2021 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference

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Breakout Sessions

All breakout sessions qualify for 1 continuing professional education (CPE) credit.

April 20

Sponsor Session: Mutual of America (8 - 9 a.m.)

Economic Update and Retirement Planning in Volatile Markets 

This session will focus on putting today’s market in context by building understanding around key factors in recent financial markets. Your Mutual of America hosts will review the unprecedented economic and market events of 2020, discuss the effects they had on retirement planning, acknowledge important milestones, and make suggestions for how to stay on track.      
Jerry Bruzek, account representative, Tom Burkhart, account representative, and Joe Lenartz, account representative, Mutual of America

Breakout Session I (11 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Adaptation: Rethinking/Rebuilding Your Business Model

Business Management & Organization
Track: Intermediate
Your business model describes the rationale of how your organization creates, delivers, and captures value. But the world decides whether and how it actually works. Come explore the many moving parts that comprise your current business model, and ways to imagine those parts working in new ways in our new world.
Andrew Taylor, associate professor of arts management, American University and Stephanie Thompson, managing director, Ten Thousand Things

Getting into Business: Diversifying Revenue Through Social Enterprise

Business Management & Organization
Track: General 
Nonprofits are seeking new ways to reduce risk and reliance on grants by diversifying their revenue, including social enterprise. Some nonprofits are exploring using their assets or unique expertise in new ways, or engaging in a regular business to generate unrelated funds to support core operations. In this session we will provide nonprofits with tools to help them decipher whether social enterprise is or is not a fit for their organization. Presenters will explore what is meant by social enterprise and typical barriers to entry. We will review common legal models with real-world examples for structuring social enterprises in a way that helps manage tax and liability risk. We will identify traps for the unwary, unrelated business tax (UBIT) implications, and funding structures and challenges. Finally, we will discuss the key factors that tend to make social enterprises successful and those that make them more challenging to stay afloat.
Catie Bitzan Amundsen, partner, Lathrop GPM; Sandra Moore, director, Community Wealth Partners; and Jennifer Reedstrom Bishop, partner, Lathrop GPM

Succession, Workforce Development, & Racial Equity in Nonprofit Finance

Business Management & Organization
Track: Change 
The Succession Plan for the Sector steering committee met together from 2019 until the onset of COVID in 2020. These community leaders convened to discuss racial equity and the intentional transfer of accounting knowledge and financial leadership to Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. The committee was grounded in their shared experience as leaders of color from a variety of sectors, fields, and professions. The perspective gained from their own experience informed the group as it co-created program plans for the succession of accounting and financial leadership in the nonprofit sector. The group designed strategies that address the full continuum of access, education, professional development, mentoring, apprenticeship, and workplace intervention necessary to transition financial power to Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. Hear some of these amazing leaders share their learnings from the process and describe their vision for a holistic approach to racial equity in financial leadership.
Curtis Klotz, director of nonprofit innovation, CLA; Mary LaGarde, executive director, Minneapolis American Indian Center; Leo Lopez, senior vice president, Old National Bank; Shétu Rose, owner, Candide Solutions LLC; Nonoko Sato, associate director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits; May Thao-Schuck, vice president of career and professional development, St. Catherine University

Breakout Session II ( 1 - 2 p.m.)

Are Your Investments Aligned with Your Values?
Finance Track: General  Your organization has spent a lot of time and effort to ensure your values are clear, and your work lives out those values! How else can you live out those values? Taking care to align your cash and operating reserves with your values grows your impact in the world. Mary’s Pence work is supporting women in North and Central America, and our values are dignity, solidarity and justice–where we bank and where we invest our operating reserve should reflect these values and our work for a more equitable world for all people. In this workshop we’ll share our learnings from a board-led process to align our investments with our values.  You will have an opportunity to identify the values you wish reflected in your investments, how to evaluate your current assets for alignment, how to identify investments that reflect those values, and how to make the transition.
Carol Fendt, board member, Nadine Sehnert, bookkeeper, and Mary Zerjav, Finance Committee member, Mary's Pence

Scenario Planning in Uncertain Times

Business Management & Organization
Track: Intermediate 
We have learned skills to build budgets, forecasts, and financials plans for our organizations during “normal times.” But do you find that assumptions that reliably helped us predict the next year or two in the past have been turned upside down given current uncertainties? You may feel unsure if your tools still work, but you know you must do something. Join us as we explore how you can assess your current and future financial positions and begin to think about and create new and responsive scenario plans for your organization.
Sarah Jackson, loan officer and financial specialist, Propel Nonprofits and Kara Maloney, co-director | advancement director, Lanesboro Arts

