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

IRS Issues Guidance for Reclaiming Transportation UBIT Payments

January 24, 2020

On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, the IRS issued guidance that will help nonprofits quickly get back taxes paid on the now-repealed tax on nonprofit transportation benefits: How To Claim a Refund or Credit of Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) or adjust Form 990-T for Qualified Transportation Fringe Amounts.

As the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits reported earlier, on December 20, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1865, a package of funding and tax provisions that includes the repeal of a tax on nonprofit employee transportation benefits that was written into federal law in 2017.

Earlier this month, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Neal (D-MA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chair Lewis (D-GA) sent a letter to the IRS Commissioner asking the Service to create an expedited process so nonprofits can quickly secure refunds. The news release stated: “Congress did our part to right this wrong – now it is time for the IRS to provide tax-exempt organizations with the guidance they need to claim and receive the refunds they are due.”

The guidance that came out instructs nonprofits to fill amended Form 990-Ts and write at the top “Amended Return – Section 512(a)(7) Repeal” so IRS officials will know what it is and what to do with it. As is the case whenever dealing with tax forms, it is a bit more complicated than that. But it’s important that the IRS is alerting nonprofits and their own staff to the need for speed on this.

Cup of Joe with Joe: The Minnesota Budget Project

Join Joe Pederson, West Central Regional Coordinator, over coffee during this virtual drop-in office hour.

Redistricting: The Most Interesting Political Issue No One Knows Anything About

Join Xp Lee, Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, and Tom Freeman for a conversation on redistricting - what it is, how it's done, and it's lasting impact.


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.