With the resumption of my consulting practice, I am enjoying working on a diverse portfolio of projects in communications, policy work, project management, writing, research, strategic planning, producing convenings and fundraising. Here are a few:
New York Community Trust Census Equity Fund. The New York State Census Equity Fund was established in 2018 to ensure coverage of the State’s hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census and is making grants to support complete census count efforts in neighborhoods, towns, rural and isolated areas across the State with large populations of low-income people, people of color, immigrants, non-English speaking individuals, migrant workers, ex-offenders, children under five, older adults, people with disabilities, the homeless, and other groups that are at risk of being undercounted. I am supporting the core group of funders leading this multi-year initiative, providing strategy and planning assistance, communications, programming development and coordination of grantee trainings.
J.M. Kaplan Fund Innovation Prize. The JMKIP was launched in 2015 and had its second cycle in 2017. In previous years, it allocated its communications resources primarily on announcing the prize. In 2019, J.M. Kaplan Fund engaged me to advise on disseminating information about the prize to previously low-application states in order to hear more innovative ideas from every corner of the nation. I helped develop a comprehensive dissemination plan; wrote articles and placed them in key publications; researched and conducted outreach to connector organizations in targeted states; and provided counsel to potential applicants in more than a dozen states.
Support Center for Nonprofits. The Support Center engaged me to work with them in the lead-up to a crucial convening of a subset of its clients in January 2019, attend the convening and write and design a report examining six main issue areas. The report, “Stronger Together: A Discussion of Nonprofit Capacity & Our Collective Needs,” examines issues such as program measurement, governance, financial management, fundraising, diversity, equity and inclusion work and leadership development through the lens of current bright spots, existing resources, major challenges and the main things nonprofit leaders feel they need to improve those factors for their own organizations.
Inside Philanthropy. I have produced several profile pieces on leading foundations for Inside Philanthropy’s daily news publication, including one looking at Brooklyn Community Foundation as a model for racial equity work. I am currently working on a long-range writing series for Inside Philanthropy called the “Pass the Mic Project” examining white privilege in philanthropy, with the starting point presenting a general framework for conscientious people working in philanthropy in a variety of roles, and then in later pieces delving into the core questions people in roles such as donor, CEO, program director and HR director should be asking themselves as they reconsider the most effective ways to accomplish their work, share power and increase racial equity in their organizations and across society.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation. This labor of love is a new public charity founded by a dozen leaders in the restaurant industry. I have worked with them over the past two years to obtain their 501(c)(3) status; establish its organizational structure and board committees; flesh out programmatic guidelines; develop communications programming; fundraise; and plan events. RWCF is focused on wage fairness and career ladders; gender equity and sexual violence; racial justice and support for the immigrant community; and mental health and substance abuse in the industry, and is advancing its mission through grantmaking, advocacy and impact investing. RWCF is growing its social media following, has produced three well-received newsletters since its launch in November 2018, and is planning its first major fundraiser for Fall 2019.
Public Agenda. Returning to work with Public Agenda is a wonderful homecoming for me, especially getting to work on exciting new projects like the Yankelovich Democracy Monitor – a new multi-year survey initiative tracking Americans’ evolving views on democracy and how to strengthen it–and helping disseminate its inaugural report “Strengthening Democracy: What Do Americans Think?” For this project, I created a comprehensive communications strategy, and then engaged in writing press releases, advising junior staff on social media strategy, writing opinion pieces for senior advisors on the project and creating a variety of collateral materials from data-focused one-pagers to Instagrammable infographics.