The Edna McConnell Clark
Foundation

Foundation: Branding, Thought Leadership

Challenge

The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation launched PropelNext, an exciting new initiative to transform the lives of disadvantaged youth, but the program’s information was uninspiring—technically detailed and focused on process not outcomes.

Solution

Sutnick Plotch Communications partnered with the EMCF communications team to craft results-focused messages and a distinctive voice. We created online and print materials that shared the PropelNext vision, resonated with target audiences and brought the program to life. A story bank—currently in the works—will capture the grantee experience and be a resource for the entire team.

Result

PropelNext now has a suite of multimedia communications materials that define not only the nuts and bolts but also the passion behind the program. The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has been able to expand the program and build new partnerships with funders.

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Amy Plotch has brought to life PropelNext’s “voice,” helping us clearly and effectively communicate why it’s important, and how we can help, promising nonprofits boost their impact on young people’s lives by using data for ongoing improvement and learning.”

 

Lissette Rodriguez

Vice President of Programs

Albert Chung

Director of Communications

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

The Opportunity Network

Nonprofit: Media Relations, Thought Leadership

Challenge

The Opportunity Network has an ambitious vision for leveling the playing field for low-income students but its low profile limited its opportunities for growth.

Solution

Sutnick Plotch Communications developed a strategic media relations program that capitalized on OppNet’s unique programs and established OppNet founder and CEO Jessica Pliska as an expert spokesperson. We built long-term relationships with reporters and trained both staff and students to be effective spokespeople. OppNet has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Today Show, NPR and The New York Times. Jessica Pliska is a regular contributor to Forbes.

Result

Since OppNet began working with Sutnick Plotch Communications, the organization’s budget has grown from $1.3 million to more than $4 million. More invitations to speaking engagements and high-profile events are coming in. Most important, the number of students served each year has grown from 440 to more than 2,500.

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“I hired Amy four years ago to build our media relations program and she has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.  She placed stories in New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Today Show, NPR and others. I rely on Amy’s judgment and strategic insights to move our communications agenda forward.

 

Jessica Pliska

Founder and CEO

The Opportunity Network

NJSACC

Nonprofit: Community Relations, Advocacy

Challenge

NJSACC needed to build support for local afterschool programs in the face of a Republican governor who was making deep cuts to the state education budget.

Solution

Sutnick Plotch Communications designed a campaign to engage afterschool providers, families and advocates in their local afterschool programs. The campaign, “Celebrate Afterschool: Outdoors in the Garden State,” featured over 40 community events around the state. These events brought together local and state government leaders, families and advocates in a broad show of support for afterschool programs and activities.

Result

The campaign built unprecedented support for New Jersey’s afterschool programs. Regional and local newspapers and television covered the events. A public service announcement on New Jersey cable TV added statewide visibility. A legislative briefing built political support. Most important, the campaign generated new partnerships between the environmental, afterschool and public education fields, enabling both public and nonprofit agencies to maximize resources on behalf of children.

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“Amy taught us to be intentional and strategic in our communications. She developed clear and strong messages about the importance of afterschool learning, and then she planned and executed events and programs to bring those messages to policymakers and parents. The results have been transformational.

 

Diane Genco

Executive Director

NJSACC

North Star Fund

Foundation: Media Relations, Thought Leadership

Challenge

North Star Fund supports grassroots activists for social justice in New York City. Every year it raises the money to make effective, targeted grants. Executive Director Hugh Hogan realized that he needed to raise the foundation’s profile in order to attract new donors.

Solution

Sutnick Plotch Communications capitalized on North Star Fund’s bold positions on timely issues like immigration reform, Stop and Frisk policing and domestic workers’ rights to develop an opinion-focused media relations campaign. We worked with North Star Fund executive director, Hugh Hogan, to write and place op-eds and letters to the editor that built name recognition and attracted new
supporters.

Result

We generated media attention in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, City and State, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Philanthropy New York, among others. We also secured a Huffington Post column for Hugh Hogan. North Star Fund was able to build additional support for its work.

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“Amy is terrific. Her thoughtful approach and considerable experience enabled us to quickly develop a great communications strategy for a new fund. Her work with us resulted in extensive coverage and great exposure for North Star and the community groups that we advise and support.”

 

Hugh Hogan

Executive Director

North Star Fund

Case Studies