Telling Your Financial Story During COVID-19 

Business Management & Organization
Track: Change
With all that has transpired this year – interrupted fundraising events, one-time revenue sources or expense disbursements, relief funding through the CARES Act, etc. – how do you tell your 2020 story to internal and external audiences with all the unusual, one-time anomalies? Hear how some of your peers are framing their financial stories as they share their successes and learnings from this year.
Kate Barr, president and CEO, Propel Nonprofits; Nausheena Hussain, executive director, Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment; Warren McLean, president, Northside Economic Opportunity Network; and Jack Reuler, artistic director, Mixed Blood Theatre 

Breakout Session III (2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

Is Your Mission Protected?
Business Management & Organization Track: General In a world filled with uncertainty, it is important to protect your mission by being properly insured. This session will give you risk management knowledge and equip you with the tools you need to assess your organization’s insurance well-being. Learn the pros and cons to “captive” and independent insurance agents, and how to choose which option is best for you. This session is not to replace your insurance agent’s professional knowledge, but it will give you enough information to make you confident in your insurance policy and the coverages for which you are paying. Kate Burgraff, executive director, Foundation for Essential Needs; Jake Olinger, president, Foster White Insurance Agency; and Amy Jo Van Culin, vice president of commercial lines, Affiliated Insurance Services

Top 10+ Questions About How to Account for COVID-19 Relief Funds
Track: General 
Many nonprofits received COVID-19 relief funding, which has been critical, but also can be confusing from an accounting perspective. How and when do you show PPP funds on your income statement and/or balance sheet? Does that change if you have not filed for forgiveness? Or if only part is forgivable? How about EIDL grants? Are refundable payroll tax credits revenue? How do I know which relief funds are subject to Single Audit? Join us as we look at how to account for these COVID-19 relief funds on your financial statements and bring your own questions as well.
Steve Anseth, nonprofit partner, Abdo, Eick, & Meyers

Total Rewards in a New Environment 
Personnel/Human Resources
Track: Change
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted the labor market and left many organizations searching for guidance on how to sustainably attract and retain talent while maintaining business continuity. While an integrated approach to total rewards is always central to success, what worked in the past won’t be sufficient in the years ahead. By understanding the right information, you can take action backed by data. In this session, Gallagher, the firm that produces the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ bi-annual the Minnesota Nonprofit Salary and Benefits Survey, will explore the latest trends in compensation and benefits using a variety of benchmarking data and firsthand knowledge and experience to help you make confident decisions for your organization.
Thomas Cummins, managing director, Gallagher Surveys and Michaela O'Brien, associate consultant, Health & Welfare Consulting, Gallagher

April 27

Sponsor Session: CLA (8 - 9 a.m.)

PPP, ERC, and Other Economic Relief Opportunities

With the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) in late December 2020, additional economic relief is available to nonprofit organizations. Time has been spent addressing the expanded employee retention credits (ERC) for both 2020 and 2021, eFMLA, and the latest Payroll Protection Program round of forgivable loans. Even with the additional knowledge, insight and opportunities, new questions arise. Join us for this discussion of the latest relief provisions and actions to positively impact your organization.  
Karen Gries, principal, Jennifer Rohen, principal, and Kelsey Vatsaas, principal, CLA

Breakout Session IV (11 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Budgeting with an Equity Focus 
Business Management & Organization
Track: Change
Equity begins with budgeting, aligning your equity goals with your organizational, program, and service goals. By applying an equity lens to budgeting, you examine who is part of the budgeting process, if staff are empowered with their budgets, and whether the process is transparent for all. You may find many stages of your budgeting process can be reimagined to increase equity. Join us to learn what some are doing to overcome disparities in budgeting to better engage and serve their communities.
Renay Dossman, president, Neighborhood Development Center and Beth Holger, CEO, The Link

Cost, Price, Value: What is Your Nonprofit's Mission Worth?
Business Management & Organization
Track: General
Presenting a line item budget to a potential funder is the equivalent of pricing your work at cost. It reduces the value of your work and your mission to time and materials. The danger of representing your nonprofit financial story this way is that you too often do an incomplete job of capturing the true costs associated with the work. Though communicating value is a difficult task, you can learn to claim the true value of your efforts and put a fair price on that value. Join this interactive session to share your experience and discuss alternative ways to define, budget, and communicate your nonprofit’s worth, and learn innovative approaches for presenting this information to your donors, the public, and yourselves. Presenters will engage participants through large- and small-group discussion.
Curtis Klotz director of nonprofit innovation CLA and Bo Thao-Urabe, executive & network director, Coalition of Asian American Leaders

