The SPIN AcademyStory

The mission of the SPIN Academy is to strengthen non-profit organizations working for social change by teaching them to communicate effectively for themselves. 

Since 1999, the SPIN Academy has trained hundreds of nonprofit organization staff members from all fifty states working on a diverse set of issues, including human and civil rights, economic justice, education reform, racial justice, immigrant rights and immigrant integration, domestic violence prevention, environmental justice and conservation, criminal justice reform and reproductive health, among others.

Over the four-day annual retreat, the SPIN Academy supports the professional development of nonprofit leaders at all levels, from newly hired communications associates to executive directors interested in building their communications skills. Because the SPIN Academy provides both a framework for strategic communications planning and sessions that dive into the latest developments in communications tactics, participants with widely varying levels of responsibility and experience benefit from the skills and ideas. We provide a solid grounding in the basics of strategic communications for nonprofits, making the SPIN Academy ideal for leaders of smaller nonprofit organizations, or emerging leaders within larger nonprofit organizations.

By bringing together a diverse group of participants and trainers, the SPIN Academy provides accessible and affordable strategic communications training, individual coaching, networking opportunities, and other concrete communications tools.

Drawing on a dedicated network of nonprofit communications professionals, The SPIN Academy is held each year at Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA. An advisory committee made up of nonprofit communications experts helps shape the SPIN Academy’s curriculum, and governance is provided by the board of directors of Community Initiatives, our fiscal sponsor.

After nearly two decades, the SPIN Academy continues to create a strong network of communicators with cross-sector connections and broad geographic reach to share best practices and build public support for the most issues pressing issues of our time. 

The SPIN Academy Team

Amanda Cooper

Curriculum Director
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Debayani Kar

Trainer & mentor
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Holly Minch

Program Director & Co-Founder
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Jamila Brown

Trainer & Mentor
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Janna Zinzi

Trainer & Mentor
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Meena Hussain

Trainer & Mentor
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Phuong Ly

Trainer & Mentor
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Tori Cress

Trainer & Mentor
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