bushCONNECT Partners

bushCONNECT (bushCON) is a leadership networking event that builds stronger and more meaningful connections among leaders in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

bushCON will be held at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on Monday, October 1, 2018. This full day of events brings together nearly 1,200 people from across our region for a day of inspiring talks, engaging small-group sessions, conversations with community leaders and interactive networking experiences. The goal? To inspire, equip and connect leaders for success.

In order to create the best bushCON yet, we need a diverse network of recruitment and programming partners.

The deadline for partner applications was November 2. We will notify applicants of selection beginning on December 18. Thanks to all who applied! 


Recruitment Partners 

Organizations connected to leadership networks that reflect the region’s diverse sectors, geographies and cultures. Recruitment partners receive funds to promote bushCON to leaders who might not otherwise know about the event. Each partner is expected to successfully recruit, register and engage 15 to 25 people. Funds may be used to cover staff time, travel expenses, promotional materials and/or cohort networking events before or after bushCON.

Programming Partners

Organizations that know how to produce engaging event programming that inspires, equips and connects people to more effectively lead change in their communities. bushCON programming partners receive funds to develop content for and host their proposed sessions. These funds may be used to cover staff time, speaker fees and travel expenses, and/or session materials, etc.


Organizations that are LLCs, 501(c)(3) public charities and government entities (including schools) are eligible to be either a bushCON recruitment or programming partner. Groups of organizations (such as coalitions or collaboratives) are also eligible to apply, but only one organization may receive the grant or contract.

Partner organizations must be from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

The Foundation accepts applications from fiscal sponsors. The fiscal sponsor organization must submit the grant application and, if the grant is approved, becomes the grantee and receives the funds. The Foundation fiscal sponsorship overview provides additional information. 


Recruitment partners must demonstrate:

  • Ability to recruit, register and support a diverse cohort of 15 to 25 leaders to attend bushCON. We are particularly interested in connecting with more people of color and more people who work in business and in the public sector.
  • Willingness to meaningfully engage their cohort before, during and after bushCON.
  • How their cohort will benefit from bushCON and how bushCON will benefit from their cohort.

Programming partners must demonstrate:

  • How their proposed bushCON session will inspire, equip and connect people to lead change in their communities. This year, we are specifically interested in including sessions that address how to work across differences.
  • The ability to engage session attendees in conversation and/or participation.
  • The ability to recruit diverse and expert session presenters.

Important dates to know:

  • 11/2/2017 | Partner Application Deadline
  • 12/18-12/22/2017 | bushCON Applicants Notified of Selections
  • February 2018 | Day-Long Partner Meeting (Minneapolis)
  • August 2018 | Day-Long Partner Meeting (Minneapolis)
  • 9/30/2018 | bushCON 2018 Welcome Reception (Minneapolis)
  • 10/1/2018 |  bushCON 2018! (Minneapolis)

We hope to build a supportive relationship with and among our bushCON partners.

Partners can expect:

  • The opportunity to co-create an amazing and meaningful event experience for leaders across the region.
  • The opportunity to network and shape this event with a broad array of colleagues in the area.
  • Templates, timelines and training to support your work on this event. 
  • A team of dedicated event professionals that will respond to your requests and questions in a timely manner.

We expect partners to:

  • Attend two full-day bushCON partner meetings — one in February and one likely in August — at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. These in-person meetings will serve as a connection point for partners to get to know one another, increase their understanding of the event, offer input on the event, collaborate with one another and build valuable skills. We want all partners to be active participants in the collaborative process of co-creating bushCON, both offering and being open to feedback from other partners.
  • Participate in monthly check-in calls with the bushCON team and connect online as necessary with other partners in order to share ideas and updates across projects, communicate about key details and learn the latest developments.
  • Appoint a staff person from your organization as your primary point of contact for bushCON.

    • For recruitment partners, this person will be responsible for managing cohort outreach and communication, registration, travel arrangements, etc.
    • For programming partners, this person will be responsible for providing all session information and coordinating development of session content.
  • Meet set deadlines and respond to inquiries from the bushCON team in a timely manner.
  • Act as a bushCON ambassador.

The deadline for partner applications was November 2 at noon Central.

We use an online application system. We understand this may present a barrier to some applicants, and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate particular needs on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us as soon as possible, but no later than one week before the application deadline, to discuss your specific circumstances. We cannot make accommodations after the application deadline. 


Representatives from the Bush Foundation will review applications and select recruitment partners based on eligibility and criteria.

Representatives from the Bush Foundation, along with a few external stakeholders, will review applications and select programming partners based on eligibility and criteria. 


For more information, or to talk with someone on the bushCON team, call 651-379-2247 or email bushCON@bushfoundation.org.