Board Opportunities

Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON)


Launched with a $60,000 grant from Northway Community Trust, the Northside Economic Opportunity Network was intended the best offerings of a network of organizations to build and support Northside Minneapolis businesses by lower-income Northside residents. NEON almost immediately tripled the volume of training and business lending activity focused on the Northside upon its inception. For three years, the organization maintained a collaborative structure among partner organizations, sharing responsibility for financial management and operations, and adding new partners along the way and continuing to deliver training, facilitate financing, and support new business development. Northway Community Trust served as fiscal agent until 2009 when the organization incorporated and became an independent nonprofit organization. Some of the early collaborators are still involved as “Network Partners” within NEON, and the network continues to expand to better serve Northside residents and businesses.

Strategic Priorities: 2020-2022 Plan

Goal 1: Make strategic investments in North Minneapolis to strengthen the community

  • Invest in commercial real estate to provide opportunities for our clients
  • Intentionally purchase from, financially support and contribute to our clients’ economic development
  • Pursue the purchase of the current building

Goal 2: Support the middle life-cycle of our clients as they move beyond start-up and become independent

  • Provide more technical assistance and “wrap around” services (i.e., human resources, marketing, technology)
  • Increase strategic partnerships to meet client needs
  • Create leadership development opportunities for clients

Goal 3: Strengthen and raise the visibility of NEON and its clients

  • Tell the success stories
  • Develop and implement a marketing and communications plan
  • Leverage NEON’s reputation and “relational capital” to influence decision-makers

Goal 4:  Become a “center of excellence” for other communities to learn and replicate the economic development and social entrepreneur systems in their communities

  • Ensure sustainable operations through staff, board and volunteer development, fundraising, and revenue diversification
  • Invest in technology systems
  • Develop infrastructure, including culturally-competent process “tool kits” and preservation of institutional knowledge

Annual budget: $1.2 million – Earned Income, Foundations, Individual Contributions, Government Grants or Contracts


NEON is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:

  • Board Governance
  • Facilities and Real Estate
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing and Communications


  • Number of members currently: 10
  • Meeting time and frequency:  12 meetings annually
  • Meeting location: Minneapolis


  • Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
  • Financial Contribution Required: Yes, at a level meaningful to the board member.
  • Service on Committee Required: No
  • Length of Term: 3 Years
  • Renewable: Yes
  • Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? Yes

Questions about this board opportunity?



1007 W. Broadway Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55411


The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) builds wealth for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis and surrounding communities.