An Updated History

THE MINNESOTA COUNCIL OF NONPROFITS BEGAN THIS DOCUMENT on nonprofit accountability at its 1993 Annual Conference. We continued to develop it through community meetings, workshops and discussions throughout the state. Under the leadership of Dr. James P. Shannon and James V. Toscano, MCN joined with two organizations—the Charities Review Council of Minnesota and MAP for Nonprofits—to convene discussions on nonprofit standards and to develop principles of sound nonprofit management and accountability. The first draft of the Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence was circulated to nonprofit and philanthropic leaders throughout Minnesota and the United States in 1994 and was approved by MCN’s board of directors in 1998.

In 2005, MCN conducted a major revision of the Principles and Practices, led by James V. Toscano. In 2013, MCN gathered a new group of nonprofit leaders through the Principles and Practices Advisory Committee to review necessary changes. James V. Toscano returned as a co-chair of the committee joined by Rinal Ray and Armando Camacho, with Laura Johansson as facilitator. The new draft incorporated input from these nonprofit leaders from across the state, including:

  • Armando Camacho, Opportunity Partners (co-chair), Minnetonka
  • Rinal Ray, formerly with Minnesota Justice Foundation (co-chair), Minneapolis
  • James V. Toscano, Toscano Advisors, LLC (co-chair), Saint Paul
  • Judy Alnes, MAP for Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Shannon Benolken, formerly with Itasca County Habitat for Humanity, Grand Rapids
  • Kerrie Blevins, The Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, Saint Paul
  • Susie Brown, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • David Brown, CBIZ, Saint Paul
  • Shelly Chamberlain, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Bobbi Cordano, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Saint Paul
  • Christine Durand, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Saint Paul
  • Amel Gorani, Consultant, Northfield
  • Phil Hansen, American Red Cross Twin Cities Area Chapter, Minneapolis
  • Mary Jones, YWCA of Minneapolis, Minneapolis
  • Jason Kujanen, formerly with MACC CommonWealth, Minneapolis
  • Jeff Larson, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Health and Human Services, Onamia
  • Anne Long, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, Minneapolis
  • Paul Masiarchin, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Sonja Merrild, Blandin Foundation, Grand Rapids
  • Heidi Neff Christianson, Nilan Johnson Lewis, Minneapolis
  • Katie Nelsen, Animal Humane Society, Golden Valley
  • Janet Ogden-Brackett, Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Minneapolis
  • Jon Pratt, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Mary Quirk, Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration, Maplewood
  • Sondra Reis, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Robert Routhieaux, Hamline University School of Business, Saint Paul
  • Patrick Rowan, Metro Meals on Wheels, Inc., Minneapolis
  • Jenna Salinas, Charities Review Council, Saint Paul
  • Lori Saroya, Council on American - Islamic Relations, Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Tim Schmutzer, Pine Habilitation and Supported Employment, Sandstone
  • Rich Smith, Family Pathways, Cambridge
  • Sheila Smith, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Saint Paul
  • Linda Tacke, Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation, Minneapolis
  • Paul Vliem, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Melinda Wedzina, Feeding Our Communities Partners, Mankato
  • John Wurm, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul
  • Reid Zimmerman, RA Zimmerman Consulting, Pine City

Over the past ten years, a growing number of associations of nonprofit organizations throughout the United States have used MCN’s Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence as the basis for similar documents in their states. MCN has been pleased to give permission to adapt the Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence to statewide organizations, including:

  • Arkansas Coalition for Excellence
  • Colorado Nonprofit Association
  • Connecticut Association of Nonprofits
  • Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership 
  • Maine Association of Nonprofits
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Mississippi Center for Nonprofits
  • Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (Nebraska)
  • North Carolina Center for Nonprofits
  • South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Center for Community Based and Nonprofit Organizations (Texas)

MCN will cooperate with these associations and others to develop and share educational tools and resources to strengthen the accountability and effectiveness of nonprofits everywhere.

MCN’s board of directors approved this revision of Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence on May 20, 2014.

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