Thur., October 24

9 - 11:45 A.M.

Pre-Conference Training Session: Beyond Inclusion

Conference attendees are welcome to join this deep-dive workshop with keynote speaker, Dr. Leticia Nieto. In this training, Leticia shows how to apply her three-part Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment model. Using image-work and experiential, embodied activities, she unpacks scenarios to give practical understanding of how to work in developmentally attuned ways. The approach is focused on skills sets and gives attention to practicing interventions at the intrapsychic, interpersonal, social, systemic, intergenerational, and historical levels of oppression.

Through this optional training, attendees will explore the dynamics of oppression and privilege, and enhance the skills that can promote social justice for ourselves, our organizations, and our communities.

This session is not included in the full conference registration and requires a separate registration of $50 which includes a box lunch. To register, start your full conference registration and select the add-on box for the Pre-Conference Session before making payment.

12 - 12:30 p.m.

Registration, Beverages, and Exhibitor Showcase

For lunch options before the conference, check out these local restaurants.


12:30 - 1:30 P.M.

+ Breakout Sessions: Round I

Nonprofits as Advocates - Track: Advocacy and Public Policy

Attracting Six and Seven Figure Campaign Gifts - Track: Fundraising

Before Conflict Strikes: Setting Norms for Boards - Track: Leadership and Governance

Building a Realistic Development Plan for Your Organization - Track: Fundraising

Integrating Arts into Nonprofit Work: One Nonprofit’s Experience - Track: Evaluation or Programming

Organizations at Work: Intersectionality, Fit, and Equitable Workplaces - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

Pay Decisions: The Good, the Bad, and the Costly - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Prepare for Takeoff: Building your Leadership Resilience Capability - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Stakeholder Marketing for Nonprofits - Track: Marketing and Communications

See full descriptions here.


1:30 - 2 p.M.

Exhibitor Showcase and Snack Break

Learn about products and services offered by nonprofit allies in the Exhibitor Showcase. And visit the Maker’s Space to tap your creative brain through the creation of an individual artwork or a community art project.


2 - 3:30 P.M.

Thursday Keynote Session: Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment

And, the Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards

Learn more about the keynote and the awards ceremony.


3:45 - 5 p.M.

+ Breakout Sessions and City Tours: Round II

Another World Is Possible: Revolutionizing Fundraising and Grantmaking

Cutting Edge Strategies for Engaging Volunteers to Meet Mission - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

Destination Medical Center Walking Tour - Track: Leadership and Governance

Don’t Die on Your Way Home: The Importance of Legacy and Transitional Planning - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Implicit Bias: The Big Trust Buster - Track: Leadership and Governance

Mobilizing for the 2020 Census: A Menu of Action Options - Track: Advocacy and Public Policy

Policies & Practices for Nonprofit Success - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Understanding the Threats from Organized Hate - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

Walking Art Tour of Downtown Rochester - Track: Evaluation or Programming

When Systems Stagnate: The Minnesota-Nice Paradox - Track: Leadership and Governance

See full descriptions here.


5 - 6 P.M.

Social Hour

Join us for hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, networking, and music. After socializing, groups will head out for dinner on-your-own around Rochester.

Fri., October 25

7:15 a.m.

Registration, Beverages, and Exhibitor Showcase

8 - 9 A.m.

+ Breakout Sessions: Round III

21st Century Staffing: Finding and Keeping the BEST Employees - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

Advocating for Your Nonprofit’s Mission: Advanced Discussion - Track: Advocacy and Public Policy

Beyond Geographic Difference: Rural Excellence in Action - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

Effective Grant Applications: A Conversation with Funders - Track: Fundraising

Elevating Your Interviews to Hire the Best - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Google Ads, Grants, and the Importance of “Conversion” - Track: Marketing and Communications

Mindful Leadership: Cultivating an Environment of Present Moment Awareness - Track: Leadership and Governance

Nonprofits Creating Social Entrepreneurships: Lessons Learned - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Reinvigorate your Evaluation: 15+ Free or Low-cost Tools - Track: Evaluation or Programming

See full descriptions here.

9 - 9:30 A.M.

Continental Breakfast and Exhibitor Showcase

Grab a light breakfast while visiting the Exhibitor Showcase. Or tap your creative brain at the Maker’s Space.


9:30 - 10:45 A.m.

Keynote Presentation: Challenge to Change

Learn more


11 a.m - 12 P.m.

Breakout Sessions, Round IV: Peer Action Conversations

During this round of sessions, conference participants will engage in a peer-to-peer conversation of a topic of your choosing. Facilitators will guide the groups of peers to engage in conversation - starting with inquiry / reflection and ending with interpretation / action planning. Registered attendees will help select topics of conversation by voting throughout the summer months.

Learn more here.


12 - 1:30 P.m.

Nonprofit Mission Awards Ceremony and Luncheon

Learn about the awards ceremony.


1:30 - 2 P.m.

