, finance manager, Minnesota Literacy Council

Gaining Control Through Social Enterprise
Have you ever wished for more control of generating unrestricted revenue – diversifying funding  – and strategically managing cash flow? Explore the impact of social enterprise on your mission delivery. Join the conversation and hear cases of when it worked and when it didn’t. Social enterprise could be part of your future!
Glyn Northington, special initiatives director and Janet Ogden-Brackett, associate director, Nonprofits Assistance Fund

Old Philanthropy, New Philanthropy
Old philanthropy is often characterized as unresponsive funding with staid policies and unchanging priorities. New philanthropy is often characterized as responsive funding with interactive decision-making and dynamic priorities that can change quickly. New philanthropy includes public voting, gamification of philanthropy and frequent interactions between grantmaker and grantseeker. So, what determines good philanthropy? Is new philanthropy or old philanthropy better for our stakeholders and communities? And how can nonprofits support grantmaking that keeps the best of the old while embracing the best of the new? Join this lively discussion as we dig in to the debate about the future of philanthropy.
Alan Cantor, principal, Alan Cantor Consulting, LLC and Jon Pratt, executive director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

What is Tax & Legal Jeopardy?
Participate in an audience driven session addressing various tax and legal issues encountered by tax exempt organizations. In this session, attendees with take part in a Jeopardy style game show. Topics will include common risk areas important to nonprofits such as unrelated business income, compensation and fringe benefits, governance, state and local compliance considerations, corporate sponsorships and advertising, political activity, fraud and more! During the session, audience members will pick categories and guide the presenters through the questions and answers on complex tax and legal topics. Participants will get a great mix of internal and external perspective while guiding the direction of the presentation and learning varied perspectives of colleagues.
Karen Gries, prinicpal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and Heidi Christianson, attorney, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads
Do you wish you could share concerns with trusted others? Are there times when a group of professional peers would be welcome as the expert standing committee on how to bring your best thinking to challenges in your work? The 2016 Nonprofits Assistance Fund Finance Leadership Cohort demonstrates peer to peer support and shares how this has impacted their effectiveness. Join the conversation. You are not alone!
Molly Chase, managing director, HUGE Theater; Jamie Millard, executive director, Pollen; Trina Olson, executive director, PFund Foundation; Tarrah Palm, executive director, ResourceWest; April Riordan, vice president of research, evaluation and special projects, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities; and Corrie Zoll, executive director, Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Round 3 Workshops

101: Accounting that Counts
Various accounting tasks in many nonprofits, especially small organizations, fall to team members who are not professional or formally trained accountants. This can be a challenging endeavor. So, let’s take a few minutes to dig into the accounting jargon and tools. What are the things you need to know about recording pledges and grants, non-cash contributions, restricted vs. unrestricted dollars and tracking program vs. fundraising and management expenses? We will also look at  some important considerations when preparing for a single audit. What are the various methods for accounting for expenses that can be allocated? This finance 101 session will cover some of these basic nonprofit accounting considerations. Plus we will leave time for your specific questions. No final exam we promise!
Roxie Alexander, controller, Greater Twin Cities United Way; Steven Anseth, partner, Abdo, Eick & Meyers; and Mary Kinder, grants and finance manager, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault

It Costs Money to Raise Money
In an effort to make it easier for donors to say “yes” to support an organization, the nonprofit sector has created and existed in a culture with a dirty little secret: it costs money to raise money. All fundraising comes with direct and indirect costs, and often it is the nonprofit organization left paying the bill. Yet, giving trends—from generational shifts to new technologies—are creating opportunities to have more nuanced conversations with our supporters, enabling organizations to create a more educated and generous donor base more interested in impact than administrative costs. Learn strategies and techniques to improve your internal fundraising practices to get the most out of your fundraising investment, along with messaging strategies to create a dialogue with your donors to help them support the full costs of pursuing your organization’s mission.
Jake Blumberg, executive director and Tom Zimmerman, director of marketing and communications, GiveMN

Nonprofits & Real Estate: Maximizing Value and Understanding Taxes and Costs
Learn about some of the strategies to maximize the value of a tax-exempt real estate transactions, as well as some common pitfalls that can arise in these transactions. Plus, discuss many of the ways local government can impact financial considerations of owning real estate, including charges and fees assessed against otherwise property tax-exempt entities at a local level.
Craig Kepler, attorney, Lindquist & Vennum and Rinal Ray, deputy public policy director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

