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

Absentee ballot deadline imposed by U.S. Appeals Court

October 30, 2020

On October 29, the U.S. 8th Circuit Appeals Court reversed the consent decree of the Ramsey County Court which established the extension (postmarked by 11/3; received by 11/10) for returning an absentee ballot by mail.

In short: Ballots must now be returned to the county elections office by Tuesday, November 3. Prior to the ruling ballots would be accepted after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by November 3 – that is no longer the case.

It is incredibly important that everyone hear of this change and know their options if they have mailed back their absentee ballot or are planning to do so.  Below is information from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, please share widely!

NOTE: The system will not allow a voter to vote twice. When voting early in person, the site will confirm the voter is eligible to vote early (has not turned in a ballot already), and at the polling place, the roster will reflect if the voter has had an absentee ballot accepted already. For absentee ballots received on Election Day, the county will contact the polling place to confirm that the voter has not voted in person, accept the absentee ballot, and instruct the roster judge to mark an 'AB' next to the voter’s name (or update the E-Poll Book).

  • If a voter has their absentee ballot, which was mailed to them or had been previously picked up, ADVISE THEY DO NOT MAIL THE ABSENTEE BALLOT BACK. There is no way to guarantee that the mailed absentee ballot will arrive by 11/3. Assuming that the voter is eligible to use the location, any absentee ballot may be returned at a drop box, early voting location, or county Elections Office. Again, make sure the voter is eligible to use that location. County Elections Offices are open for drop-offs for all residents of the county: (This list was updated with additional sites and drop-off locations on Tuesday, 10/27.)
  • Minnesota law allows a person to drop off up to three ballots for others during an election (not per trip or per day) in person, but not using a drop box (unless the drop box has someone there to track users). The person dropping off ballots will need to show identification and identify whose ballots they are turning in.

This is an abrupt and consequential change. Please do what you can to ensure your communities have this new information so that all votes can be counted

2021 Session Lineup

Join us as we share in the opportunity to connect with lawmakers at the beginning of the legislative session.

2021 Greater Minnesota Session Lineup

Join us as we share in the opportunity to connect with lawmakers at the beginning of the legislative session.


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.