Walker Creek Ranch : Petaluma, CA

Nonprofit Communications Capacity Building Retreat

Op Ed Writing

Spokesperson Skills

Media Relations

Social Media

Peer Networking

 Here's what SPIN Alumni are saying:


"SPIN helped me see that the words we use are crucial to how people think about our work." 



Here's what SPIN Alumni are saying:


"From presentations from communications and branding experts to hands-on workshops on messaging, I was able to learn from and work with some of the country’s best and brightest at SPIN."

Here's what SPIN Alumni are saying:


"I learned it's not just important to understand your audience but to also understand their values and fears."


Here's what SPIN Alumni are saying:


"The SPIN Academy training has been a game changer for me."


Here's what SPIN Alumni are saying:


"I cannot wait to take what I have learned and apply it to the mission and programs at my organization!"


Here's what SPIN Alumni are saying:


"My ‘ah-ha’ moment at SPIN was thinking critically about messages. They can be so subliminal but when you really start thinking about them critically - which we don't often have the time to do - you can see how you can be 100x more effective in reaching your target audience." 



SPIN is Now Part of ReFrame

Joining Forces for a New Era

Good News:  SPIN Academy is now part of ReFrame, and future offerings will be led, designed, and staffed– and very likely re-imagined and improved– by the ReFrame team.

After 20 years of the SPIN Academy, our team is so proud of what we have done together – including training hundreds of emerging activists, and connecting cohorts of movement communicators. We’re so pleased to share with you that we are building and innovating on the 20-year history of the SPIN Academy with ReFrame.

Like SPIN Academy, ReFrame is building the next generation of strategic communicators in social justice. To date, their core offering has been a selective, intensive six-month leadership and skills development program, supporting economic, racial, gender and climate justice organizations and campaigns to integrate communications as a core strategy for social change.

What excites us about this moment is that it assembles a powerful series of aligned offerings. Combined — not to mention led and consistently staffed by the smart, diverse, dedicated team ReFrame has built — we believe these three forces can do more together that any of us operating solo or in silos.

As we complete this transition, we offer our sincere thanks to the leaders, trainers, coaches, mentors and enthusiastic trainees who’ve been part of SPIN Academy for the last 20+ years.

Our deepest gratitude to you, and warmest wishes for this new era ahead.

Communications as a Tool for Deep Change

The SPIN Academy trains advocates for social change to adopt a strategic approach to their communications work.

The SPIN Academy is built on the premise that nonprofits working for positive social change must communicate effectively to achieve results.

During our nearly 20 years, we’ve trained thousands of nonprofit leaders from all across the country to craft smarter strategies, build stronger brands, and deliver more meaningful messages about their vital work.

Through our annual four-day retreat at Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA, we offer an accessible and affordable training that includes practical tools, coaching, and network opportunities – so nonprofits can communicate effectively for themselves. Our curriculum is inspired by the best practices in the field and offers the building blocks of strategic communications, including brand development, storytelling, message creation & more.

The Benefits of SPIN

Today, communications savvy is a key requirement of almost every role in the nonprofit sector.

Through the SPIN Academy, participants come to understand the need for a comprehensive communications strategy and gain the means – and confidence - to implement it. 

The SPIN Academy supports the professional development of nonprofit leaders at all levels. Each year, the SPIN Academy provides instruction from experts in the field on practical communications skills such as Op-Ed writing, spokesperson skills, online communications, and social media, while providing a space for peer learning and networking.

By bringing together a diverse group of participants and trainers, the SPIN Academy also creates a growing network of communicators with cross-sector connections and broad geographic reach to share best practices and build public support for the most pressing issues of our time. Most importantly, participants return to their organizations with a new framework for engaging in strategic communications as a means to achieve change.

"There was A LOT of good information shared at SPIN and we have already set up a date for a presentation to the entire staff." -- 2016 SPIN Alumni 



SPIN Academy Team

Amanda Cooper
Curriculum Director
Claudette Silver
Event Director
Holly Minch
Program Director & Co-Founder
Jamila Brown
Trainer & Mentor
Janna Zinzi
Trainer & Mentor
Lucy Odigie-Turley
Trainer & Mentor
Manolia Charlotin
Trainer & Mentor
Meena Hussain
Trainer & Mentor
Naomi Abraham
Trainer & Mentor
Natalia Berthet Garcia
Trainer & Mentor
Phuong Ly
Trainer & Mentor
Tori Cress
Trainer & Mentor

Take an inside peak at the

SPIN Academy Story

Thank you to all of our

SPIN Academy Supporters

Venue Location

Walker Creek Ranch is nestled between Petaluma and Tomales Bay in a secluded and peaceful area. Check out the map or driving directions below for a better idea of where you are headed!

Application Guide

The SPIN Academy strengthens the strategic communications capacity and progressive leadership skills of participants, their respective organizations and the progressive movement. Review application guidelines before you apply!

Registration Fees

Thanks to our generous supporters, we are able to offer a sliding scale registration fee based on your organization’s budget. Please review the details to determine your fee.