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.

2021 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. 
2021 Public Policy Agenda image


Policy Updates

MCN denounces insurrection at U.S. Capitol

January 07, 2021

As did the world, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) watched with concern and anguish at yesterday’s violent siege of the U.S. Capitol, a long-standing symbol of this nation’s democratic ideals. We join countless voices across our state and nation in firmly denouncing any and all acts that threaten the core tenets of democracy, including the peaceful transition of power resulting from free and open elections.

U.S. Capitol BuildingAnother vital pillar on which our country was founded exists in the First Amendment right to peaceful assembly to petition government. But what occurred in Washington D.C. yesterday looked, sounded, and felt different, because it was. The acts of aggression flooding the U.S. Capitol and washing across our screens were antithetical to the imperative need to overcome the growing divide, acts of violence, and existing disparities facing our country. 

The response by law enforcement to Wednesday's insurrection stands in stark contrast to many of the experiences of Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color attempting to seek justice. Yesterday was another reminder of how white supremacy is interwoven into our political and social systems, but we stand firm in our commitment that white supremacy should have no place in our democracy.

Nonprofit organizations have a stake in shaping this pivotal moment, as we use freedoms afforded in our democracy every day in pursuit of a healthy, cooperative, and just society. We play a critical role in promoting active community participation, lifting up voices not often heard, and dismantling systemic racism wherever it is found. As builders of community, nonprofits will continue to reimagine a future where we can all thrive together. It is the linchpin of why we exist, our reason for being.

As we fight for our democratic principles, we fight just as valiantly for the rights of each of our neighbors to freely and safely pursue their dreams and voice in America. MCN will continue to engage in this difficult, necessary work with everyone that recognizes the benefits and responsibilities of a democracy.

MCN would like to take this moment to recognize the following nonprofits, each of whom received grants to better engage their communities and nurture participation in our democracy in 2020.

Election Engagement Grantees

Center for Hmong Arts and Talent
Council on American-Islam Relations Minnesota (CAIR Minnesota)
Deaf Equity
Hispanic Outreach of Goodhue County
Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association
Pillsbury United Communities

Census Grantees

Alliance of Chicanos Hispanics and Latin Americans
Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency
Asamblea de Derechos Civiles
Campus Compact
Centro Tyrone Guzman
Community Action of Ramsey and Washington Counties
CAIR Minnesota
Cultural Diversity Resources
Deaf Equity
Hallie Q. Brown
Hispanic Outreach of Goodhue County
Hmong Museum
Intercultural Mutual Assistance Assoc.
Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners
Jordan Area Community Council
Korean Adoptee Ministries
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
Little Earth Residents Association
Living at Home Network
Marshall Area YMCA
Northside Economic Opportunity Network
Organization of Liberians - Minnesota
Our Savior’s Community Services English Learning Center
Pelican Rapids Multicultural Committee
Pillsbury United Communities
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
Prairie Five Community Action Council
Project for Pride and Living
Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota
Rise, Inc
Senior Services Consortium of Ramsey County
Somali Community Resettlement Services
Southeast Asian Diaspora Project
Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota
Women for Political Change
Wright County Community Action

Understanding the State Budget and How it Can Further Racial Equity

Come learn about how state budget and tax decisions are made, how state funding is raised and spent, and how you can be part of setting the state’s budget priorities.


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.