Late-2018 Conference RFPs

Join us as a workshop session presenter in summer or fall of 2018!

We're pleased to announce that we're now accepting proposals for workshop presentations for three upcoming nonprofit conferences.

2018 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

Co-hosted by Public & Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Humphrey School and MCN
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis

2018 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference

Co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2018 MCN Annual Conference

Hosted by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Wednesday - Thursday, November 14 - 15, 2018
Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul

As you complete the proposal, you will be asked whether you're willing to present at one or more of the conferences. You may submit a proposal for a single conference or for all of the conferences. However, any single workshop will not be selected for more than one conference.

The submission deadline is anytime on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

Submit an Online Proposal Now!


Submitting a Session Proposal 

Sessions with nonprofit co-presenters have a much higher rate of acceptance. If you are a consultant or employee of a for-profit company, we encourage you to include one or more nonprofit representatives in your session. This way, session participants will have a direct connection to the topic or issue through a peer presenter. In some cases, sessions will be accepted on the condition that a nonprofit co-presenter will be added to the line-up.
Proposal Questions: You will be asked to provide the following information in the online proposal:
  • Session title: maximum of 8 words
  • Session description: 150 words or less. Please provide detail about the knowledge, skills, tools or strategies participants will gain by attending your session.
  • What content will be covered? Provide three learning objectives participants will walk away with after attending this session.
  • Session type: Interactive Presentation, Formal Presentation, Group Discussion, Panel Discussion, "TED" Style Talk with Discussion
  • Prior knowledge required by attendees: General, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Preferred length: 20-30 minutes (a spark plug session), 60 minutes, 75 minutes, 2 – 2 ½ hours (a deep dive session)
  • Contact information for main contact person: Full contact information for the session presenter who will be MCN's main contact during the planning process
  • Co-presenter information (optional): If you will have one or two co-presenters, please include their information. (Please note that 3 total presenters (inclusive of any moderator) may be admitted to the conference with free registration. Any additional presenters will pay the full conference registration fee.)
  • Presenter background information: Have you and your co-presenters recently presented a workshop for MCN? If yes: please cite when you presented for MCN. If no: please provide a brief bio for the presenter(s).
  • Room layout (optional): In most cases, breakout rooms will be set theater style (chairs without tables) to ensure maximum capacity for conference attendees. In limited cases, we may be able to accommodate other room layouts. Please describe if you would like to request a different room layout and we will attempt to meet your need.
  • Additional information: 
    • If you want to present at the Leadership Conference, you'll also be asked to pick on track (see below).
    • If you want to present at the Annual Conference, you’ll also be asked (1) to pick one track (see below) and (2) to explain whether the session focuses on these key areas: small nonprofits, Greater Minnesota, diverse communities.
    • If you want to present at the Fundraising Conference you’ll also be asked which Thematic Track best fits your session: Annual Giving; Donor Relations/Stewardship; Fundraising Events; Fundraising Trends/Strategy; Major Gifts/Planned Giving; Marketing/Communications; Corporate/Foundation Giving; Sponsor Solicitation/Grant Writing; or Board and Staff Fundraising Engagement.

About Conference Speakers

The Conference Planning Committees seek dynamic presenters from the nonprofit sector and allied organizations who firmly understand the conference themes. Session presenters must demonstrate both a depth of knowledge on the workshop topic and a breadth of past speaking experience.
As an incentive to encourage your broad participation at the full conference, workshop presenters will be registered for the full conference for free (maximum 3 presenters per session). We sincerely hope that presenters will take advantage of this great opportunity to attend the full conference and to interact with other attendees over the course of the conference. (In limited cases, MCN may register 4 presenters for panels seeking diverse viewpoints. Talk with Paul Masiarchin prior to submitting your proposal if this is your situation.) Any additional presenters not included at the time of submission will be required to pay the full conference registration fee, whether or not they attend the full conference. MCN will not handle any travel logistics and will not be able to pay speaker stipends or any mileage/lodging expenses for workshop presenters. 

About the 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

In 2018, the conference theme is "Sustaining (Real) Community Engagement". The theme is a recognition of the challenges facing nonprofits in recent months, of the commitment by real Minnesotans to make a change in the face of adversity, of the fact that we're working hard to advance difficult discussions in our neighborhoods and institutions. Importantly, we want to lift-up the role of caretaking for ourselves and others. We hope to host a day that rejuvenates, replenishes and reinvigorates the nonprofit community. Workshop proposals that relate to the conference theme will be given stronger consideration.

