Finance Conference Request for Proposals

Join us as a presenter on topics of finance, sustainability, and financial leadership!

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Propel Nonprofits seek dynamic session leaders to present at the tenth annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference. 

Proposals can be submitted through the online proposal form, which takes about 10 minutes to complete. You don’t need to have a fully fleshed out presentation to submit a proposal. You’re sharing an idea that you will shape into a presentation. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Friday, December 18, 2020 at 5 p.m. 

Submit Your Proposal!

Finance Conference RFP photo

When and where will the conference take place?

2021 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference 
Tuesday, April 20 & 27, 2021 
VIRTUAL - LIVE & RECORDED

Who will attend and what will attendees gain from the conference?

Attendees of the 2021 Nonprofit Finance and Sustainability Conference will be able to:

  • Better understand issues of nonprofit finance including financial compliance, investing, budgeting, audits, internal controls, equity in economic opportunity, and more.
  • Better understand themes of nonprofit sustainability including business planning, the “marketization” of nonprofits, entrepreneurship, finding the right revenue mix, nonprofit excellence, and community-led models.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between finances and nonprofit leadership – from the point of view of the board, executive, senior leadership, and finance director.

Attendees will include around 400 nonprofit leaders including staff, board members, and volunteers. Past conference attendees included:

  • finance / accounting staff
  • executive directors
  • management staff
  • board members
  • fundraising / development staff

What type of sessions will be included in the conference?

Propel Nonprofits and MCN seek workshops that will focus on a range of skills and knowledge. Sessions will highlight everything from technical skills such as budgeting, audits and compliance to strategic skills such as team leadership, organizational sustainability, internal controls and oversight. We also specifically are looking for sessions that fully incorporate the intersection of nonprofit finance with equity and justice and aim to have statewide representation.  

For 2021, we'll highlight various tracks of sessions, in addition to all of the rest of the workshops that we always host.  

  • Advanced Track: sessions that dig beyond the basics while focusing on a unique concept or issue
  • Town Hall Track: conversation-based sessions that gather "the wisdom in the room" through facilitated conversations, world cafes, or other participatory methods
  • Change Track: sessions that focus on the various ways we are changing our work, our nonprofits, and our communities as we continue to experience and reckon with the impacts of COVID-19 and our sector’s, state’s, and country’s racial and economic disparities.
  • The technical side of financial and fiscal management
  • The ethics of finances, budgeting and compliance
  • The strategic side of financial leadership for staff, board and volunteers
  • Topics of sustainability including nonprofit business models and entrepreneurship
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Legal topics and government policy issues
  • Trends that are changing the way we work in our organizations and communities

Who will be selected as presenters and what benefits will presenters gain?

MCN and Propel seek dynamic presenters from the nonprofit sector and allied organizations who firmly understand nonprofit finance and sustainability. Session presenters must demonstrate both a depth of knowledge on the workshop topic. Sessions and presenters should reflect the racial, economic, cultural, age, and geographic diversity of the communities in the state of Minnesota.  

As an incentive to encourage your broad participation at the full conference, workshop presenters will be registered for the full conference for free (maximum 3 presenters per session). We sincerely hope that presenters will take advantage of this great opportunity to attend the full conference and to interact with other attendees over the course of the conference. (In limited cases, MCN may register 4 presenters for panels seeking specific viewpoints. Talk with Courtney Gerber prior to submitting your proposal if this is your situation.)  

What is the best format for presenting at this conference?

In order to ensure the highest quality sessions for the conference, the planning committee will place priority on session proposals that incorporate modern adult education modes and formats emphasizing participant engagement and interaction. MCN will offer strategy sessions for all presenters to think through getting the most out of the engagement tools available in a virtual format. 

  • Your session should engage attendees so that participants are actively involved in dialogue, discussion and idea-generation for much of the session - at least half of the total session time.

  • Your session should have no more than three presenters (including any moderator). 

  • PowerPoint slides filled with words should be kept to a minimum. Consider using pictures and stories to convey your message. 

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 Friday, December 18, 2020 at 5 p.m.

The questions you will answer on the online form:

  1. Session title (8 word maximum)
  2. Session description (150 word maximum)
  3. What content will be covered? Provide three learning objectives participants will walk away with after attending this session.
  4. What level of prior knowledge is required for success in your session? The conference seeks all levels of learning although most accepted sessions will focus on advanced or intermediate levels.
    • Advanced Prior Knowledge: Attendees should have advanced knowledge of the subject area before arriving (this means presenters will not define all words; will not include basic information on the subject; and will answer basic questions after the end of the session)
    • Intermediate Prior Knowledge: Attendees should have intermediate knowledge of the subject area before arriving (this means the presenters will define words, as requested, but will generally assume that attendees understand most concepts presented)
    • General Prior Knowledge: Attendees will not need significant prior knowledge of the subject area; this level would be good for beginners and anyone interested in the topic
  5. What level of participant engagement are you envisioning? (Select 1 or 2 styles of engagement)
    • Small group conversations/activities
    • Individual reflection (Ex. You give people time to self-reflect on an idea and how it impacts their work/life)
    • Whole group discussion (Ex. You/you and co-presenters share and then invite anyone to add their experience to the conversation)
    • Responding to quizzes or polls
    • Formal Presentation – “Lecture-style” presentations featuring one or two presenters. Formal presentations should include ample time for audience questions, discussion, and interaction.
  6. Tracks: Please identify the track that best matches your session:
    • Advanced Track: sessions that dig beyond the basics while focusing on a unique concept or issue
    • Town Hall Track: conversation-based sessions that gather "the wisdom in the room" through facilitated conversations, world cafes or other participatory methods
    • Change Track: sessions that focus on the various ways that our work, our nonprofits and our communities are changing; these sessions will lead attendees to consider their roles in supporting and leading healthy change as we continue to move through and reckon with the impacts of COVID-19 and our sector’s, state’s, and country’s racial and economic disparities.
    • General Track: sessions that fit the conference themes of finances and sustainability, but do not fit one of the tracks identified above
  7. Session length: What is your preferred length of session? 60 minutes, or 75 minutes.
  8. Contact information for main contact person: Please include the full contact information for the session presenter who will be MCN's main contact during the planning process. This must be one of the session presenters.
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Pronouns
    • Title
    • Organization or company
    • Email address
    • City
    • State
    • Phone number
  9. Co-presenter information (Optional): If you will have one or two co-presenters, please include their information below. (Please note that 3 total presenters (inclusive of any moderator) may be admitted to the conference with free registration. Any additional presenters will pay the full conference registration fee. We discourage including more than 3 presenters for any session.)
    • First co-presenter's name, pronouns, title, organization
    • Second co-presenter's name, pronouns, title, organization
  10. Nonprofit presenter(s): Please tell us if any of the workshop presenters works at a nonprofit. Sessions without nonprofit presenter(s) will have a lower rate of acceptance. Some sessions may be accepted on the condition that a nonprofit co-presenter will be added.
  11. Anything else you’d like to share: If there's anything else you'd like us to know about you or your co-presenters you’ll have the opportunity to share it here.
     

Submit Your Proposal Now!


Questions?

If you have questions about submitting a proposal for the 2021 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference, please contact Courtney Gerber at cgerber@minnesotanonprofits.org. Thank you!