Directing at a Distance

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Directing at a Distance

The pandemic caused most of our teams to scurry to work from home in a hurry. In the past year, many nonprofit communicators have thrived in this new environment engaging co-workers and supporters in novel, exciting ways. On this panel learn from a few of those thrivers and get tips on how to direct at a distance.

Zoom: Friend or Foe

Presenter: Nathalie Ray

A panel to discuss tips for using Zoom effectively and for a multitude of purposes.


  • Zoom recordings can be very powerful for testimonials
  • Use Zoom to present a united front with your industry
  • Focus groups and donor meetings build your support via Zoom

How Collaborative Planning Saved our Sanity in Covid-19

Presenter: Kate Brown

Sharing how Covid-19 created our necessity for collaborative planning and why we choose it over and over again. Hear about our journey and walk away with our top 3 recommendations to increase collaborative planning with your teams – starting tomorrow!


  • Identifying the how and who to implement collaborative planning
  • How collaborative planning allowed us to elevate and center community voices in storytelling
  • The value of joy & appreciation: both for teammates and your audience
Making Remote Working Work for Communications Directors
Presenter: Anna Mullen

2020 was the year of Zoom, physical distancing and mass migration to home offices. The learning curve for directing a remote communications department (or any nonprofit team!) can be steep – but you don’t have to navigate it on your own. As many of us continue settling into the new normal of virtual workplaces, pick up some new tips, tricks, tactics, and tools for making remote communications work work for you.


  • Quick tools and low-budget hacks for keeping organized in your remote work setup
  • Strategies for effective remote team and project management
  • Pitfalls to avoid & benefits to make the most of when working from home

Nathalie Ray

Development Director

Nathalie Ray is the development director for Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, North Carolina. She double majored in Arts Administration and Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. At Burning Coal, her primary focus has been building donor relationships and sponsorship programs. As a speaker, she aims to bring her experience from the nonprofit arts sector and expand those concepts to bridge across the nonprofit industry.

Kate Brown

Manager of Communications and Development

Kate is currently on staff at Teach for America Eastern North Carolina as the Manager of Communications and Development.

Her favorite parts about the job include: sharing the stories of eastern North Carolina’s diverse

communities and building relationships with colleagues, donors, and community partners to further educational equity for every kid in North Carolina.

Kate is originally from rural southern Illinois and is a proud alumna of Eastern Illinois University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History. Before joining the Teach For America team, Kate served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and Development Associate at Reading Partners South Carolina.

Outside of work, Kate enjoys buying house plants (some thrive, some do not) and baking an assortment of cakes, cookies, and sweet treats.

Anna Mullen

Communications Director

Anna Mullen is a community food advocate, narrative storyweaver, and Communications Director for National Farm to School Network – a national movement building and systems change organization working at the intersections of food, health, education, environment, and economy to cultivate a racially just food system. She has over seven years of experience in digital content market, project management, and success in building up a fully-remote nonprofit communications department. Anna is happily based out of her home office in Des Moines, Iowa.



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