The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) is the largest state association of nonprofits in the United States with over 2,300 members from across Minnesota. With a mission to inform, promote, connect, and strengthen individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector, MCN is committed to building the capacity of nonprofits across Minnesota, and elevating the sector’s influence among policymakers, funders, and the public.
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) was founded in 1987 to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector. The organization accomplishes its mission in five ways: education and professional development, research on nonprofit sector trends and tax and budget issues, public policy, cost savings partnerships, and local, state, and federal advocacy. MCN is dedicated to enhancing and improving cultural humility, intentionally creating inclusive and accessible spaces, and working to end disparities in power, money, access, and resources within the nonprofit sector and in government decision-making at the local, state, and federal levels.
The Public Policy Manager plays an integral role in developing and implementing the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN’s) public policy strategies and objectives, and supporting its members through trainings, events, and communications. The primary goal of MCN’s policy focus is to increase the nonprofit sector’s influence on public policy decisions. As a manager this role also contributes to collaborative problem solving and cross-departmental efforts to advance MCN’s mission and vision.
MCN’s policy staff work as a team to: build and mobilize support for policy initiatives, including through coalitions and alliances; advocate and lobby on issues of importance to the nonprofit sector and the people it serves; conduct research and analysis on critical sector issues; develop and disseminate information to nonprofit organizations, policymakers and the public through written, web-based, and briefing formats; provide training in all dimensions of policy work in order to build the capacity of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector to engage in effective advocacy; and design and implement strategies for increasing civic engagement, including nonpartisan election, census, and redistricting activities. This position is designed to help strengthen and expand MCN’s capacity in public policy capacity building and advocacy.
The right candidate will share MCN’s dedication to enhancing and improving cultural humility, intentionally creating inclusive and accessible spaces, and working to end disparities in power, money, access, and resources within the nonprofit sector and in government decision-making at the local, state, and federal levels.
The specific work of this position is highly varied and requires knowledge of nonprofit sector policy issues and prior experience working in nonprofits, an authentic appetite for engagement of MCN’s membership, and the ability to partner as well as convey MCN’s knowledge and views with a wide range of stakeholders through training, public speaking, and collaborative efforts.
For strongest consideration, apply by December 6; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Functions and Tasks:
Advocacy & Lobbying (35%)
- Represent MCN at the state, federal, and local levels as needed with primary focus on the Minnesota State Capitol.
- Manage some public policy issues and support the Public Policy Director on others: meet with legislators, advance bills, participate in coalitions, represent MCN’s positions with media, follow issues of relevance to nonprofit organizations, and contribute to policy strategy development.
- Using an equity lens, awareness of the political landscape, and other input, help develop the department’s workplan and the agency’s public policy agenda.
- Serve as MCN’s primary liaison with Minnesota’s Congressional offices.
- Help determine who are key stakeholders. Clearly articulate the department's and MCN's work to those stakeholders. Maintain and grow relationships with stakeholders.
- Represent and advocate for Minnesota’s nonprofit sector with national nonprofit advocacy organizations.
- Act as a subject matter expert and resource for media, nonprofit colleagues, and other constituencies.
- Report MCN’s lobbying activity to the MN Campaign Finance Board.
Policy Communications (15%)
- In partnership with the communications team and using strong policy research and analysis, develop creative and engaging material: policy updates, legislative one-pagers, and action alerts.
- Provide social media and mass email content on policy issues or actions to the communications team for MCN communications.
- Contribute to strategic thinking about new ways of reaching MCN’s membership to advance advocacy, and innovative and effective ways to engage nonprofits in public policy.
- Maintain regular communication with nonprofits interested in public policy by sharing information in MCN’s Nonprofit Advocate email.
- Advance MCN’s policy agenda as a skilled communicator through effective engagement with the media, members of the public, elected officials, and other key audiences.
Member Support and Trainings (25%)
- In partnership with MCN’s program team, develop annual events work plan, calendar, and budget for public policy programming.
- In partnership with MCN’s program team, design and implement training programs to build and sustain nonprofit capacity and commitment to policy advocacy, on topics such as policy planning, issue development, advocacy, message development, and media advocacy.
- Develop strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to assess nonprofits’ interests and needs. Use this information to prioritize, plan, and develop high quality programs that are responsive and mission critical.
- Design and oversee management of workshops and conferences from start to finish with support and collaboration of the program team.
- Engage MCN members in public policy action opportunities and civic engagement.
- Convene the MCN Public Policy Cabinet, a group of over 60 nonprofit leaders who are active in policy work.
- Investigate and adapt suitable alternative teaching formats, learning formats, and ways to disseminate and exchange information to ensure our programming are accessible to different learning styles and needs.
Civic Engagement (10%)
- Design and implement strategies for increasing civic engagement, including nonpartisan election, census, and redistricting activities.
- May include overseeing large projects.
- Primarily responsible for determining when interns are needed, hiring, and supervising interns.
