Friday, November 06, 2009

Thoughts from the Minnesota Nonprofit and Foundation Conference

(This is going to be a series of shorter posts)

This conference is a day and a half--jointly put on by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council of Foundations.

Title: Transforming our Work: from Challenging Times to Hopeful Futures (The title seems to follow the standard nonprofit conference model” three words, colon, four to six words.)

Attendance: 1800 nonprofit professionals, foundation staff persons, board members of foundations and nonprofits, and quite a few consultants (like me--looking for projects)


St. Paul River Center convention center. Great layout, Great location. I found reasonably priced parking only a block away (RiverCenter municipal ramp across the street is OVER priced). But, no wifi on conference floor. YOu have to go downstairs to coffee shop to get wifi. What is this, 1990???

General Thoughts:

  • The organizers are allowing a lot of time for networking--that’s what I come to conferences for.
  • First sessions on Friday are at 7:45. AGGG. No private sector conference would start THAT early!
  • There is NO resource room where participants can leave literature for other attendees to pick up (this is usually a great source of material to plagiarize from--opps, I mean learn from.
  • Great networking--meeting a lot of old friends and new people. Ran out of business cards on the Thursday afternoon.
  • Wish there were more people from local foundations and at least some people from national foundations so they could learn a little about the real world of running a nonprofit and dealing with their requirements.
  • Really wish some government funders of nonprofits (e.g. counties that provide funding for human service nonprofits) were here to learn.

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