The conference workshops will be listed in the following three tracks. Each workshop must fit within one main area:

  • Individual Leadership Track: Leading Oneself and Individuals
  • Organizational Leadership Track: Leading Organizations and Teams
  • Community Leadership Track: Leading Community Engagement, Civic Involvement and Movement-Building

The 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Conference will be co-hosted by the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) at the Humphrey School and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). We anticipate approximately 400 attendees.

Date and location:

Nonprofit Leadership Conference
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (registration opens at 7:00 a.m.)

MCN will contact presenters during late-February or early-March to notify them of their acceptance; please hold June 13 on your calendar until that time.

About the 2018 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference

Minnesota is a state with a vibrant nonprofit sector and a strong culture of philanthropy. It is through the art of fundraising that Minnesota's donors connect with individual causes. Through fundraising, we bring to life the ideals of our communities and make real the visions of change embedded within each nonprofit.

The fourth annual Minnesota Nonprofit Fundraising Conference is designed for the entire philanthropic community. Whether you're a volunteer or an executive director, a grantwriter or a grantmaker, an experienced development director or a new program manager – you'll find valuable learning and networking at this conference. All individuals who participate or are looking to better understand the grand task of philanthropy are encouraged to attend and/or present workshops.

The 2018 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be co-hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter (AFP) and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). We anticipate approximately 500 attendees.

Date and location:

Nonprofit Fundraising Conference
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center, MN
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (registration opens at 7:00 a.m.)
The conference planning committee will seek strong proposals on a broad range of fundraising topics that could include:
  • Donor stewardship
  • Proposal writing and grant management
  • Fundraising through direct mail, digital, social media or special events
  • Planned giving models
  • Making the case / telling your organizational story
  • Culture of philanthropy
  • Social impact investing
  • Resource development in small nonprofits
  • Evaluation of fundraising -- using data
  • Impact measurement and return on investment
  • The power dynamics of giving and getting
  • Trends in fundraising (i.e., "Days" such as Give to the Max, Giving Tuesdays, etc.)
  • Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and gamification of giving
  • Fundraisers, program staff and finance staff – real talk
  • Fundraiser career trends, professional development, staff turnover and burnout
  • Board development committees and fundraising leadership
  • Other timely issues related to fund development and fundraising 
MCN will contact presenters during March to notify them of their acceptance; please hold July 26 on your calendar until that time.

About the MCN Annual Conference

MCN’s 32nd Annual Conference is designed as a statewide gathering and learning opportunity for Minnesota’s robust nonprofit sector. Whether working in the area of arts, environment, human services, education, health, community services, international work, animals or any other focus area – this conference provides a place to join together, celebrate the sector, learn from one another and prepare for another year.
The 2018 conference theme will focus on MCN's vision statement: that nonprofit organizations accomplish their missions for a healthy, cooperative and just society. Join the conference to engage in conversations about the nonprofit sector's work to build a cooperative and just society. We believe this is a timely and timeless discussion.

Date and location:

MCN Annual Conference
Wednesday - Thursday, November 14 - 15, 2018
Wednesday schedule: 12:00 – 5:30 p.m. (registration opens at noon)
Thursday schedule: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (registration opens at 7 a.m.)
Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul

The MCN Annual Conference is designed for nonprofit volunteers, staff and board members who serve in any role within their organization in the Twin Cities, across Greater Minnesota and around the nation. This conference is also appropriate for representatives from foundations, businesses, educational and governmental institutions and other nonprofit allies. Topics on the conference agenda will span a broad range of ideas and expertise. Registration is projected around 1,100 attendees.

Workshop sessions will focus on the following tracks (presenters will be asked to identify one key track): 
  • 2018 Thematic Track: Working for a Cooperative and Just Society
  • Leadership and Governance
  • Finance, Operations and HR
  • Marketing, Communications or Technology
  • Fundraising
  • Public Policy and Advocacy
  • Evaluation or Programming
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Community Engagement or Collaboration
  • Innovation

MCN will contact presenters during late-March and early-April to notify them of their acceptance; please hold November 14 - 15 on your calendar until that time. 


If you have any questions about this 2018 Nonprofit Conference call for breakout session proposals, please contact Paul Masiarchin, MCN's Program Director, at 651-757-3087, or

Submit an Online Proposal Now! 

Proposals are due by the end of the day, Tuesday, January 30, 2018.   


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