2019 Nonprofit Essentials Conference

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Breakout Sessions

9:45 - 11:00 a.m. Breakout Sessions I

Building Relationships through Social Media
Social media is a great tool to get the word out about your programs, but that’s only the beginning. Build strong communities through social media by creating meaningful conversations online and providing relevant, consistent information. This session will give you the tools to create your own social media plan, including tools for measuring success and templates for managing it all.
Steve Boland, managing partner, Next in Nonprofits

The Twelve Golden Rules of Nonprofit Finance
Nonprofit financial health can seem like an elusive, nuanced and subjective judgment call. But when you break it all down, it boils down to 12 Golden Rules of nonprofit finance that help keep your organization healthy. From budgeting to operating reserves, if you follow these rules, you’ll be on your way to a better understanding of nonprofit financial health. This session is a great introduction for those who are new to nonprofit finance.
Sarah Jackson, loan officer & financial specialist, Propel Nonprofits

Identifying Foundation and Corporate Grant Prospects
So many funding sources and so little time, so how do you know if a funder is a good fit for what your nonprofit does? Are there other foundations that should be added to your list? In this session, you'll learn how to focus your search by screening a foundation's guidelines and process, when and how to contact its staff, and find out who else receives its money.
Andrea Sanow, development coordinator, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Cultural Self-Awareness as a Tool for Effective Change
If cultural competence is about bridging across differences that make a difference, then the work must start with a focus on self. Our identities and cultures inform our beliefs, values, assumptions and biases and thus influence the ways we think about and behave when working and relating across difference. This workshop helps change agents explore their own cultural patterns and behaviors and links identity awareness to our capacity to make new and different choices to achieve equity or inclusion goals.
Jesse Ross, director of special projects, The Minneapolis Foundation

Cost Effective Evaluation
Informing your stakeholders about the good work you do means more than counting activities and storytelling. Meaningful output and outcome data are important to governance, fundraising, and program management. In this session we’ll consider data gathering, analysis, and using evaluation information to improve your organization’s performance and bottom line.
Reid A. Zimmerman, principal, RAZimmerman Consulting


11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions II

Grantwriting: Getting the Most Out of Your Grant Proposal
Whether you are writing your first grant proposal or need a quick refresher, this session will cover how to make the most out of each section of a grant proposal, using the Minnesota Common Grant Application format as a guide. Common questions will be addressed such as what kind of data you need to support your case, how to include a lot of information within the specified page (or character) limits, and how to present information in different formats to make it interesting to the reader. Common proposal weaknesses and how you can avoid them will also be discussed.
Kari Aanestad, director of advancement, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Knowing Your Technology Limits and When Free is Too Costly
Whether you're the "accidental techie" of your team or you are tasked with sorting out technology duties and tools, it's good to understand when digging deeper into Google searches and forums will get you through and when you might want to call on professional help or advise. There are also many tools that present as free but can include costs to implement or result in greater costs down the road. In this session, we'll discuss how to build a system to best support your emerging or growing organization and share some tools and tricks to help keep you going strong. We will cover a few common free tools and discuss their strengths and weaknesses and share experience from other groups. This session will mix information sharing with open dialogue to answer your questions.
Joel Barker, chief strategy officer, Washburn Center for Children and co-founder, Brave North Technology and Brian Roemen, co-founder and lead technician, Brave North Technology

Getting Out of Your Own Way - Identity, Stereotype Threat, and Bias in the Workplace
Identity, stereotype threat, and implicit bias affect the workplace. The sense of equity, inclusion, and belonging staff and clients have in a nonprofit may be directly related to how they perceive bias and stereotypes about aspects of their identities from others. Given the current political and social climate in our country, in which many of our most vulnerable groups are feeling targeted and under threat, it is likely staff are internalizing negative messages about themselves, their peers, and/or the clients with whom they work. This workshop will examine how identity shows up in the workplace through stereotype threat and implicit bias. Participants will engage in discussion and self-reflection activities that foster empathy and understanding across differences to reduce the negative impact of stereotype threat and bias.
Rebecca Slaby, executive director, AMAZEworks

Welcome 2 the Nonprofit Jungle
There are 4 Animals that run any nonprofit: a lion, a flamingo, a chameleon, and a turtle! And each of them does things differently. What if you knew how each one operates, communicates, and works? This workshop allows you to take some time to think through both the general strengths and weaknesses of your team. Is your team missing a vital personality type or do they just need help understanding each other? No matter what the scenario, this workshop can provide staff and team leaders with tools to create the best teams and supercharge their performance.
Jesse Ross, director of special projects, The Minneapolis Foundation

Everyday Management Do’s and Don’ts
We all know the adage that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. If your objective as a leader is to develop and keep the best employees, it’s vital that you truly evaluate what you’re doing to ensure your best employees stay. Since we can’t always see in ourselves what our employees see, we’ll explore practical do’s and don’ts of employee management so you can live and breathe a managerial style that retains top talent. You’ll leave this session with practical tips, a self-assessment and an action plan to instill positive do’s and avoid the don’ts.
Arlene Vernon, president, HRx, Inc.


