Together, they designed a new organization that would create a more powerful voice for nonprofits and give nonprofits the capacity to do together what they could not do apart. The new organization would be called the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
Since the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits began operations on January 1, 1987 as a new association of nonprofit organizations, it has continually expanded services and advocacy to strengthen the nonprofit sector. In addition to MCN's history of legislative accomplishments for Minnesota’s nonprofits, MCN has:
- Served over 2,200 member organizations – more nonprofit members than any other state of nonprofits association in the U.S.;
- Brought services, events, and resources to nonprofits statewide by forming six regional chapters since 1998 in Central Minnesota, Northeast Minnesota, Northwest Minnesota, South Central/Southwest Minnesota, and most recently in Central Minnesota;
- Negotiated member discounts with 15 cost saving partners, saving nonprofits millions of dollars;
- Hosted more than 75 annual conferences for 60,000 attendees and featuring over 2,000 speakers. Conferences have focused on topics ranging from communications and fundraising to leadership and financial management, and have been hosted in St. Paul, Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Mankato, and beyond.
- Been an early adapter for web technology, creating its first online service, C3Net in 1989. Since then, MCN has relaunched and reimagined its web presence in several iterations. Its current site sees more than 20,000 unique visitors per week.
The core organizational elements set out in that 1986 strategy meeting have remained constant. MCN maintains a democratic membership structure and representative board. In representing the sector, MCN serves as an advocate for issues facing the broad range of nonprofit organizations and promotes the importance of nonprofits to our communities. As an organization, it continues to deliver information through large formats, such as conferences and online, and frequently in partnership with allied organizations.
Most importantly, MCN has grown from a good idea to a solid foundation of member organizations and committed nonprofit leaders. With this base, MCN is well-positioned to organize the nonprofit sector to take on its next set of political and economic challenges – so that nonprofit organizations accomplish their missions for a healthy, cooperative, and just society.