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Registration  |  Schedule  |  Breakouts  |  Speakers  |  Attendees  |  Sponsors  |  Scholarships

All breakout sessions qualify for 1 continuing professional education (CPE) credit, thanks to our sponsor Abdo.

Most sessions, including the keynote and plenary panel, will be recorded and made available to attendees following each day.

Day 1: Round 1 Breakout Sessions (8 a.m. - 9 a.m.)

Prevent & Detect: The Importance of an Internal Control Framework
Weak internal controls, audit findings, and errors all erode trust—the trust of clients, grantors, donors, and staff. A strong internal control framework promotes: (1) efficient and effective operations, (2) safeguarding of assets, (3) preventing and detecting fraud and other unlawful acts, and (4) complete, accurate, and timely preparation of financial statements. This session will help you learn how to design, implement, and assess your internal control framework for effectiveness.

Sara Tomee, controller, Think Small and Joe Wallis, nonprofit accounting and audit manager, Abdo, LLP 
Knowledge Level: Intermediate | Track: Finance

Building Your Capacity for Government Grants

Over the past six years, Propel has had the opportunity to work with a variety of organizations as they have built their internal capacity to seek out, secure, and responsibly manage government funding. If your nonprofit hasn’t considered government funding, or if you have and find its processes daunting, you are not alone! Join us to discuss:

  • Whether to include government grants in your business model
  • What you’ll be managing (Differentiation from other grants; Reimbursements; Documentation; Internal systems; Staff time; Relationships)
  • Where do you search for government grant opportunities?

Ellie O’Brien, vice president and chief financial officer, Propel Nonprofits
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Finance

Day 1: Round 2 Breakout Sessions (11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)

Finance, Advancement, and Programs: The 3-Legged Stool for Success
Executive leaders from PRISM will share their successful strategies for finding optimal synergy and maximum impact across three core departments: programs, advancement, and finance. With work and commitment, we can all speak the same language!

Allysen Hoberg, program director, Michelle Ness, executive director, Jacob Petrie, finance and operations director, and Alisha Weis, advancement director, PRISM
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Finance 

Funding a Sustainable Future
What is the first step to raising revenue? It is not what you think. While most nonprofit organizations and boards are well-equipped to make the ask, it is important to take a step back and look at the big picture first. Not all revenue is created equal – and focusing on your highest-potential funding opportunities can pave the way for efficient, sustainable growth. Join this session to explore how to raise the right revenue for your mission. 

Steve Zimmerman, principal, Spectrum Nonprofit Services
Knowledge Level: Intermediate | Track: Finance 

Day 1: Round 3 Breakout Sessions (1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

Employee Retention Credits - Are We Done Yet?
You have now heard about Employee Retention Credits (ERC) for over two years, and they remain as relevant as ever for most nonprofits. Hear an update on what we are learning as the IRS starts to audit ERCs, how to triple-check your eligibility, and what to do as you wait for that check in the mail if you have already applied.

Christine DiMenna, signing director, Alex Hengel, principal, and Kelsey Vatsaas, principal, CLA
Knowledge Level: Intermediate | Track: Finance

Paying for Equity
Who we pay and what we buy with our financial resources directly reflects our values and supports our mission. Nonprofits are stewards of community resources. When we deploy those resources, our vendor choices and purchasing decisions reveal whether and how we uphold our commitment to racial, gender, and economic justice. Join this session to explore how to align vendor selection and purchasing choices with your organizational values. We will look at our choices of contractors, financial institutions, insurance, retirement plans, and more.

Theresa Gardella, vice president of programs & strategy, Nexus Community Partners; Curtis Klotz, chief learning officer/co-founder and Luciano Patino, co-CEO/co-founder, Diverge Finance Cooperative; and Chalonne Wilson, vice president of operations & culture, Nexus Community Partners 
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Human Resources

Remote Interviewing and Onboarding at a Small Nonprofit
This session will encourage group discussion around interview questions and processes that have proven effective for the presenter and participating audience members. The presenter will share their experiences with remote interviewing, including their use of interview assignments and other non-traditional interview tools. Additionally, there will be a review and group discussion on remote onboarding tools the presenter and participants have found useful for new hires transitioning into their remote roles. 

