ACTcon 2021 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 2021: 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, March 29, 2021 at 8 p.m.

Submit Your Proposal!

Preview RFP Questions

Find a Job

When and where will the conference take place?

ACTcon 2021: Minnesota’s Nonprofit Fundraising, Communications & Technology Conference
July 27 & 29, 2021
Virtual Conference - Live/Recorded


About the conference

Fundraising, communications, and technology are inextricably linked. ACTcon 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 to raise our impact on the communities we serve.

In 2021, this virtual convening is an opportunity to look at how these core elements of nonprofit work continue to shift for the long term in response to an ongoing pandemic, racial reckoning, and the impact of a changing climate and economy. What are we learning? What’s giving us energy? What’s taking root amongst the disruption? How are nonprofits participating and leading in new, more equitable philanthropy, storytelling, and technologies?

These questions and more are going to generate connecting and learning and inspire sustained movement in the work we do and relationships we build. Bring your perspective and questions to ACTcon 2021! 

“She was amazing! Inspiring. Galvanizing. Challenging. Practical, yet idealistic. Such great actionable recommendations. Just the right voice for this moment. Perfect. LOVED it.” 

Response to keynote speaker DeAnna Cummings,
program director, arts, McKnight Foundation 

Highlights include: 

  • 15-20 fundraising, communications, and technology breakout sessions over two days, with each breakout period offering multiple session options
  • Keynote and plenary sessions that are deeply grounded in the content and offer equal parts application and inspiration
  • Recordings of sessions after the conference, providing attendees access to every minute of conference content
  • Themed and facilitated networking spaces for peer-to-peer connecting 
  • Wellness and artistic interludes throughout
  • Virtual Scavenger Hunt and prizes (Who doesn’t love a good prize?)

What type of sessions will be included in the conference?

We're looking for a broad array of proposals that encourage visioning, as well as practical, skills-based learning. 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.

MCN is working toward full integration of its strategic commitment to advance equity and justice. With this in mind, we are bringing forward a slightly adapted version of the Equity and Justice Guidelines first established with MCN’s 2020 Annual Conference to ACTcon. In developing your proposal, please be mindful of the following: 

  1. Sessions and presenters should reflect the racial, economic, cultural, age, and geographic diversity of the communities we serve. We encourage participation from Greater Minnesota leaders and leaders from the LGBTQIA+, accessibility, BIPOC-led and serving organizations, and intersecting communities.  
  2. Consider your audience and let us know how you’ll address different ways of learning throughout your presentation. For example, how will you reach introverts and extroverts? How will you reach internal and external processors?   

Whether you’re in an executive leadership role or just getting started in the workforce, we want to hear from you. Preference will be given to sessions that demonstrate active involvement of nonprofit professionals as session presenters or co-presenters.  

If you are a consultant, employee for a for-profit company or nonprofit-adjacent organization, 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.  

Please note that the session's actual length and time slot will be selected by MCN staff. Sessions are typically 60 or 75 minutes each. Sessions take place in the morning and afternoon so please hold the full day(s) until you hear from us if possible. We will do our best to work with your schedule. The planning committee will review all proposals and make its selections by the second week in April. 

NEW THIS YEAR: facilitated networking and social hours. If you are a facilitator and connector extraordinaire and there’s a topic you know your peers are eager to discuss, please indicate on the proposal form that you’d be open to facilitating a networking circle and share the topic you’d bring to the table. 

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. Whether you’re in an executive leadership role or just getting started in the workforce, we want to hear from you. Session presenters must demonstrate both a depth of knowledge on the workshop topic and a comfort with public speaking.

If you are a consultant, employee for a for-profit company, or nonprofit-adjacent organization, we encourage you to include one or more nonprofit representative 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.

This year's ACTcon breakout session speakers will be compensated. We acknowledge that historically MCN has not paid breakout session presenters at our conferences and this does not align with our commitment to equity and justice. Thank you to those who brought this to our attention and challenged us to do better. We will pay individual presenters a stipend of $150, with a limit of $300 per session. This modest stipend is in addition to complimentary admission to the conference for presenters. 

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, March 29, at 8 p.m.

Preview the questions on the online form.


Submit Your Proposal Now!


Questions?

If you have questions about submitting a proposal for ACTcon 2021, please contact Courtney Gerber at 651-757-3087 or cgerber@minnesotanonprofits.org. Thank you!