Finance Conference Request for Proposals

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

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

Submitting a proposal is easy! Simply complete the online proposal form. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8 a.m.

Submit Your Proposal!

Finance Conference RFP photo

When and where will the conference take place?

2020 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

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

Attendees of the 2020 Nonprofit Finance and Sustainability Conference will be able to:

  • Better understand issues of nonprofit finance including financial compliance, investing, budgeting, audits, internal controls, and more.
  • Better understand themes of nonprofit sustainability including business planning, the “marketization” of nonprofits, entrepreneurship, finding the right revenue mix, and nonprofit excellence.
  • 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 500 nonprofit leaders including staff, board members, and volunteers. Past conference attendees included:

  • 33% finance / accounting staff
  • 22% executive directors
  • 8% management staff
  • 7% board members
  • 5% 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.

For 2020, we'll highlight various tracks of sessions, in addition to all of the rest of the workshops that we always host. We are particularly looking for sessions that encourage new thinking and risk-taking.

  • 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
  • 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 Nonprofits 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 and a breadth of past speaking experience.

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 four presenters for panels seeking diverse viewpoints. Talk with Sondra Reis prior to submitting your proposal if this is your situation.) Any additional presenters not included at the time of submission will be required to pay the full conference registration fee, whether or not they attend the full conference. MCN will not handle any travel logistics and will not be able to pay for mileage, lodging expenses or presenter stipends.

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.

  • 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.
  • Consider a non-traditional session format such as:
    • Pecha Kucha – One or more presenters show twenty slides each which automatically advance at 20-second intervals for a total presentation time of six minutes and 40 seconds per person.
    • Ignite – Similar to Pecha Kucha, but the 20 slides advance every 15 seconds. The talk per person is five minutes in length.
    • Battle Decks – A form of PowerPoint Karaoke Improv, where participants extemporaneously speak about each slide in a Pecha Kucha or Ignite slide deck that they’ve never seen before.
    • World Café – Small groups in rounds discuss a topic for twenty minutes, and then each member of the group moves to a different new table. Ideas build on each other as the progression continues.
    • TED-style Talks – 10 minute dynamic talks followed by Q&A or other audience participation.

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 Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8 a.m.

Preview the questions on the online form.

Want help crafting your proposal? Consider joining MCN for a FREE 1-hour virtual training starting at 10 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, October 31.  During this 60-minute session, we'll share a framework for creating a strong proposal that is more likely to result in a successful conference workshop. RSVP today.

Submit Your Proposal Now!


If you have questions about submitting a proposal for the 2020 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference, please contact Sondra Reis at 651-757-3075 or Thank you!