January 2016
Communications & public relations advice for nonprofits                                                                                                                                                                                                

  Brought to you by your friends at Anat Gerstein, Inc.  

Eight Nonprofit Management Tips 
You'd Be Wise To Consider

In her latest New York Nonprofit Media column, Anat Gerstein gathered seven of her fellow New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards selection committee members to share advice based on the eight areas of nonprofit management identified by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee.

Managing for Results
Laurel Molloy, founder and chief consultant, Innovations Quantified (IQ)
Don't let uncertainty about where to begin or worries about expense and staff time keep you from starting. And don't track more than you can review. Instead, measure only what matters most. Then add more.
Board Governance
Michael Davidson, board coach
Make sure board members visit programs and volunteer when possible. Bring success stories into board meetings. Acknowledge every board member contribution.

Lupita Gonzalez, executive coach, cultural competence, equity, and inclusion specialist
Improve your organization's equity, diversity, and inclusion practices by establishing a committee charged with identifying and resolving structural barriers and policies that perpetuate inequities. Activities could include discussing impacts of proposed plans on different racial/ethnic groups, diversifying your board, and creating an environment where people of color lead conversations about inequities.

Uday Ray, chief financial officer, Leake and Watts Services, Inc.
Focus on narrowing program operating deficits while enhancing operational quality, absorbing growth, and maximizing revenues. Achieve this via a comprehensive business strategy that reflects adequate resources for operating and capital expenditures, debt management, and investment in program operations.
Norman Reiss, senior project manager, Center for Court Innovation
Store backups online and/or at a secure offsite location, and regularly restore. Reserve funding to replace a portion of computers each year. Encourage staff to update their skills through training and participating in professional associations. Create documentation and systems to ease transitions when key personnel leave.
Human Resources
Jen Chau Fontán, senior director of talent, Harlem RBI, DREAM Charter School
If you don't yet engage in regular talent reviews, start now. It helps managers determine next steps for developing their direct reports and helps managers see what high performance and high potential look like.
The team at Cause Effective
Invest as much in "friend raising" as you do in fundraising. Provide even more personal expressions of appreciation to those who are already supporting you. Always thank donors before asking them again.
Anat Gerstein, president, Anat Gerstein, Inc.
Make your content short and punchy. Use infographics, photos, and stats. Make a greater impact through personal stories. Tell your readers what you want them to do in response.

"An outrageous power grab"

"An outrageous power grab by New York's fake ethics watchdog," read this weekend's headline in the New York Post's editorial page about the Joint Commission on Public Ethics' (JCOPE) proposal to require communications professionals to register as lobbyists.

The issue is that JCOPE wants PR consultants to report conversations with members of the press. Here's one take on why that's wrong.

We, along with three other PR firms have written to JCOPE to voice our concerns. You can read more here. And if that's not enough, JCOPE is considering whether tweets, retweets, and other social media activities should be considered lobbying! You can read more about that here.

Pitching Notes: Katie Honan
Reporter, DNAinfo.com

Katie Honan has been a reporter at DNAinfo.com since 2013. A native of Rockaway Park, she specializes in Queens coverage. She previously worked for WNBC-TV as the station's first social media editor. While there, she won two Emmy awards (one local and 
one national) as part of the newsroom's breaking coverage of the shooting at the Empire State Building and Hurricane Sandy. Before going to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to learn her craft, she worked in TV production.
 Her first job was doing a little bit of everything at the "Late Show with David Letterman." 

For those not familiar with DNAinfo.com, what should one know about its format and content?
We cover the neighborhoods in New York City unlike any other site or publication. All of our reporters work in specific areas, which allows us to get things no one else is reporting on, and get it first.

What are the parameters of your beat?
I cover anything in my main neighborhoods - Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and the Rockaway peninsula. It can be real estate, crime, a feel-good story, or education. If it's in a neighborhood outside of my beat, and neither of my colleagues covers it, I can write about that, too. 
Why pursue journalism?
It beats sitting inside an office all day! Also, I still believe journalism can help bring about positive change. And I love meeting new people every day. 
Of the stories you've written, which are your favorite?
I love breaking news, and have been proud of being the first to announce Mayor Bill de Blasio's planned five-borough ferry program and the MRSA outbreak at the FDNY Academy. I also love to write feel-good stories, whether it's about a 100-year-old math teacher still working in Dyker Heights or a group of volunteers working at the Pan Am homeless shelter in Elmhurst. But my favorite story came from an NYPD blotter item. A 13-year-old girl jumped into a moving car and beat up two adults to get her stolen phone back. She was a timid teen whose hobbies included listening to metal bands and texting, so her phone was very important to her. And luckily she didn't get hurt! 
Nonprofits often struggle to get their stories told. What advice can you offer those who want to pursue a story in DNAinfo.com?
I'd suggest sending a pitch in a timely matter - not too early and not too late. I start planning for the week ahead on a Friday, so if you have something for early in the week I'd suggest sending it then. We also like to look ahead, so let me know if something's going to happen so I can do a preview as opposed to sending over a release after an event has happened. I get a decent amount of these and I usually can't do anything with them. 
What attracts you to a story?
There are always the newsy things I take into consideration: is this the first, the last, the biggest, etc.? Beyond that, I like interesting people, and something that makes me either incredibly angry or incredibly happy. Hopefully my readers will feel strongly about it, too. 
What turns you off when someone pitches you?
Sometimes people pitch me stories that have nothing to do with my coverage area or are so far beyond what DNAinfo.com would ever write about. Take a look at our site and see what we write about before pitching; it doesn't take long and it goes a long way. 
What advice do you have for someone who has a story for DNAinfo.com?
Check out the neighborhoods or topics that each one of our reporters covers and then send along a pitch to that person. Let us know if it's exclusive to us or not. Follow up with an email; sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. 
What is the best way to get in contact with you?
I prefer email first - my email is KHonan@DNAinfo.com - so I can assess the story and then get back to you. 

Our Clients in the News!

Our clients continue to make headlines, and we love to share their news!

amNew York

Asphalt Green

Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
The New York Times

Girl Scouts of Greater New York
The New York Times

Kleinman Holocaust Education Center
The Times of Israel

Project Renewal

Job Openings for PR and Communications Professionals

Anat Gerstein, Inc. is a fast-growing firm specializing in PR and communications. We are seeking enthusiastic applicants to join our team. And, we also want to share another opening for a Graduate Student Fellowship with The New York Community Trust.

If you are interested, click on the links below to learn more about each position.

Anat Gerstein, Inc.




Anat Gerstein, Inc. is a full-service communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits, big and small. Our clients represent a range of organizations, including social service, health care, education, and youth service groups; cultural, arts, and theater institutions; business and community development nonprofits; advocacy organizations; and foundations.


We specialize in helping nonprofits build brand recognition and reputation, and deepen and expand stakeholder relationships and partnerships. All of our work is focused on assisting organizations to reach their goals, including increased fundraising, volunteerism, client recruitment, attendance and participation, and furthering an advocacy agenda.


We currently work with 16 nonprofit organizations on a retainer basis -- providing them with year-round services ranging from media relations to functioning as their outsourced communications department. We also work with nonprofits on a project basis.  


To find out more, visit:



If you want to learn more about how we can help your organization, contact Anat Gerstein at 718-793-2211, ext. 100 or anat@anatgerstein.com.


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