Free Emergency Briefing: Nonprofit Preparations for State Government Shutdown, St. Paul

Date: Jun 15, 2011

Neighborhood House, Room 212
179 Robie St. East, St. Paul

Fee: Free

As the Legislature and Governor Dayton continue negotiating a state budget compromise, Minnesota’s nonprofits face a combined uncertainty about future funding and looming shutdown of government services on July 1st. Minnesota is on a path to experience a rare government shutdown on July 1 if a budget deal is not struck by June 30, the end of the state’s 2011 fiscal year. Minnesota experienced something similar in 2005 — although on a smaller scale, and in a different political and economic environment. Many nonprofit organizations will be affected — whether as recipients of state grants, related grants (federal or county) or providers of service to populations that rely on state resources.

Nonprofit leaders need to be as forewarned and prepared as possible for the wide variety of outcomes that could come from legislative decisions. Projecting cash flow and contingency planning are more important than ever.

Responding to cash flow challenges often means cobbling together several different management strategies to come up with one complete solution. While a successful cash flow strategy helps in keeping the doors open, it takes thoughtful scenario planning to protect an organization’s financial health in the face of great uncertainty.

This briefing will address:

  • Up-to-the-minute update on the status of budget negotiations and departmental preparations,
    • 2005 shutdown recap (and why 2011 could be much worse);
    • Prospects for “essential services” being spared from a shutdown; and
    • Assessing affected revenue streams: federal, state and local government funding.
  • Handling emergency decisions and communications about service reductions and layoffs
  • Managing nonprofit finances during a shutdown
    • Cash flow strategies , including managing vendors, using reserves, accessing credit, and more;
    • Protecting an organization’s financial health in the face of great uncertainty; and
    • Tools and techniques fundamental to effective scenario planning.

Until the budget is resolved, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will continue to inform policymakers of the consequences to nonprofit services, provide training to nonprofit managers, offer strategies for financial planning and crisis communications, and create opportunities for community dialogue.

MCN has created a central resource webpage, 2011 Nonprofit Budget/Shutdown Crisis, to continue to update nonprofits and others with resources as they are known.

This event is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Nonprofits Assistance Fund.

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About the Presenters

Kate BarrKate Barr, executive director, oversees Nonprofits Assistance Fund's strategic plans, development, loan capital, outreach, and program activities for the loan funds. Under her leadership, the organization has emerged as a premier financial management resource in Minnesota by providing training, strategic financial counsel, and loans to the nonprofit community. Prior to joining the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Kate served as senior vice president of Riverside Bank where she was responsible for strategic planning, marketing, and community development lending. With her unique insight and experience, she is a popular speaker, trainer, and writer on nonprofit management and financial issues. Kate holds a master's degree from Hamline University and is currently a member of their adjunct faculty. She serves on the boards of directors of the Neighborhood Development Center, Partners for the Common Good, and Western Bank.

Susie BrownSusie Brown is the second public policy director in the history of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). Prior to her role at MCN, Susie served as executive director of Child Care WORKS, a policy organization working toward building a quality, affordable child care system for all of Minnesota’s families. Prior to that role, Susie served as public policy director for The Family Partnership, in Minneapolis, and in several roles with Planned Parenthood in Connecticut and Vermont, including public affairs director and director of Planned Parenthood’s 501(c)4 Vermont Action Fund. She has been adjunct faculty and practitioner in residence at the Hamline School of Business, teaching nonprofit management and public policy in the Masters of Nonprofit Management Program.Susie has a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Lewis and Clark College, and a M.P.A. from the University of Vermont. Brown has served as an advisor to MCN for several years, as a board member, vice chair, public policy cabinet member, and member of several committees, including its strategic planning committee. 

Nan MaddenNan Madden has been the director of the Minnesota Budget Project since 1999. The Minnesota Budget Project is an initiative of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits that provides independent research, analysis, and advocacy on budget and tax issues, emphasizing their impact on low- and moderate-income persons and the organizations that serve them. Nan has authored numerous publications on fiscal issues as well as economic self-sufficiency. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Affirmative Options Coalition, a statewide coalition that promotes public policies that create opportunities for low-income Minnesotans to achieve economic security. In 2006, Nan was named by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal as one of its Forty Under 40 honorees.

Jon PrattJon Pratt is the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. He has worked at Minnesota Public Interest Research Group as an attorney and lobbyist, as regional director at the Youth Project, and as director for the Philanthropy Project. In 1982 he was campaign manager for Paul Wellstone candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor. In 1987 he became director of MCN, an association of 2,000 organizations that sponsors research, training, lobbying and negotiated discounts to strengthen Minnesota's nonprofit sector. Jon has consulted with nongovernmental organizations on the development of NGO associations and services in Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Turkey. Pratt has a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and a M.P.A. from Harvard University.

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