Dessert Break and Exhibitor Showcase

Visit with peers while enjoying a sweet treat. Finish an art project at this year’s Maker’s Space. Or, make one final loop and learn from vendors in the Exhibitor Showcase.


2 - 3 p.m

+ Breakout Sessions: Round V

Big Ideas, Big Campaign, Big Transformation - Track: Fundraising

Diving in to the Nuances of Specific Populations - Track: Evaluation or Programming

Enacting Change From Every Spot on the Org Chart - Track: Leadership and Governance

Express Yourself! Wait, Not Like That - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

Help! My Fundraising Event Isn't Working - Track: Fundraising

The Emotional Bind of Compassionate Care - Track: Equity and Community Engagement

The Twelve Golden Rules of Nonprofit Finance - Track: Finance, Operations, and HR

Transparency in Crisis – and Non-crisis – Communications - Track: Marketing and Communications

See full descriptions here.


3 p.m.

Adjourn: Inspired and Exhausted

Grab a snack bag as you prepare to depart for your drive home. After two days of learning and networking, we hope you’ll have lots of new ideas to contemplate, new connections to build, and new energy to dedicate to your nonprofit’s mission.



"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!"

—Recent MCN Annual Conference attendee


Keynote Sessions

Thursday Afternoon: Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment


2 - 3:30 P.M.

Join MCN as we dig into the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion through the lens of social change. Keynote speaker, Dr. Leticia Nieto, shares an overview of her Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment system for unpacking everyday incidents of oppression, from microaggressions to systemic and historical dynamics. With an energizing, and personal style, she shows how these tools can be used to assess incidents, plan interventions, and increase skills for change. Throughout, she draws on perspectives from human development and psychodrama theory, as well as narrative-based, and trauma-informed work. Learn more about Leticia’s approach for understanding oppression and compassion.

Through the keynote presentation and the (optional) pre-conference workshop, Leticia explores the concepts of oppression and privilege, and shows us how to develop the skills that can promote social justice for ourselves, our organizations, and our communities.

Leticia Nieto, has been an active poet, dramatist, and performer since 1978. She has been a psychotherapist and trainer in anti-oppression and expressive techniques including psychodrama, playback theatre, and theatre of the oppressed since 1980. For her work in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology Program at Saint Martin’s University, Leticia was named Outstanding Faculty of the Year in 2005. She is also a member of the faculty of the European School of Classical Psychodrama in Mexico. Leticia holds a doctor of psychology degree and is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Friday Morning: Challenge to Change


9:30 - 10:45 A.M.

What is the change you are facing? How are you preparing to make it true? Each one of us - no matter our place of positional authority or privilege - faces a personal change imperative. What will it take to define your change? What’s the first step? Who are your allies and mentors? What are the challenges?

Join this session to engage in conversation with Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor, Peggy Flanagan, as she talks about her own successes and challenges to impact change through her experiences of building coalitions and advocating for children and families. During the conversation we will talk with the Lt. Governor and hear from other Minnesota leaders who have faced a change with grace and conviction. And share your own change story.

Peggy Flanagan is Minnesota’s 50th Lieutenant Governor. The principle of her career is giving back, particularly to children, families, communities of color, American Indians, and low-income and working people. As a former Minnesota State Representative and community organizer, she brings rich community experiences to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, while working in close partnership with Governor Tim Walz to build One Minnesota. She is proud to be a graduate of St. Louis Park Public Schools and the University of Minnesota. An experienced nonprofit leader, Peggy previously worked at Wellstone Action and served as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. She is citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe and lives in St. Louis Park.



Thursday Awards Ceremony:

Unsung Hero Awards

Friday Awards Ceremony:

Nonprofit Mission Awards



2019 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards Ceremony & Keynote Session

Thursday, October 24, 2 - 3:30 P.m.

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is pleased to announce the fifth annual Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards, taking place before our Thursday afternoon Keynote Session. In partnership with The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation seeking to improve the quality of life for present and future generations, four Minnesotans, two from the Twin Cities metro and two from Greater Minnesota, will each receive $10,000 in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the state of Minnesota and its communities.

2019 Awards Logo.jpg

2019 Nonprofit Mission Awards Ceremony and Luncheon

Friday, October 25, 12 - 1:30 p.m.

While you get to know your nonprofit and grantmaking colleagues over lunch, you will be treated to the presentation of the Nonprofit Mission Awards, presented by MCN. These awards emphasize the importance of nonprofits to the quality of life in Minnesota by recognizing achievements that make a significant impact in the categories of:

    - Innovation
    - Advocacy 
    - Anti-Racism Initiative
    - Responsive Philanthropy

Each recipient will receive the honor and distinction of being recognized as a leader among Minnesota's nonprofits, a professionally produced video production capturing the organization's work, a one-of-a-kind art glass award, hand blown by Minnesota Glass Artist Robinson Scott, a feature profile of your organization in MCN's Nonprofit News, and a cash award (for all recipients except for Responsive Philanthropy recipient)

To learn more about the Mission Awards and to view videos of previous honorees, visit the Minnesota Nonprofit Awards website.