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When:  Dec 3, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (CT)

When & Where

Dec 3, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CT)


Chapter President, Dan Sassenberg, will kick off this session with a brief overview of the state of the Chapter in 2020.

Following Dan's presentation, Jeremy Wells and a panel of three nonprofit advocacy leaders will explore how nonprofit organizations can (and should) be involved in public policy, the differences between advocacy and lobbying, and how the nonprofit sector can do a better job of lifting up our voices and amplifying the voices of those we serve through our public policy work.


Jeremy_Wells.jpgJeremy R. Wells currently serves as senior vice president of Philanthropic Services at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Minnesota’s largest community foundation. In this role, Jeremy serves as the chief fundraising and donor stewardship strategist. He also staffs the Foundation’s board development and governance committees.

Jeremy has spent his entire career working in philanthropy. Prior to his work at the Foundation, he served as the chief development officer at both Augsburg University and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He holds both a master’s degree in philanthropy & development and his CFRE certification. Jeremy is an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas and is a frequently requested speaker and author on a variety of philanthropic topics, including development planning, utilizing volunteers, donor engagement, stewardship, ethics and charitable gift planning.

Rinal Ray is the CEO at People Serving People. She leads a dynamic team in responding to the crisis of family homelessness and works to change systems to prevent the experience of family homelessness in Hennepin County. Rinal is a former deputy public policy director for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits where she advanced the organization’s policy agenda at a state and local level, trained leaders on nonprofit advocacy, and lead special legal projects for the statewide association. Rinal currently serves as a co-chair for the Voices & Choices Coalition for Children and is on the Board of College Possible Minnesota. She teaches Nonprofit Advocacy in the Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at Metropolitan State University.

Jon Severson, director of strategic partnerships & government relations, Science Museum of Minnesota


As the Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund–Minnesota office Bharti Wahi brings 20 years of professional experience as an advocate in the nonprofit world and more than a decade of experience in education. Prior to joining Children’s Defense Fund, Ms. Wahi spent three years with Greater Twin Cities United Way where she oversaw several grant portfolios related to early childhood education, two-generation interventions and literacy. Previously, she led the Children and Family Program for the Minnesota Literacy Council for five years, building the home visiting program and overseeing two early learning centers.

As an active community member Ms. Wahi serves on the Board of Directors of the Hale-Field Schools Foundation and Women Organizing Women. In addition she sits on the McKnight Foundation’s PreK-Third Grade Design Team and is currently serving on the Minnesota Department of Education’s ESSA Accountability Advisory Committee and the Department of Human Services Parent Aware Advisory Council.

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