Thursday, October 12

11 A.M.

Registration, Beverages and Exhibitor Showcase


11:30 A.M. - 12 P.M.

+ Optional Networking Lunch: Nonprofit Shop Talk

Every nonprofit activity area has its own lingo. And sometimes it feels good to talk with other folks who understand you. Join your peers in a setting where you can use your favorite jargon and nonprofit slang. During this optional networking lunch, tables will be divided by nonprofit activity area, so you may spend time getting to know other folks doing similar work. Whether the arts, education, social services, environment, health or other areas – come talk shop.

For the last few years, you’ve been asking MCN to offer lunch at the start of our Annual Conference. We heard you. This year, we’re making lunch an optional “add on” to the conference. Buy a box lunch via the conference registration process or eat lunch ahead of time and just come to network. Either way, we hope you’ll spend a few minutes talking shop before the opening keynote. If you bought a box lunch when you registered, stop at the registration table to get your nametag and ticket. Then, anytime from 11 – 11:30 a.m., bring your lunch ticket to the table inside the ballroom to pick up your box lunch. Meals must be purchased ahead of time.

Lunch will take place in the same ballroom where the afternoon keynote takes place. So, if you join for lunch, you can get cozy and prepare for the full afternoon of activities!

12:15 - 1:45 P.M.

+ Thursday Afternoon Keynote & Awards Ceremony

The National Nonprofit Landscape

Join this session as Jeff Moore, Rebecca Lucero and Jon Pratt offer a national perspective on the current trends, challenges and opportunities for the nonprofit sector. They will share insights how leaders should be preparing for the future of the sector, including what possible public policy battles lay ahead. Join them in discussing the role of nonprofits in American life and how we can work to strengthen the sector by moving forward together.

Learn more

Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards

Also during this time, MCN and The McKnight Foundation will present the 2017 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. Learn more


1:45 - 2:15 p.m.

Coffee Break


2:15 - 3:30 p.m.

+ Breakout Sessions: Round I

Communicating Across Differences: Impact of Implicit Bias Track: Diversity and Inclusion

Let's Have Fun Reading Financial Statements! Track: Finance, Operations and HR

Meet Your Development Team – Your Board! Track: Fundraising

Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick and Safe Leave Ordinances Track: Finance, Operations and HR

Proving Value: Show & Tell Your Organization's Impact Track: Marketing, Communications or Technology

So, What's Your Story? Track: Marketing, Communications or Technology

Successful Leadership Transitions: Which Strategy for Your Organization? Track: Leadership and Governance

Tackle Diversity Engagement With Participatory Evaluation Practices Track: Evaluation or Programming

 3:45 - 5 p.m.

5 - 6 p.m.

Social Hour

Join us for hors d'oeuvres and networking.

Friday, October 13

7:30 a.m.

Registration, Light Breakfast and Exhibitor Showcase


8 - 9 a.m.

+ Breakout Sessions: Round III

Building Organizational Capacity for Great Impact Track: Leadership and Governance

Enhance Your Team Performance Track: Leadership and Governance

Financial Wellness for Nonprofit Employees Track: Finance, Operations and HR

Insights on Scale and Access from the Smallest Museum in St Paul Track: Innovation

Unmasking Your Stories: Art, Advocacy and Awareness Track: Marketing, Communications or Technology

Using Stories to Evaluate Your Work Track: Evaluation or Programming

Winning Grants in Uncertain Times Track: Fundraising

9:15 - 10:30 a.m

+ Friday Morning Keynote: Evolution of Leadership: Stories of Joy, Optimism and Hope

Armando Camacho, C.E.O., Opportunity Partners; PH Copeland, Equity Organizer, American Heart Association; Tracy Fischman, Executive Director, Prepare + Prosper; and Don Ness, Executive Director, Ordean Foundation

Throughout our lives, our leadership opportunities ebb and flow. Whether through positional authority, social connectedness or moral grounding, each of us has opportunities to lead in our own ways. During our Friday morning keynote, we've invited 3 nonprofit leaders to talk about their own leadership experiences. We've asked them to present a TED-style talk about how their leadership has evolved over time and how their thinking has changed. Each speaker will highlight an emotion or attitude that has buoyed or challenged their leadership over time. Join us to reflect on their learnings, to consider your own experience, and to share ideas about the evolution of leadership.

Learn more

10:30 - 11 a.m.

Coffee Break and Exhibitor Showcase


11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m

+ Breakout Sessions: Round IV

Creating an Authentic Workplace Culture: A 10-Step Program Track: Finance, Operations and HR

Data Literacy for Leaders Track: Evaluation or Programming

A Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead Track: Finance, Operations or HR

How to Create Shareable Content Track: Marketing, Communications or Technology

Identity and Professional Development: Supporting Early-Career Professionals of Color Track: Diversity and Inclusion

Managing Leadership Transitions in a Changing Landscape Track: Leadership and Governance

Nonprofits and Federal Policy Track: Public Policy

Open Space Facilitation: Share Your Ideas and Questions! Track: Innovation

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Managing Collaboration Risks Track: Leadership and Governance

12:30 - 2 p.m.

Nonprofit Awards Luncheon


2 - 2:30 p.m.

Dessert Bar and Exhibitor Showcase


2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

+ Breakout Sessions: Round V

Building Community Capacity With Action Teams Track: Innovation

How Does Measurement Fuel a Movement? An Interactive Discussion on Social Justice, Equity and Evaluation Track: Evaluation or Programming

Nonprofit Responses to a Changing Federal Landscape Track: Public Policy

Rebranding on a Budget Track: Marketing, Communications or Technology

Refreshing Your Workplace Track: Finance, Operations and HR

So You Want to Be An Executive Director? Track: Leadership and Governance

Take the Next Step Towards Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Track: Diversity and Inclusion

What's The Big Deal? Talking Mergers Track: Finance, Operations and HR

3:30 P.m.

Thank You for Joining

Take a grab bag of snacks as you depart. Feel refreshed. Commit to doing good work.

2017 Sponsors:

Diamond Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


"I am exhausted by the end of two days and yet I leave the conference energized and looking forward to the next conference. Big smiles!"

—2013 MCN Annual Conference attendee