Traction: 2021 MNA Annual Conference

From the thread of the tread to the uncomfortable but necessary presence of friction, TRACTION is about the foundation we create to carry us forward.

Keynote Speakers

Brian Saber

President of Asking Matters

After a year of reflection, change, and adaptation, it’s easy to feel off balance and in a constant state of reaction. This September, Brian Saber will invite you to reflect on your strengths as a nonprofit leader, board member, fundraiser, program manager, or volunteer to re-center and re-group. This keynote will explore how to move forward with yourself and your team in a way that celebrates authenticity, team dynamics, and the for greater mission impact.

With decades of experience in fundraising, board work, and organizational development, Brian is poised to speak to the unique world of nonprofit impact and team dynamics.

Meico Marquette Whitlock

Founder and CEO of Mindful Techie

Meico is the Founder and CEO of Mindful Techie, an organization that helps purpose-driven organizations and professionals tackle technology distraction, information overload, and work-life balance in a digital world.

The words mindfulness and technology tend to be polar opposites. After a year of video-everything and nonstop messaging to stay connected, many of us both love and loath technology. And mindfulness? Well, that’s often harder to find than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Enter Meico Marquette Whitlock. At this year’s conference, Meico will lead our Wellness Wednesday keynote, providing real world solutions to bridge the gap between the pressures of the modern workplace and the need for personal joy and fulfillment. 

Deepa Iyer

Director of Strategic Initiatives at Building Movement Project

Social Change takes intention, and we all have a role to play. That’s why we are honored to welcome Building Movement Project’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Deepa Iyer, to MNA’s 20th Annual Conference. Deepa will lead us in an exploration of how to strengthen networks and relationships for the good of our missions, communities, and those we serve.

At Building Movement Project, Deepa focuses on developing projects and resources that support nonprofits and individuals engaged in transformative movements. Her work includes creating the social change ecosystem map, and coordinating SolidarityIs, an initiative that fosters multiracial and cross-movement connections.

Deepa has worked at various national and local organizations with a focus on immigrant and racial justice. Her first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future received a 2016 American Book Award and her podcast Solidarity Is This has become a hub to explore solidarity practices around the country. Learn more about Deepa.


Deep Dive 1:

Your Narrative Garden

with Thaler Pekar

This four-part program will provide you with powerful tools for being intentional about the stories and narratives you wish to cultivate.

Deep Dive 2:

Gearing Up to Write Better Grants

with the Dotted i

We all want to write better, more effective, and persuasive grants. This is the class to take your grantwriting to the next level -really!

Deep Dive 3:

Developing Your Evaluation Strategy and Plan

with the Improve Group

In this training, you’ll go beyond basic evaluation concepts to learning how to craft strategic, informed decisions about evaluation for your program or organization.  

Deep Dive 4:

Organizational Approach to Racial Equity

with The Montana Racial Equity Project

Learn how exclusion and inequity present themselves in nonprofits, and how you can begin to build an inclusive organization.

Legal Symposium

In this 3-hour session, a panel of attorneys and public policy experts will discuss legal issues facing Montana nonprofits, and answer (some) of your questions.