- If Public Policy Department grows in size, supervise, guide workload, and monitor performance including performance reviews and assessments of the Public Policy Advocate or other positions. Provide guidance, constructive feedback, and supervision to them.
- Know MCN’s personnel policies and practices and effectively implement them with intern(s) and supervisee(s).
- Effectively delegate assignments and projects to intern(s) and supervisee(s).
- Work collaboratively with colleagues at MCN’s Minnesota Budget Project to ensure the success of MCN’s policy initiatives and promote collaboration across the policy teams.
- Attend and participate in Board meetings and relevant committees as needed.
- Participate as a manager in MCN planning, strategy, accountability, and positioning of the nonprofit sector in the community.
- Identify potential funding prospects, meet funders, and support the development of proposals for funding for MCN’s advocacy activities and policy initiatives in partnership with the development team.
- To support the operational stability of the organization and health of individual employees, this position may be cross-trained on key activities of other positions to ensure redundancies are in place and asked to temporarily cover duties in the case of business disruptions.
- Perform other job duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications: Education, Experience and Skills
- Minimum of four (4) years of experience working on a full-time basis (or equivalent) with issue advocacy, direct advocacy, grassroots advocacy, and/or significant understanding of the legislative process. This includes experience working with policymakers, advocates, community members, and/or other constituencies to develop policy goals and strategies to advance public policy goals.
- Demonstrated track record of supporting, developing, and advancing racial equity work with an understanding of how policy issues intersect with racism and economic and social inequality.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including ability to articulate a persuasive policy argument and convey technical information clearly to a range of audiences, particularly non-expert audiences.
- Desire to pursue, develop, and maintain external relationships which benefit the organization and its programs.
- Demonstrated ability to efficiently organize, coordinate, track and complete multiple tasks as well as adjust to changing priorities and to meet deadlines.
- Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.
- Ability to work independently under general supervision.
- Ability to manage own time effectively.
Not sure you meet all requirements? Let us decide! Research shows that members of under-represented groups tend to not apply to jobs when they think they may not meet every qualification, when, in fact, they often do! We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and strongly encourage you to apply.
- BA or BS or equivalent experience in relevant field.
- Previous experience supervising staff or interns.
- Experience working with, participating in, and/or leading coalitions.
- Experience designing and/or leading engaging training or workshops.
- Fundraising experience, particularly applying for and managing grants from government and philanthropy.
- Previous organizational budgeting experience.
- Experience working in the nonprofit sector, whether in advocacy or otherwise.
- Experience with grassroots advocacy.
- Experience working with media, particularly talking with reporters about advocacy issues.
- Knowledge of public policy issues that impact the nonprofit sector.
- Experience mobilizing and energizing diverse groups of people to take action.
- Experience applying an equity lens to policy work.
- Experience creating advocacy materials, such as one-pagers, action alerts, and web content.
- Advocacy experience with a Minnesota nonprofit organization.
- Valid driver’s license, proof of personal automobile insurance, and ability to pass a driving background check.
Compensation: $60,000 - $67,000 per year (starting range)
Benefits: Health and dental insurance, retirement plan (including employer contribution and match), Section 125 (flex) plan, long-term disability, life insurance, sick and safe time, vacation plus personal days and summer hours, paid holidays, paid parenting leave, Employee Assistant Program, position is eligible for federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter at https://jobs.minnesotanonprofits.org/job/public-policy-manager-saint-pau...
Working Conditions/Physical Demands
- Frequent travel to the Minnesota State Capitol and occasionally to other locations in the Twin Cities metro area.
- Requires occasional state and national travel, including overnight and multi-day travel, primarily for conferences and training opportunities.
- Requires frequent verbal communication in the form of public speaking in front of groups.
- Requires occasional extended work hours, particularly during the legislative session.
- Requires frequent use of a telephone, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other applications, speaking in a clear and understandable manner.
- Requires frequent participation in repetitive motion activities including typing on a computer keyboard.
- Frequently requires the ability to work for several hours at a time at a desk and computer monitor.
- Proficiency in basic Microsoft applications including Word and Outlook.
Reports to: Public Policy Director
Classification: Regular, Full-time (40 hours/week), exempt
Hours: MCN’s office hours are 8:30 am through 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Some work schedule flexibility may be explored with this position’s supervisor.
Location: MCN values the importance of place-based roles in developing and sustaining relationships within communities in Minnesota and supporting Minnesota's statewide economy. This position requires the employee to reside in Minnesota and work frequently at MCN’s St. Paul office.
Telework arrangements within Minnesota may be explored with this position’s supervisor and HR. Due to the complexity of varying state labor and tax laws across the United States, work outside of Minnesota is generally not permitted.
Other: The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is recognized as an Employer of National Service with the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply.
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, disability (including those related to pregnancy or childbirth), membership or non-membership in a labor organization, sexual orientation, size, status with regard to public assistance, genetic information or any other characteristic protected under local, state or federal statute, ordinance or regulation.