Nonprofit Program

In the non-profit context, The Op-Ed Project focuses on op-ed writing for concrete, measurable results, and also as a metaphor for making a bold, fair, persuasive case for the ideas and causes you believe in, wherever that may take place – on TV, on the steps of congress, in a PTA meeting, in a board meeting, on a blog. Seminars revolve around understanding the greater potential value of your knowledge and experience, and communicating it effectively to make an impact. We tailor every seminar to the needs of an organization. Our seminars can be designed to empower staff members as well as members of the communities that are served by your organization.

 

PROGRAM OPTIONS

We tailor every seminar to the needs of an organization. The most frequently requested options are listed below.

 

INTRODUCTORY SEMINAR (1.5 - 2 hours) Begins with an exercise geared to get participants to express ideas or causes that they care about, and areas of knowledge or expertise that they are interested in pursuing further, although they may not know how. It focuses on what we know and why ("expertise"); how to frame our knowledge and experience for maximum impact; the components of a powerful evidence-based, value-driven argument; strategies for preaching beyond the choir, and ways of thinking bigger about what we know and our potential value. We explore how participants can triangulate and expand their areas of expertise to be able to publish—and think—more broadly. The introductory seminar is not just about writing op-eds; it's about making a bold, fair, persuasive case for the ideas and causes you care about—wherever that may take place.


FULL SEMINAR (7 hours / 1+ day(s)) Expands on each element of the introductory seminar, and can be done in a full-day format, or in multiple sessions over two or more days. It focuses on how to present ideas quickly and powerfully – thereby earning the right to a longer conversation; strategies for making a greater impact – including how to escape a pigeonhole, how to make an "old" but important argument fresh again, and how to build consensus among those who may disagree with you (the difference between being "right" and being effective). We discuss etiquette and strategies for pitching; how to build relationships with editors and publishers (how to achieve the author editor "mind meld"); and the value of seeing your argument as part of a bigger picture—and yourself as part of a larger public conversation. We also read a sampling of the greatest arguments of all time—essays, speeches and op-eds that have changed the world—so that we can consider why they were so powerful and what approaches and techniques we might borrow.


SEMINAR SERIES: For those who want guidance while bringing their work to (ideally) publishable form over a short period of time, a 4- or 8-part seminar series covers the above material and allows for more individual feedback over several weeks or months. Specific curriculum is available on request, and can be tailored to a group's needs.


Cost depends on length of seminar, number of seminars requested, number of participants. Please
contact us to inquire.