2023 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

Sometimes hitting pause on something, even something beloved, brings perspective. Please join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs for the 2023 Nonprofit Leadership Conference. We are happy to be back!

Our renewal of the Nonprofit Leadership Conference after an intentional multi-year breather feels exciting. It is an opportunity to gather as changed, enduring, and forever adapting leaders across generations, life paths, and career stops. Let’s ground after some time up in the air.

The 2023 conference takes as its premise that leadership defines our work and relationships, directs the change taking place in our communities, and is healthiest and most effective when it is a communal rather than isolated process. Leadership can also be an act of courage, especially when a person is called to act when their access to support and positional leadership is sparse, uncertain, or withheld.

This day-long gathering will focus on refreshing and building knowledge, recognizing current trends, questioning long-ingrained models and understandings, and supporting each other as a community of interconnected nonprofit leaders.

Here are a few things attendees will experience at this year’s conference:

  • Inspiration and guidance among peer experts for engaging with myriad areas of leadership
  • Direct access to the latest leadership research (and researchers!) and discuss ways to incorporate academic findings into on-the-ground practice and strategy
  • Foundational knowledge of nonprofit administration and operations as part of honing your advancement pathway and leadership capacity
  • Space for identifying/saying out loud the inequities in leadership models and mapping ways to disrupt and dismantle them while imagining fresh alternatives
Note about COVID protocols:

While COVID-19 remains with us despite the formal end to the national health emergency, we have reached a period in the pandemic where we possess more tools and resources than ever before to better protect ourselves and our communities.

MCN is no longer requiring masking at events; however, as we gather we recognize that our members, friends, and colleagues are coming from different personal circumstances. Therefore, we ask all event attendees to help us create a supportive environment for anyone wearing a mask, and we encourage all to feel free to wear a mask if needed to protect the health of the community, themselves, or the health of loved ones. MCN is also lifting its proof of vaccination/negative COVID-19 test requirement; however, if you feel ill or have a known recent exposure to the COVID-19 virus, please stay home. 

2023 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center
200 SE Oak St., Minneapolis

Register Today!

Sponsored by:

Humphrey School logo


Mutual of America logo

Xcel Energy

Conference Highlights

Jonathan Brown Headshot

Keynote: Putting People First: The Transformative Power of People-Centered Leadership

Jonathan Brown, Vice President & Chief Program Officer, Propel Nonprofits

With so many different leadership theories and strategies out there, it can be hard to know which one to follow. However, one approach that is gaining traction is people-centered leadership. This approach puts the needs and wellbeing of your team first, rather than just focusing on hitting targets and achieving results.

In his presentation, Jonathan Brown will explore the benefits of people-centered leadership, comparing it to more traditional methods and highlighting the positive impact it can have on teams and organizations. Jonathan will delve into case studies that demonstrate how leaders who prioritize their employees and provide the support and resources they need can create a highly motivated and engaged workforce, resulting in greater productivity and success. Whether you're a seasoned leader or just starting out, this presentation will inspire you to rethink your approach and strive for a more people-centered approach.

Pre-Keynote Comedy: Charity to the Rescue!

Jamie Kalakaru-Mava, Funny Asian Women Kollective

Leadership without laughter is simply no fun. That's why we're asking Jamie Kalakaru-Mava, LISC Twin Cities program officer by day and member of the Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK) by night, to help us welcome our keynote speaker with a room full of laughter. Jamie will help us find our happy place with a comedy set that will undoubtedly be tailored to the nonprofit and community-minded brains in the room. It's not every day you get to spend time with a comedian who has also started and led nonprofits. Trust us. Jamie gets you.
Jamie Schumacher


Luncheon Improv: Your Story Unscripted

The Theater of Public Policy

The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2) advances the understanding of complex ideas and issues by drawing on improvisational comedy. T2P2 has earned a national reputation for bringing intelligent humor to liven up discussions on a range of issues. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just a comedy show; T2P2 will push us to consider nonprofit leadership in new ways.

Conference Planning Committee

  • Rodrigo Escobar, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research 

  • Courtney Gerber, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits  

  • Josh Halicke, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 

  • Kate King, National Association of Mental Illness and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network

  • Karen Koeder, CREST

  • Aviva Meyerhoff, Northside Residents Redevelopment Council

  • Nonoko Sato, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 

  • Jamie Schumacher, Local Initiatives Support Corporation – Twin Cities 

  • Yuan (Daniel) Cheng, Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

  • Shahrin Upoma, Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

Additional members to be announced