Sector Research

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits regularly conducts research on nonprofits, sector trends, and culturally-specific nonprofits to provide accurate and timely information about key issues of interest in building healthy, sustainable organizations.

MCN shares this information with nonprofits, policymakers, funders, media, and the general public to help them understand how the current environment has affected the nonprofit sector and actions these organizations have taken.

2023 Current Conditions of Minnesota's Nonprofit Sector Report - Cover

Current Conditions of Minnesota's Nonprofit Sector

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shifting business, labor, and political landscape, Minnesota nonprofits and the broader nonprofit sector experienced dramatic impacts on operations, staffing, and community.

MCN's Current Conditions Reports are a special study analyzing data from the Minnesota Nonprofit CFO Report, MCN's Minnesota Nonprofit Economy Report, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the Internal Revenue Service exempt organizations business master file, and results from the April 9, 2020 Federal Reserve Bank COVID-19 impact survey.

The primary goal of surveying nonprofit leaders is to provide a broader context for organizations to place their individual situation in perspective for decision-making and communications with their boards of directors, supporters, and staff.

2022-2023 Minnesota Nonprofit Economy Report cover

Minnesota Nonprofit Economy Report

The Minnesota Nonprofit Economy Report is an annual study by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) that analyzes public data on nonprofit employers, employment, wages, and finances to describe the role nonprofit organizations play in the state’s economy. MCN also produces the Nonprofit Current Conditions Report, which surveys member organizations to assess financial and programmatic changes being made during the year. Together, these reports provide a unique and detailed look at the health of Minnesota’s
nonprofit sector.

State Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits cover image

State Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits (2022)

Grants create mutually beneficial partnerships between state government and organizations serving communities in every Minnesota county. To address the set of issues involved in the grantmaking process, State Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits seeks to describe the context of grantmaking in the state of Minnesota; identify the current grantmaking process and the role of the Office of Grants Management; look to Feeding Our Future as a counter example to help illustrate weaknesses in the current system, analyze the barriers and issues currently challenging the grantmaking process; and propose grant system reforms and useful further inquiry.

Equity in Minnseota State Grantmaking cover image

Equity in Minnesota State Grantmaking (2021)

The product of a months-long project undertaken by students pursuing their Masters in Public Policy and Public Affairs at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota, the Equity in Minnesota State Grantmaking explores the history of state funding in Minnesota and the context in which this project is situated and illustrates the potential frameworks the state of Minnesota could adopt to increase racial equity in the state grantmaking process.

Private Foundation Grants to DAFs

Private Foundation Grants to DAFs (2020)

Private Foundation Grants to DAFs examines the governing authority and practices of state attorneys general offices as relating to a special problem of charitable trust enforcement: private foundation grantmaking to commercial DAFs. The authors examine the regulatory challenges based on interviews with both current and former attorneys from nine attorney general offices, as well as interviews with commercial DAF sponsors.


Minnesota Nonprofit CFO Report (2018)

Produced through a partnership between Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Propel Nonprofits, the 2018 Minnesota Nonprofit Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Report summarizes key findings from a survey designed to provide an overview of the financial practices, staffing, leadership, and outlook for Minnesota nonprofit organizations.

Native American Nonprofit Economy Report-1

Native American Nonprofit Economy Report (2013)

A joint project of Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the Native American Nonprofit Economy Report is designed to provide an overview of an important part of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector and to identify trends and challenges facing these organizations and the people they serve.

Latino Nonprofit Economy Report-1

Latino Nonprofit Economy Report (2010)

The Latino Nonprofit Economy Report was published in 2010 by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits as an overview of nonprofit organizations that serve the Latino community in Minnesota. The data was collected through a survey that was sent to 120 organizations of all sizes that provide a variety of services around the state.

African Nonprofit Economy Report-1

African Nonprofit Economy Report (2007)

The African Nonprofit Economy Report was published in 2007 to investigate the scope and impact of financially active African-led nonprofit organizations in Minnesota whose primary mission is to serve African immigrants, refugees, and asylees.

Asian Pacific Islander Nonprofit Economy Report-1

Asian Pacific Islander Nonprofit Economy Report (2006)

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, in partnership with the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Minnesota Chapter (AAPIP-MN), published the Asian Pacific Islander Nonprofit Economy Report in 2006 as an overview of nonprofit organizations led by and serving Minnesota's Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. The report highlights the number, size, geographic area served, types of services, and funding sources of API nonprofits.

Nonprofit Capacity Building Report

Nonprofit Capacity Building Report

A collaboration between Texas A&M University and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the Nonprofit Capacity Building Report was created to understand the industry providing support and resources to nonprofit organizations in Minnesota. In line with the two previous reports, the core research purpose was to describe and analyze the quantity and quality of capacity-building services provided to nonprofit organizations within Minnesota.