MCN to begin search for successor for founding executive director, Jon Pratt, in 2021

Jon Pratt collage

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), the nation’s largest state associations of nonprofits, announced today that it will be commencing a search for a successor to the organization’s founding and current executive director, Jon Pratt, who will be transitioning into retirement in 2021. Pratt will continue to lead the organization as its executive director while the search is underway in the first half 2021, eventually moving into a new senior research fellow role within the organization.

“As MCN’s founding leader, Jon Pratt has built MCN into a reliable advocate and resource to ‘keep the world safe for nonprofits,’” said Cameron Kruger, incoming chair of the MCN board of directors and president/CEO of the Duluth Children’s Museum. “We are proud that Minnesota’s nonprofit sector is recognized as near the top of almost every U.S. measure of charitable activity and community engagement, and MCN and Jon have been an important contributors to this development.”

A nationally respected nonprofit leader, Pratt has served as MCN’s executive director since 1987, when the organization was founded to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector. In the three-plus decades since, MCN has hosted over 2,000 education and networking offerings statewide; launched an association health plan for nonprofit employers; created one of the nation’s largest nonprofit-specific job boards; opened six regional offices in Greater Minnesota, and advocated on behalf of nonprofits and a more equitable state through key state and federal policy issues, including:

  • serving as the largest employer group to support raise of Minnesota’s minimum wage;
  • working with the legislature to make Minnesota one of only two states to adopt a non-itemizer charitable tax deduction; and
  • advocating, through MCN’s Minnesota Budget Project, for expansion of the state’s working family tax credit, which boosts incomes of lower-income workers and families by about $280 million annually

“I have been honored to work alongside an amazing set of Minnesota organizations and their leaders, from arts and human services to environmental and neighborhood groups.” Pratt said. “One lesson of 2020 is that the world needs more of what nonprofits do, often under difficult conditions. Minnesota’s nonprofits can be seen continually responding to community interest and need, and I am grateful to have witnessed this evolution since MCN’s first member joined 33 years ago.”

MCN’s board of directors is naming a special selection committee to oversee the new executive director search process, led by former board chair Kenza Hadj-Moussa, director of public affairs and communications at TakeAction Minnesota, and will be retaining an executive recruitment firm to conduct the search.

“We are so grateful for Jon’s service that has supported the mission of thousands of nonprofit organizations across Minnesota,” said Hadj-Moussa. “We look forward to celebrating Jon’s mile-long record of contributions to the nonprofit sector and welcoming the next visionary leader of MCN.”

Prior to MCN, Pratt worked at Minnesota Public Interest Research Group as an attorney and lobbyist, regional director at the Youth Project, director for the Philanthropy Project, and campaign manager for Paul Wellstone’s candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor in 1982. He is the author/co-author of six books and dozens of articles and research reports, and he has consulted with nongovernmental organizations on the development of NGO associations and services in Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Turkey. Pratt has a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University.