ACTcon 2020 Request for Proposals

Join us as a presenter on topics of marketing, communications, fundraising or technology!

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) seeks dynamic session leaders to present at ACTcon 2020: Minnesota’s Largest Nonprofit Fundraising, Communications & Technology Conference.

Submitting a proposal is easy! Simply complete the online proposal form. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8 a.m.

Submit Your Proposal!

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When and where will the conference take place?

ACTcon 2020: Minnesota’s Largest Nonprofit Fundraising, Communications & Technology Conference
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Saint Paul RiverCentre

About the conference

While every individual invested in the success of their nonprofit plays some role in uplifting the organization, nonprofit communications, fundraising, and technology staff play a particularly important role in raising the organization to new heights — whether that is raising funds to advance your mission, telling your organization’s story in new and impactful ways, or finding the new technology solution to make it all possible.

In truth, fundraising, communications, and technology are inextricably linked. ACTcon — the largest conference of its kind in Minnesota — gives nonprofit staff and leaders an opportunity to connect their work with current fundraising and communications trends, new technologies, and innovative approaches to how each can support the other and raise our impact on the communities we serve.

What type of sessions will be included in the conference?

We're looking for a broad array of session topics. Successful session proposals will be geared toward one or more of these three key audiences: people who do marketing and communications for their organization, people who do fundraising for their organization, and people who do technology planning and implementation for their organization. We seek sessions to fit all of these audiences and at all levels -- from beginner to advanced.

Plus, we're especially interested in finding presenters who are able to share knowledge that reaches advanced levels of learning. We have found that advanced level learning is a key component that has been light in past years. In some cases, we'll invite presenters to lead two sessions during the day: (1) a beginner or intermediate level session during the first half of the day; and (2) an advanced level session during the second half of the day.

Who will be selected as presenters and what benefits will presenters gain?

MCN seeks dynamic presenters from the nonprofit sector and allied organizations who firmly understand nonprofit fundraising, marketing, communications, and technology. Session presenters must demonstrate both a depth of knowledge on the workshop topic and a breadth of past speaking experience.

If you are a consultant or employee for a for-profit company, we encourage you to include one or more nonprofit representatives in your session. This way, session participants will have a direct connection to the topic or issue through a peer presenter. Sessions with nonprofit co-presenters have a much higher rate of acceptance. In some cases, sessions will be accepted on the condition that a nonprofit co-presenter will be added to the line-up.

As an incentive to encourage your broad participation at the full conference, workshop presenters will be registered for the full conference for free (maximum 3 presenters per session). We sincerely hope that presenters will take advantage of this great opportunity to attend the full conference and to interact with other attendees over the course of the conference. (In limited cases, MCN may register four presenters for panels seeking diverse viewpoints. Talk with Sondra Reis prior to submitting your proposal if this is your situation.) Any additional presenters not included at the time of submission will be required to pay the full conference registration fee, whether or not they attend the full conference. MCN will not handle any travel logistics and will not be able to pay for mileage, lodging expenses or presenter stipends.

What is the best format for presenting at this conference?

In order to ensure the highest quality sessions for the conference, the planning committee will place priority on session proposals that incorporate modern adult education modes and formats emphasizing participant engagement and interaction.

  • Your session should engage attendees so that participants are actively involved in dialogue, discussion and idea-generation for much of the session - at least half of the total session time.
  • Your session should have no more than three presenters (including any moderator).
  • PowerPoint slides filled with words should be kept to a minimum. Consider using pictures and stories to convey your message.
  • Consider a non-traditional session format such as:
    • Pecha Kucha – One or more presenters show twenty slides each which automatically advance at 20-second intervals for a total presentation time of six minutes and 40 seconds per person.
    • Ignite – Similar to Pecha Kucha, but the 20 slides advance every 15 seconds. The talk per person is five minutes in length.
    • Battle Decks – A form of PowerPoint Karaoke Improv, where participants extemporaneously speak about each slide in a Pecha Kucha or Ignite slide deck that they’ve never seen before.
    • World Café – Small groups in rounds discuss a topic for twenty minutes, and then each member of the group moves to a different new table. Ideas build on each other as the progression continues.
    • TED-style Talks – 10 minute dynamic talks followed by Q&A or other audience participation.

How do I submit a proposal?

Submitting a proposal is easy! Simply complete the online proposal form. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8 a.m.

Preview the questions on the online form.

Want help crafting your proposal? Consider joining MCN for a FREE 1-hour virtual training starting at 10 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, October 31.  During this 60-minute session, we'll share a framework for creating a strong proposal that is more likely to result in a successful conference workshop. RSVP today.

Submit Your Proposal Now!


If you have questions about submitting a proposal for ACTcon 2020, please contact Sondra Reis at 651-757-3075 or Thank you!