2023 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference RFP

Propel Nonprofits

Join us as a presenter on topics of finance, human resources, and sustainability and financial leadership!

Propel Nonprofits and The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits  seek dynamic session leaders to present at the 12th annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference.

Proposals can be submitted through the online proposal form at MCN’s website,  which takes about 10 minutes to complete. You don’t need to have a fully fleshed out presentation to submit a proposal. You’re sharing an idea that you will shape into a presentation. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Monday, October 31, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. 

When and where will the conference take place?

2023 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference
Tuesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 30, 2022

Will CPA credits be offered?


Who will attend and what will attendees gain from the conference?

Attendees of the 2023 Nonprofit Finance and Sustainability Conference will be able to:

  • Better understand issues of nonprofit finance including financial compliance, investing, budgeting, audits, internal controls, equity in economic opportunity, and more
  • Better understand issues on nonprofit human resources including staff wellness and work/life balance, recruiting staff, and staff development
  • Better understand themes of nonprofit sustainability including business planning, the “marketization” of nonprofits, entrepreneurship, finding the right revenue mix, nonprofit excellence, community-led models, and the effects of inflation on financials
  • Gain insight into the relationship between finances and nonprofit leadership – from the point of view of the board, executive, senior leadership, and finance director
  • Dive into current work force trends with peer experts
  • Get specific about issues facing various subsectors, such as housing, human services, the arts

Attendees will include around 400 nonprofit leaders including staff, board members, and volunteers. Past conference attendees included:

  • finance / accounting staff
  • executive directors
  • management staff
  • HR directors and staff
  • board members
  • fundraising / development staff

What type of sessions will be included in the conference?

Propel Nonprofits and MCN seek workshops that will focus on a range of skills, knowledge, and models of working that highlight both technical skills (i.e., budgeting, audits, and compliance) and strategic thinking and processes (i.e., team leadership, organizational sustainability, internal controls, oversight, and imaginative change).

For 2023, we will highlight two content tracks: (1) Finance and (2) Human Resources.

We are open to a variety of topics; however, we are especially interested in sessions that address the following:

  • Reserve policies
  • Employee pay and retention any time and in times of inflation
  • Actionable equity steps in budgeting
  • How to talk about finances in a nonprofit to non-finance people (staff, board, etc.)
  • Cooperative/shared expert models (e.g., several small nonprofits come together and hire specific support people – bookkeeper, fundraiser—on a contract basis
  • How to decide when to outsource

We also encourage sessions that engage topics and approaches relevant to and implementable by small nonprofits ($0-$99,999).

Who will be selected as presenters and what benefits will presenters gain?

MCN and Propel seek dynamic presenters from the nonprofit sector and allied organizations and fields who firmly understand nonprofit finance and sustainability. Session presenters must demonstrate a depth of knowledge on the workshop topic. Sessions and presenters should reflect the racial, economic, cultural, age, and geographic diversity of the communities in the state of Minnesota. We are also encouraging proposals from presenters outside the state because of the conference’s virtual format. Sessions that include nonprofit presenters will be given priority.

As an incentive to encourage your broad participation at the full conference, workshop presenters will be registered for the full conference for free (maximum 3 presenters per session). We hope that presenters will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to attend the full conference and to interact with other attendees over the course of the conference. (In limited cases, MCN may register 4 presenters for panels seeking specific viewpoints. Talk with Courtney Gerber, MCN program directory, prior to submitting your proposal if this is your situation.)

What is the best format for presenting at this conference?

To ensure the highest quality sessions for the conference, the planning committee will place priority on session proposals that incorporate modern adult education modes, formats emphasizing participant engagement and interaction, and are accessible. MCN will offer strategy sessions for interested presenters to think through getting the most out of the engagement tools available in a virtual format.

  • Your session should engage attendees so that participants are actively involved in dialogue, discussion, and idea-generation for much of the session – at least half of the total session time.
  • Your session should have no more than three presenters (including any moderator).
  • PowerPoint slides filled with words should be kept to a minimum. Consider using pictures and stories to convey your message.

Is there a stipend for presenting at this conference?

Session speakers may elect to receive a stipend. We will pay individual presenters a stipend of $75, with a limit of $225 per session. This modest stipend is in addition to complimentary admission to the conference for presenters.

How do I submit a proposal?

Submitting a proposal is easy! Simply complete the online proposal form. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Monday, October 31, 2022, 11:59 p.m.

The questions you will answer on the online form:

  1. Session title (8 word maximum)
  2. Session description (150 word maximum)
  3. What content will be covered? Provide three learning objectives participants will walk away with after attending this session.
  4. What level of prior knowledge is required for success in your session? The conference seeks all levels of learning although most accepted sessions will focus on advanced or intermediate levels.
    • General Prior Knowledge: Presenter(s) will provide presentations that would be useful to people of all knowledge and experience levels with the subject matter.
    • Intermediate Prior Knowledge: Presenters will define terms and spend some time providing basic information on the subject, but participants should have some familiarity related to the subject (i.e., lived experience or on-the-job experience).
    • Advanced Prior Knowledge: Participants should have advanced knowledge of/experience with the subject area to get the most out of the session.
  5. What level of participant engagement are you envisioning? (Select 1 or 2 styles of engagement)
    • Small group conversations/activities
    • Individual reflection (Ex. You give people time to self-reflect on an idea and how it impacts their work/life)
    • Whole group discussion (Ex. You/you and co-presenters share and then invite anyone to add their experience to the conversation. This could be done through facilitated conversations, world cafes, or other participatory methods.)
    • Responding to quizzes or polls
    • Formal Presentation – “Lecture-style” presentations featuring one or two presenters. Formal presentations should include ample time for audience questions, discussion, and interaction
    • Panel discussion (Ex. Panelists present their experiences and learnings and then invite anyone to add their experiences to the conversation) .
  6. Tracks: Please identify the track that best matches your session:
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
  7. Session length: What is your preferred length of session? 60 minutes or 75 minutes.
  8. Contact information for main contact person: Please include the full contact information for the session presenter who will be MCN’s main contact during the planning process. This must be one of the session presenters.
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Pronouns (optional)
    • Title
    • Organization or company (if applicable)
    • Tribal Affiliation (if applicable/optional)
    • Race/Ethnicity (optional)
    • Email address
    • City
    • State
    • Phone number
  9. Co-presenter information (Optional): If you have one or two co-presenters, please include their information below. (Please note that 3 total presenters (inclusive of any moderator) may be admitted to the conference with free registration. Any additional presenters will pay the full conference registration fee. We discourage including more than 3 presenters for any session.)
    • First co-presenter’s name, pronouns, title, organization, and email
    • Second co-presenter’s name, pronouns, title, organization, and email
  10. Nonprofit presenter(s): Please tell us if any of the workshop presenters works at a nonprofit. Sessions without nonprofit presenter(s) will have a lower rate of acceptance. Some sessions may be accepted on the condition that a nonprofit co-presenter will be added.

Background information: If any speaker listed above has never presented at any of MCN’s conferences, please include a brief bio highlighting their experience presenting on this topic.


If you have questions about submitting a proposal for the 2023 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference, please contact Courtney Gerber, MCN program director, at 651-757-3087 or cgerber@minnesotanonprofits.org. Thank you!

Staff Author

Propel Nonprofits