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The Non-Profit Communicator

Advice & information on using communications to achieve your organizational goals

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Pitching Notes

From Daily News Queens Bureau reporter 

Clare Trapasso.


I work in one of the paper's borough sections where we are always looking for informative, quirky and breaking local news stories.


The Daily News prides itself on covering real New Yorkers. We want to hear about your innovative new programs, facilities and residences that are about to be built, unusual events and trends and issues that are developing in the communities that your organization is working with.


We are also always interested in compelling human interest stories, especially of people who overcome overwhelming odds.


But since we are such a large, daily newspaper we pride ourselves on getting the scoop well before our competitors - even before the press release comes out. We rarely cover ribbon cuttings and often aren't interested in writing about projects once the shovels hit the ground.


Giving us an early - and exclusive - heads up as soon as a problem develops, a grant is received or a project is approved, greatly increases the likelihood that it will make the paper.


We simply can't profile every deserving organization, write about each fundraiser or cover each potential annual city, state or federal funding cut. But that doesn't mean we don't want to hear about what's going on with your organization.


Call us or send us a well-crafted (i.e. short and to-the-point) press release about an interesting new project or development, a touching story, or an emerging trend and we can begin to develop a relationship that will, hopefully, lead to a Daily News story.


Email Clare Trapasso at

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Issue: 6 November 2011


It's been a busy fall, but I didn't want to get further into the fundraising event season without offering some suggestions on how nonprofits can better connect with their event attendees.  I've got some tips below.

This time around, I could use your help too.  I'm hiring a full-time communications professional to help me with my growing business.  A short job description is included below. Please forward the information to anyone who might be interested.

In case you are interested, you can see more about my business by clicking here for a client list.

As always, I welcome other questions, and any suggestions and comments. 

Have a great Thanksgiving (it's less than a month away!)


I'm Hiring

I'm seeking a creative and thoughtful communications and public relations professional with three to five years of experience, excellent writing skills, and experience with traditional and social media and promotional and informational communications.


This opportunity will provide broad exposure to New York City nonprofits and a chance to help clients address some of the most pressing public policy issues facing the city.


Salary commensurate with experience.

See the full description here
Please  to anyone who might be interested. 


Make an Impression
Nonprofit organizations spend a lot of time planning their annual event.  

Thought is given to the invite list, the honorees and the funding they can help attract, the food, the flowers, and a hundred other details.  However, when it comes to engaging guests and building support, many nonprofits fall short.

This is a missed opportunity because you have a captive audience, many of whom know little about what you do.  Your event presents a chance to connect with these people and build stronger connections with existing supporters.
Here are some tips on how to make every minute count and better ensure that guests remember your organization long after they have left for the night.

1. Tell a story.  Your organization likely runs many programs, but people never remember lists, so tie it all together with a story about your work.
2.  Help write a script for your cast. Your honorees and presenters might not necessarily have strong ties to your organization, or they might only be familiar with one of your programs, so it's your job to educate them and provide them with suggestions or talking points to get them on message.  Have each person play a role in telling your story.  Honorees (or their staff) are typically thankful for having to do less prep work when accepting an award.
3. Identify your main character.  Every story has one.  Pick a person or two with a great personal story that is tied to your organization.  This can be a staff member, client or participant, volunteer, or anyone who will be able to connect with an audience.  Work with them on a script that aims to move people and tell a powerful story about your organization's impact.

4.  Entertain them and leave them wanting more.  Make your audience laugh, make them cry, wow them, do something to connect with them and have them remember your organization's important work.  And keep it short. The last thing you want is people checking the time and wondering when the event will end.
There are many more things you can do to connect with your audience.  Just put yourself in their shoes and think about what you'd want to hear, see, watch or read.
I wish you all a fruitful fundraising season.

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or email me questions or comments.  

Upcoming Workshops

Interested in hosting?
My communications workshops cover creating effective promotional content, generating media coverage, developing  social networks, and more.  For more information, check out one of my presentations here or email me .