1:45 - 3:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions III

Consciously Addressing Unconscious Bias
Our society holds deeply ingrained attitudes about diverse groups based on demographics characteristics. How do you minimize the impact of these attitudes on the work your nonprofit is undertaking? Participants will gain knowledge, skills, and frameworks they can use to acknowledge these unconscious biases when they appear and minimize their impact. Reduced bias can increase outcomes and community support for your nonprofit’s work.
Nonoko Sato, associate director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Human Resources Basics
Often times the biggest issues with human resources in nonprofits is that you don't know what you don't know. This session will help to identify common HR issues and pitfalls including compliance, employee relations and other human resources basics. Understanding these basics are key to helping you improve your organization’s operations.
Kelly Rietow, principal, Roo Solutions

Nonprofit Policies, Practices, and Procedures 101
Join Charities Review Council for a refresher on nonprofit policies, practices, and procedures that will set your nonprofit up for long-term success. During this session, we’ll go deep on the six organizational policies recommended to all nonprofits by Charities Review Council, including what exactly you want to include and why. We’ll also talk about three bonus practices that your organization can adopt for long-term success. Whether you’re new to creating organizational policies and practices, or just interested in getting advice on promising practices, this session is for you!
Kris Kewitsch, executive director, Charities Review Council

Trivia: Nonprofit Finance Edition
Join this breakout session for fun and games around nonprofit finance! Participants will take part in a trivia-style game that will challenge their nonprofit financial knowledge. The session will be focused on five key topics including nonprofit financial statements, internal control practices for nonprofits, IRS Form 990 and other tax filings, best practices in budgeting and cash flows for nonprofits, and finally, nonprofit finance myths and miscellaneous. A basic understanding of each key area will be provided through the use of question and answer with additional in-depth information provided by the presenters. 
Carianne Geerts, senior accountant, CliftonLarsonAllen and Becky Johnson, finance manager, WomenVenture

Bring Out the Best in Your Board: Tips for Effective Engagement
Often nonprofits are challenged to engage board members effectively as they move through different stages of organizational development. In this session participants will explore key board member roles and responsibilities and tips for engaging board members based on the organization’s development stage. If you are new to working with a nonprofit board or looking to join a board, this session is for you.
Amanda Ziebell Mawanda, strategic services consultant, Propel Nonprofits

3:15 – 4:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions IV

Broccoli & Cheese: Designing Digestible Data
Ever try getting kids to eat their vegetables? For organizations who want their supporters to consume the all-important data that measures their impact in the community, getting a supporter to process the information can often be like getting a kid to try to eat their veggies. But with great design and storytelling strategies, an organization can often serve their supporters a tasty dish that gets them all the data they need. Using examples of successful strategies from GiveMN and other organizations, this presentation will help organizations develop strategies to bring data and design together to tell an engaging story for supporters. Go beyond infographics to using compelling data across mediums and messages!
Jake Blumberg, executive director, GiveMN

Recruiting, Retaining, and Rewarding Your Volunteers
When working with volunteers, the "Three R’s” – recruiting, rewarding, and retaining – are vital to your mission. In this session you will hear strategies for each “R” as they relate to your organization’s volunteers, plus review other essential components in volunteer program structure.  You will leave with specific tactics that other organizations have found successful. 
Zeeda Magnuson, consultant, HandsOn Twin Cities

Nonprofits as Advocates
Minnesota and the world are a better place when nonprofits connect with and educate policy makers and tell the story of their organizations and communities. Join MCN's policy experts to learn how advocacy can further your organization’s mission, the rules for nonprofit advocacy, and how to tell the story of your organization within the context of advocacy
Michelle Chang, policy and equity coordinator and Marie Ellis, public policy director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence
MCN’s Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence cite 133 ways that organizations can ensure stability, quality and transparency. These 133 practices are often common sense, sometimes mandated by law, and always “best practice” recommendations for nonprofit success. Learn how these practices can help you keep the passion for your work by building an excellent nonprofit.
Amy Brugh, principal, Amy Brugh Consulting and Jesse Chang, VISTA program coordinator, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits


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