Molly Gezella-Baranczyk, executive director, National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Human Resources

Day 1: Round 4 Breakout Sessions (2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.)

Living Generatively: Growth Mindset and Your Board
Boards of nonprofit organizations tend to be risk adverse, especially during periods of financial and operational uncertainty. At the same time, those are the moments where creative and innovative solutions are most needed, especially from community-led organizations. What does it mean to offer appropriate levels of fiduciary oversight, while encouraging strategic risk and investments? How do boards and staff leadership partner together rather than one side simply holding power over the other? How do we go from a constant scarcity to a growth mindset, and how will this shift further equity goals? In this session, the presenters will share their thoughts on these questions based on their real-life experiences partnering with innovative boards. Participants will have an opportunity to brainstorm their own ideas and bring back ideas as well as existing models of agenda setting for board meetings that celebrate inspiration, creativity, and strategic risk.

Liz Kuoppala, executive director, MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership and Nonoko Sato, executive director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Knowledge Level: Intermediate  |  Track: Human Resources

Preparing for Your First Audit
If you have never gone through an audit before – it can be a daunting process to face. Join Propel’s Accounting & Finance team for an interactive session as they walk through three important phases of preparing for an audit so you can feel confident and capable throughout the audit process: 
1. Laying the groundwork for an audit: when do you need one, and what financial processes and procedures should you have in place to help you prepare? 
2. Preparing for an imminent audit: You know an audit is coming, what now?
3. Empowering your team during an audit: What roles do you and the auditor play in the process, and what should you expect during and after the audit?You’ll leave this session empowered with a better understanding of the audit process, understanding of how your financial processes and procedures will help you prepare, and what roles & responsibilities you’ll have during the audit process.

Darrell Beauford, accounting & finance consultant and Sara Nevison, accountant, Propel Nonprofits
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Finance

Day 2: Round 5 Breakout Sessions (8 a.m. - 9 a.m.)

Designing Pay Programs Best Aligned with your Organization
This session will help participants gain knowledge and insight into how to design a compensation structure or program for their employees that best aligns with their mission, values, culture, and staff needs. Participants will develop an in-depth knowledge about three of the most common salary programs found in nonprofit organizations, what they are; how they are used; their advantages and disadvantages; which are best for different organizations in different lifecycles; and things to consider when implementing and managing. Additionally, participants will work through a case study that describes a real-life scenario of nonprofit organizations determining and implementing these programs. This session is an opportunity to take a deep dive into the complex and unknown world of compensation, specifically designed for nonprofit organizations.

Whitney Herrington, CEO & senior partner and Sonia Torres, compensation consultant, Ascend People
Knowledge Level: Advanced | Track: Human Resources

The Power of Strategic Budgeting
Elevate your financial leadership with strategic budgeting and take a wider view of sustaining mission impact and organizational resilience. The presenters will share insights on how strategic budgeting empowers leaders to support shared decision-making, activate organizational values, foster capacity, and equip longer-term vision. You will learn the definition and characteristics of strategic budgeting and be introduced to free resources and tools. You will have the opportunity to identify how strategic budgeting might benefit your own organization and will see and discuss relevant examples.

Melodie Bahan, executive director, Minnesota Film & TV and Mary Ann Ehlshlager, strategy & finance consultant, Ehlshlager Consulting
Knowledge Level: Intermediate | Track: Finance

Wait! What? I Need to Record That?
ASU 2020-07 is putting a spotlight on in-kind contributions. This session will cover the new requirements that kicked in for financial statements mid-year 2022 and were required for all financial statements on December 31, 2022. How much detail is required? We will discuss how to bucket, whether to set up separate general ledger accounts for each bucket, and other requirements of the new standard. We will look at real life disclosures examples. We will also talk about which in-kind contributions need to be recorded and how to determine the fair market value of those contributions. We will close with a review of IRS requirements around d receipting in-kind contributions.

