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Public Policy Director

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits


Organization Summary:

The Public Policy Director is responsible for overseeing the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN’s) public policy strategies and objectives, raising funds to support MCN’s advocacy and advocacy training, and participating in overall organizational leadership and management. The primary goal of MCN’s policy focus is to increase the nonprofit sector’s influence on public policy decisions.

MCN’s policy staff work as a team to: conduct research and analysis on critical sector issues; develop and disseminate information to nonprofit organizations, policymakers and the public through written, web-based, and briefing formats; provide training in all dimensions of policy work in order to build the capacity of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector to engage in effective advocacy; build and mobilize support for policy initiatives, including through coalitions and alliances; advocate and lobby on issues of importance to the nonprofit sector and the people it serves; and design and implement strategies for increasing civic engagement, including nonpartisan election and 2020 census activity. This position is designed to help strengthen and expand MCN’s capacity in public policy capacity building and advocacy.


Location: Twin Cities Metro Activity Area: Other
Category: Public Policy Closing Date: open until filled
Job Type: Full Time Salary: $70,400 - $105,600 per year ($70,400 - $88,000 starting range) plus benefits
Hours: 40 hours/week 

Primary Duties:

This is a full-time position.  The public policy director will:

Organizational Strategy & Planning (10%)

  • Develop sector issues, strategy, and organizational positions on public policy issues that are relevant to nonprofits in Minnesota and nationwide, in conjunction with MCN’s executive director and board of directors.
  • Participate as senior leader and manager in MCN planning, strategy, accountability, and positioning of the nonprofit sector in the community.
  • Develop proposals for funding for MCN’s advocacy activities and policy initiatives with support from the development team.
  • Work collaboratively with the director of MCN’s Minnesota Budget Project to ensure the success of MCN’s policy initiatives and promote collaboration across the policy team.

Leadership and Advocacy (60%)

  • Advocate and lobby on nonprofit and public interest issues at the state, local, and national level. Participate and/or lead coalitions to achieve MCN’s policy goals. Represent the nonprofit sector on government committees or task forces.
  • Co-lead MCN’s efforts to promote equity and inclusion to address inequities in our internal and external communities.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for MCN on advocacy and policy issues
  • Speak to a wide array of local and national audiences in the nonprofit and academic communities, professional associations, and others, inspiring civic engagement.
  • Sustain strong, positive relationships with Minnesota media.
  • Supervise MCN’s Public Policy Advocate and Policy and Equity Coordinator

External Programming, Trainings, and Support (20%)

  • In partnership with MCN’s Program Director, design and implement training programs to build and sustain nonprofit capacity and commitment to policy advocacy.
  • Provide formal briefings and trainings to nonprofit organizations on policy planning, issue development, advocacy, message development, and media advocacy.
  • Convene the MCN Public Policy Cabinet, a group of over 60 nonprofit leaders who are active in policy work.
  • Train and encourage national and international nonprofit organizations engaging in advocacy, including state associations of nonprofits, issue affinity groups, private and community foundations, and emerging nonprofit federations.

Other (10%)

  • Attend and participate in Board meetings
  • Support the associate director and the finance manager in setting the yearly public policy budget and tracking program specific income and expenses
  • Participate in internal MCN committees or projects
  • Help create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals in regards to diversity which may include geography, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, age, ability and religion.
  • Perform other job duties as assigned


  • Five to seven years of proven experience in issue advocacy and direct lobbying, preferably in a nonprofit organization.
  • Proven ability to develop and provide advocacy training.
  • Demonstrated strength and experience in fundraising, management, public speaking, and writing.
  • Extensive experience with advocacy coalitions.
  • Knowledge of Minnesota’s state and local legislative systems.
  • Knowledge of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector.
  • Demonstrated leadership and commitment to furthering equity and inclusion in communities
  • Excellent interpersonal and overall communications skills and ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.
  • Willingness and ability to travel statewide (including driving) and nationally, including overnight and multi-day travel.  Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Willingness and ability to put in long hours as needed, particularly during (but not limited to) the Minnesota Legislative session.


Working Conditions/Physical Demands:

  • Requires frequent use of a telephone, speaking in a clear and understandable manner.
  • Requires frequent participation in repetitive motion activities including typing on a computer keyboard. 
  • Frequently requires the ability to work for several hours at a time at a desk and computer monitor.
  • Requires frequent verbal communication in the form of public speaking in front of groups, often for several hours at a time.
  • Requires occasional extended work hours.
  • Requires frequent statewide and national travel


Additional Info:

Reports to: Executive Director
Classification:  Regular, Full-time (40 hours/week), Exempt
Start Date: Negotiable
Compensation: $70,400 - $105,600 per year ($70,400 - $88,000 starting range) plus benefits, which currently include health insurance, dental insurance, retirement plan, flex plan, long-term disability, life insurance, three weeks’ vacation plus major holidays, sick and safe leave and personal days, and paid parental leave
Other: The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is recognized as an Employer of National Service with the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply.

MCN is committed to recruiting and engaging individuals without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, gender identity, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, ability, veteran status, membership or non-membership in a labor organization, sexual orientation, size, status with regard to public assistance, or genetic information. We are committed to the principle of equity and are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of individuals.

How To Apply:

Submit a cover letter (i.e., letter of application) and resume to MCN using the online form located at  Applications received by March 1st, 2019 are preferred but position is open until filled.


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