One Year Later: Different Financial Stories—Different Nonprofits
Business Management & Organization
Track: Intermediate 
The last year has proven be to a doozy when it comes to pivoting in the for-impact world! The financial effect on revenues has been drastic for some–either positively or negatively. This session will be a panel discussion with three very different organizations: a healthy foods resource provider, a vocational secondary education institution, and a social services organization intent on breaking the cycle of poverty. We will discuss financial issues from the last year such as how COVID affected different sources of revenue, lessons learned, processes implemented or changed, and steps taken to manage liquidity in a time of drastically changing revenues. There will be time for Q & A at the end.    
Andre Crockett, executive director, Barbershop & Social Services; Tammy LH McGee, vice president of administrative services & chief financial officer, Dunwoody College of Technology; Jason Viana, executive director, The Open Door; and Annette Wanchena, vice president, Commercial Deposit and Cash Management Services, Minnwest Bank   

Breakout Session V ( 1 - 2 p.m.)

Bridging Cultures Between Fiscal and Program
Business Management & Organization
Track: Advanced
Do generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) get in the way of meeting your program goals? Do your program staff understand how to use GAAP to their benefit? Do your fiscal staff understand how to help address service delivery gaps? This fun and engaging workshop will introduce you to tools and practices MAHUBE-OTWA has used to build cross-cultural communication between fiscal and program staff to get better outcomes for low-income clients while building flexibility and reducing risk in fiscal. Join us to hear why transformation is worth the effort, how to work in a generative space while meeting strict regulations, and how to build a common language between fiscal and program staff to solve complex problems.
Sam Amundson, fiscal manager and Michelle Wilkowski, Head Start director, MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership

The Intersection of Finance, Strategy, and Your Board  
Business Management & Organization
Track: Intermediate
Where does finance and strategy intersect for your board of directors? What can your board’s role consist of in helping craft strategy, ensuring financial sustainability for your organization’s mission, and fostering alignment between financial goals and strategic direction? Hear how Propel Nonprofits financial-informed strategic planning lifts up this intersection, and how Change Inc. has lived in that intersection recently.
Mario Hernandez, strategic services director and Mary Ann Ehlshlager, senior consultant, Propel Nonprofits; and Jill Johnson, associate director, Change Inc.

Navigating Nonprofit Finance in the New Virtual World
Track: Change
An audit manager and a director of finance and operations will take participants into their remote environment of accounting and its function within the nonprofit. Presenters will dive into the real-world examples that caused an entire upheaval of their industry. They also will call on participants to share additional, personal examples and invite their questions on how they would handle the virtual change in the following settings: an accounting department’s internal communications; interconnection between program staff with finance staff; maintaining internal controls; communicating finances with the board; the audit and tax process. Participants will take some of these home and gain knowledge on navigating finance in the virtual world.
Darla Nemec, director of finance and operations, Children's Cancer Research Fund and Michael Prall, audit manager, Olsen Thielen CPAs  

Breakout Session VI (2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

Nonprofit Finance Game Show
Personal Development
Track: General
This session will be in a game format with questions in topics like audit readiness, Excel, virtual meetings (laugh and groan at the same time), governance/accountability, budgeting, and policies. Bring your handheld device to play along and prizes will be awarded. Who says finance isn’t fun?!
Steve Anseth, nonprofit partner, Abdo, Eick, & Meyers; Becky Johnson, owner, Rebecca Johnson Consulting; and Neda Shahghasemi, senior manager, Finance & Operations, Seward Redesign, Inc.

What Does it Look Like to Go Back to the Office? 

Business Management & Organization
Track: Change
Many of us are trying to figure out what “normal” will look like when we return to work after COVID-19. Will we continue to work remotely 100% of the time, eliminating our office space? Or will we return to being predominately in the office together? Or will a hybrid model be the new normal? In this town hall-style session you’ll hear from some who are exploring these questions, and you will have the opportunity to share your insights with your peers as well. 
Milpha Blamo, vice president of talent and culture, Minneapolis Foundation; Shauna Dee, finance & operations manager, Forecast Public Art; and Joe McDonald, CEO, VEAP

Sponsor Session: Bremer Bank (3:30 - 4:30 p.m.)

On the Upside
Join us for an interactive networking session as we share what we are hearing from our nonprofit customers regarding challenges that turned into surprising opportunities. We will focus on positive changes that resulted from a year of unique challenges and then look forward to what motivates and excites us about the future.  
Liam Higgins, business banker and Ron Richard, business banker, Bremer
All sessions, including the keynote address, will be recorded and made available to registrants after each day.

Sponsored by:

Bremer Bank - new logo                         CLA

Mutual of America


Hosted by:

Propel Nonprofits                     MCN Logo