Steve Anseth, principal, Abdo and Samantha Jacobson, chief financial officer, Breaking Free
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Finance 

Day 2: Round 6 Breakout Sessions (11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)

Be Careful What You Ask For
In an ideal world, foundations, individuals, government agencies, and corporations would give nonprofits only general operating grants without any restrictions whatsoever. But even in our current reality, nonprofits can take a proactive approach to living with and working with contributions that do carry donor-imposed restrictions. The key is to carefully shape how we ask for money. This session outlines how development and finance can work together to intentionally craft proposal narratives and budgets that allow restricted gifts to act as much like general support funding as possible. To realize the most flexible funding possible, we will explore broad-scope proposal budgets, full-cost program budgets, deliverable-based budgets, and the creative use of conditional grant provisions.

Shanaya Dungey, chief operating officer, African American Leadership Forum; Curtis Klotz, chief learning officer/co-founder and Shétu Rose, co-CEO/co-founder, Diverge Finance Collaborative
Knowledge Level: Intermediate | Track: Finance 

Know Your Options: Models of Outsourced Accounting Support
Maybe your organization needs something, but you are not sure how to describe it or where to look for help. Join this panel of powerhouse local women who provide a variety of outsourced accounting and financial services to learn the lingo and some of the different options available.

Mary Cleary, founder and CEO, Studio 501; Melinda Conness, co-founder, Nonprofit Mavens; Megan Genest Tarnow, industry lead, nonprofits, High Rock Accounting; and Bethany Gladhill, arts & nonprofit management consultant, Gladhill Rhone LLC
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Finance

SMART Governance: Protecting and Promoting the Missions of Nonprofit Organizations 
In the challenges of post-Covid disruptions, the vitality of nonprofit organizations is increasingly linked to the board-management partnership. This session explores structures and strategies nonprofits are using to not only unleash the board-management partnership, but also mitigate performance risks and maximize performance opportunities. Join us to review how practical ways for Big G governance (the structures of boards and their committees) and small g governance (the culture and decision making processes) for stronger, great board work can be leveraged to enhance your organization’s pursuit of its mission.

James A. Rice, national adviser, governance, Gallagher
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Human Resources

Day 2: Round 7 Breakout Sessions (1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

Pass Me a Calculator: Building Financial Leadership with Peers
Propel has facilitated 15 Financial Leadership Cohorts (FLC) for 300 nonprofit finance leaders in Minnesota. Over that time, we have come to learn a lot about what makes financial leadership successful, equitable, and impactful in an organization. Come and hear three cohort alumni share how their work changed after FLC and what they recommend for building strong financial leadership and literacy in the nonprofit sector.

Sarah Clyne, executive director, EquaSpace; Deb Ervin, operations manager, zAmya Theater Project; Veena Iyer, executive director, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota; and Sara Wessling, director of training, Propel Nonprofits
Knowledge Level: General | Track: Finance

Succession Planning—Is Your Next Executive Director You?
Are you thinking about preparing yourself for an executive director role? What is required and are you suited to the demands of the position? Join us for an interactive discussion with the presenters and your peers that will be relevant for both those who are considering the shift to executive leadership as well as existing executive directors who can mentor, support, and create space for the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

Gaye Adams Massey, chief executive officer, YWCA St. Paul and Dawne Brown White, executive director, COMPAS
Knowledge Level: Intermediate | Track: Human Resources 

Sponsored by:

Bremer Bank                        CliftonLarsonAllen

CPE Sponsor


Hosted by:

Propel Nonprofits                     MCN Logo