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The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) is committed to building the strength and integrity of the nonprofit sector statewide. As part of this commitment, in 2010 MCN initiated the Nonprofit Leadership Awards to recognize the passion and energy of individual leaders at various stages in their nonprofit careers.

In 2015, YNPN - Twin Cities, the Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation and the Center for Integrative Leadership (CIL) at the University of Minnesota will join MCN in recognizing nonprofit leaders with three distinct awards. 

Submit a Nomination (by May 13, 2015)

Nomination Process

The Selection Committee will accept nominations from anyone familiar with the nominee (no self-nominations, please). The award recipients are honored at the Nonprofit Leadership Conference, June 24, 2015.

General Criteria

For all three of the Nonprofit Leadership Awards, the Selection Committee is looking for individuals that demonstrate the highest level of integrity and dedication. All nominees must meet the following general criteria:
  • Dedicated to working in the nonprofit sector
  • Interested in building organizational, individual and sector leadership
  • Instill passion in themselves and the people with whom they work
  • Aware of their role and impact in their organization and the sector
  • Reflective on past experience to lead in the present and future
  • Collaborate well with other people and organizations as well as across sectors
  • Bring innovative ideas forward and to fruition
  • Regarded as demonstrating highest integrity and ethical behavior

Specific Criteria

For each individual Nonprofit Leadership Award, the Selection Committee is looking for nonprofit leaders with the following characteristics:
Catalytic Leader (emerging leader award)
  •  Effectively leads from the middle and uses informal authority to shape the direction and progress of his/her work, and that of the organization.
  • Understands how to help move change forward in an organization by effectively communicating with key internal and external stakeholders to help them understand, and participate in, the change process. 
  • Has helped shape his/her organization through strategic change that is beneficial to the staff, board, organization and community. 

The prize for the Catalytic Leader Award is a “golden ticket” for free individual registration to any/all MCN-sponsored conferences and trainings for 12 months. The award recipient may attend the MCN annual conference, technology conference, leadership conference and any of MCN’s nonprofit workshops offered throughout the year. This prize is valued at over $1,000. The Catalytic Leader Award is co-sponsored by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities.

Visionary Leader (mid-career leader award)

  •  Has at least five years of experience in a senior leadership role within the nonprofit sector.
  • Demonstrates the ability to develop and implement creative and effective organizational leadership strategies.
  • Is able to create and nurture valuable collaborations and partnerships to advance the work of nonprofits, and result in tangible benefits to the community.

The prize for the Visionary Leader Award is a $4,000 educational grant from the Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation to be used for an executive-level professional development program of the recipient’s choice at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. This award is valid for up to 12 months.

Transformational Leader (experienced leader award)

  • Effectively demonstrates commitment to the nonprofit sector, serving 20 years or more in strategic and significant roles.
  • Enhances the success and knowledge of other nonprofits and nonprofit leaders. 
  • Works across boundaries to develop transformational solutions.

The Transformational Leader Award recipient will become a 2015-2016 Executive Leadership Fellow at the Center for Integrative Leadership (CIL) at the University of Minnesota. CIL is focused on discovering and sharing transformative knowledge about the nature and practice of leadership across business, government and civil society sectors. Their leadership fellows join a vibrant community of students, scholars and practitioners committed to fostering leadership that crosses boundaries. CIL is a University-wide initiative jointly overseen by the Carlson School of Management and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Fellows receive up to $5,000 in expense reimbursement for their contributions.

Submit a Nomination (by May 13, 2015)

Questions about the nomination process may be directed to Paul Masiarchin at 651-757-3087.

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Nonprofit Leadership Conference
Wednesday, June 24
7:45 a.m. - 5 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center
200 SE Oak St., Minneapolis


Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota


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