Leadership Conference Request for Proposals

Join us as a presenter at Minnesota's largest nonprofit leadership event of 2020!

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), along with the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, welcomes your proposals for sessions for the upcoming 2020 Nonprofit Leadership Conference on June 10, 2020.

MCN is seeking dynamic sessions that include valuable insights from nonprofit and public sector leaders. Proposals from our allies in for-profit companies are welcome. However, please note that significant preference will be given to sessions that demonstrate active involvement of nonprofit professionals and the communities they engage as session presenters or co-presenters.

Submitting a proposal is easy! Simply complete the online proposal form. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Submit Your Proposal!

Preview RFP questions

McNamara Ballroom

When and where will the conference take place?

2020 Nonprofit Leadership Conference
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis

About the Conference

We all have the capacity to be leaders in our organizations and communities. Whether through positional leadership or through the actions we take in our everyday lives, leadership defines our work, directs the change taking place in our communities, and is often more a communal than isolated process.

Leaders of all levels and backgrounds are essential to supporting strong and vibrant communities. At this day-long gathering attendees will dialogue about personal and organizational change. We'll refresh our knowledge, focus on key values, recognize current trends and encourage the building-up of an adept and thoughtful community of nonprofit leaders. We'll define ways to speak up for our missions and ourselves while centering the communities of which we’re a part and whom we serve.

What type of sessions will be included in the conference?

We're looking for a broad array of session topics that address leadership through three primary lenses: individual, organizational, and community leadership. We seek sessions to fit all levels of knowledge and sector experiences — from beginner to advanced.

Plus, we're especially interested in finding presenters who are able to share knowledge that reaches advanced levels of learning. We have found that advanced level learning is a key component that has been light in past years. In some cases, we'll invite presenters to lead two sessions during the day: (1) a beginner or intermediate level session during the first half of the day; and (2) an advanced level session during the second half of the day.

We encourage you to think about session formats and presenter configurations that encourage collaboration, connection, and diverse approaches to content areas. Proposals that directly speak to being accessible to as many people as possible — people of varied ability, lived experience, age, gender, race, and cultural identity — will be given priority.

Be visionary. Be rooted. We want to see proposals that introduce ways of leading that push convention and are visionary. We also want to see proposals that ground folks in stories and experiences of leadership that are tangibly connected to skills and practices that one might incorporate into their way of working.

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

MCN seeks dynamic presenters from the nonprofit sector and allied organizations who bring a nuanced and experienced understanding of the myriad forms of and approaches to leadership and leading. Session presenters must demonstrate both a depth of knowledge on the workshop topic and a breadth of past speaking experience.

If you are a consultant or employee for a for-profit company, we encourage you to include one or more nonprofit representatives in your session. This way, session participants will have a direct connection to the topic or issue through a peer presenter. Sessions with nonprofit co-presenters have a much higher rate of acceptance. In some cases, sessions will be accepted on the condition that a nonprofit co-presenter will be added to the line-up.

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. 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 Friday, March 6, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Preview RFP questions

Submit Your Proposal Now!


If you have questions about submitting a proposal for the 2020 Nonprofit Leadership Conference, please contact Courtney Gerber, MCN program director, at 651-75787 or cgerber@minnesotanonprofits.org. Thank you!