UBI: What’re the IRS and State Up To?
The IRS is focusing on nonprofit organizations as an increasing source of revenue especially given that nonprofits continue to look for new sources of revenue. Some state departments of revenue are also joining the fray and are not waiting for the IRS to conduct an audit. It is important for institution management in all areas of operations to have familiarity with unrelated business income (UBI) and related tax implications. This session will provide a quick overview of UBI issues specific to nonprofit entities and will discuss IRS and state regulator activity and overall trends in this area.
Larry Mohr, partner, Baker Tilly

Using Transparency to Spur Growth
Research indicates that donors care most about results. But too often this information is hidden. Learn how transparency is the key to communicating your organization’s effectiveness and therefore spurring growth. During this session, you will learn ways to update your organization’s GuideStar Profile in order to increase transparency and spur growth.
Gabe Cohen, senior director of marketing and communications, GuideStar

3:00 – 4:15 p.m.
Round 4 Workshops

101 Track: Communicating Through Financial Statements
Financial statements are an invaluable tool for telling the organization’s story. Effectively communicated financial information can help managers make smart decisions and maximize resources. Unfortunately, sometimes correctly prepared financial statements fail to communicate crucial information. In order for the information to be useful a preparer needs to be aware of their audience and have an understanding of the information that they need. The presenters will share insight into extracting meaningful information from financial statements. Together we will work on identifying elements of reports or spreadsheets that are meaningful and useful to the managers that use them. You’ll leave the session with insights and ideas to ensure your organization’s financial statements are communicating what you need to know.
Becky Johnson, finance manager, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Tammy Mattonen, owner, Mattonen Nonprofit Consulting

All About the Audit!
Ever wonder what the auditor is actually looking at? It may be different than you think! Our panel of auditors share what is actually important and tell tales of the most common mistakes organizations make. We'll give you tips on how to record adjusting journal entries (should you have them!) in a way that won't destroy your data file, and how to keep your books audit-ready, even if you are too small for an audit.
Steven Anseth, partner, Abdo, Eick & Meyers; Amy Babcock, Schechter Dokken Kanter; and Megan Genest Tarnow, principal, The Mobius Group

Federal Government Grants: Is My Organization Ready?
There are many requirements to consider when assessing whether your organization is ready to be in compliance with federal government grants. Many of these requirements may not even be on your radar. Some include: What policies and procedures will be required to be in place? What do I need to be considering when purchasing goods and services with federal funding? How do I properly monitor sub-recipients of my federal government grant? Participants will receive an overview of the administrative requirements that come with receiving a federal government grant. After the session, participants will have an understanding of compliance requirements to be able to compare the current state of their organization to the requirements needed to efficiently and effectively maintain proper grants management.
Rebecca Field, manager, CliftonLarsonAllen

Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead: Into Action!
Are you tired of using the same old overhead pie chart to show your organization’s admin, fundraising and program costs? It’s a new day for organizational reporting! Join this session to learn about a new image that builds on the concept of core mission support and has captured the imagination of thousands in the nonprofit sector. Come learn how to use this new tool that makes the case for core mission support as the critical foundation of nonprofits. We’ll explore how to create the new image using your current accounting system to share with funders and other stakeholders; how to apply this new thinking to organizational strategy and planning; and how to use the new graphic to communicate your story more accurately to the world!
Curt Klotz, finance director, Nonprofits Assistance Fund

It Ain't All About Fundraising
How do you ensure your organization can remain sustainable into the future? What are the elements that require your focused attention and commitment? Will it mean changing the way you fulfill your mission?  Join the conversation with a panel of organizations who will share their experience and insight toward sustainability and the future of their mission. Bring your questions!
Chris Fischbach, publisher, Coffee House Press; Lori Gleason executive director, Saint Paul Ballet; Leah Hebert Welles, executive director, Open Arms of Minnesota; Michelle Ness, executive director, PRISM, and John Skillings, accounting & finance consultant MAP for Nonprofits

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Nonprofit Finance and
Sustainability Conference

April 13, 2017
7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Earle Brown Heritage Center
6155 Earle Brown Dr. 
Brooklyn Center, MN 



Minnesota Council of Nonprofits


Thank You to Our Sponsors