Public Policy

We, the nonprofit sector, are a powerful community and voice. One easy and fun way to amplify our impact is through advocacy. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits encourages nonprofits to strengthen their voice in the public policy process—and we’re with you every step of the way, from creating your first advocacy agenda, to training and tips that increase your impact, to keeping you updated on developing issues that may affect your work today.

2020 MCN Policy Agenda

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) informs, promotes, connects, and strengthens individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector at the local, state, and federal levels. MCN’s policy work is grounded in a racial equity lens with a vision of Minnesota being a state where all can thrive, regardless of who they are or where they live.

The nonprofit sector is a steady source of job growth and economic vitality, and an important part of strong, thriving communities. MCN’s public policy team works to support and advance the nonprofit ecosystem, including 328,000 dedicated staff, over 3,200 nonprofit organizations, and the millions of Minnesotans who engage with nonprofits every year. MCN’s Minnesota Budget Project works to expand Minnesota’s prosperity to all Minnesotans through budget, tax, and economic policies. 
2020 MCN Public Policy Agenda image


Policy Updates

Marie Ellis Named Public Policy Director at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits ​

May 16, 2019

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) is pleased to announce Marie Ellis as the organization’s new public policy director, effective June 4, 2019.

In her new role, Marie will work to develop and implement the organization’s advocacy agenda locally and nationally, educate Minnesota nonprofits on key policy issues impacting their organizations and communities, lobby on behalf of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector, and educate nonprofit professionals on a wide array of advocacy issues and skills.

“I quite literally grew up around nonprofits, often spending time at my father's office, where he ran a central Minnesota helpline that assisted callers in finding the right nonprofits to attend to their needs,” Marie said. “Minnesota nonprofits really showcase the best of our great state, and I am so excited to step into this role to support and advance the work of the sector.”

Marie joins MCN following three years as the director of public affairs and general counsel at the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, she has served as public policy manager for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Marie’s experience also includes roles with Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, staff work at the Minnesota State Senate, and legislative advocacy with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in Washington D.C.  A native of St. Cloud, MN, Marie earned a law degree from University of St. Thomas School of Law and a B.A. from Concordia College in Moorhead.

“One of MCN’s top priorities is tracking and weighing in on laws and government actions that affect the nonprofit sector,” said Jon Pratt, MCN executive director. “We’re excited to have Marie join our organization and put her breadth of legislative advocacy and coalition building experience to work for Minnesota’s nonprofits.”

Marie replaces former public policy director, Rebecca Lucero, who was appointed the Commissioner of Human Rights by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in January.

Call with Senator Tina Smith

Listen in on a call with U.S. Senator Tina Smith regarding recent legislation.

Greater Minnesota Virtual Networking: 2020 Census

This virtual networking event is designed for nonprofits in greater Minnesota looking to connect with other organizations about the census.


Policy Events

Advocacy & Public Policy Resources

Nonprofit organizations play a central role in the democratic process by providing a means for individuals to deliberate on public policies and decisions that affect them. To the extent possible, nonprofit organizations should engage constituents in public policy and advocacy activities as a means to fulfilling their missions and promoting community interests. At MCN, we are continuously working to provide the resources and tools you need to engage in effective advocacy and public policy work at your organization.

Legislative Successes and Past Campaigns

Since its founding in 1987, MCN has been recognized for exemplary work at the state legislature and as a source of training on relationships and advocacy between nonprofits and government.  The number and subject matter of MCN’s public policy positions has grown over time. Learn more about some of the campaigns and successes over MCN's history of public policy work.