Writing for Insights

Your Voice Is Important!

Philanthropy New York welcomes submissions to the Insights column.

    This is what we look for in an Insights piece:

    We usually ask writers for our Insights column to explore a topic that has broad applicability to the entire philanthropic sector or a large swath of it (e.g. “Education funders should do…”). The tone and structure should be like a New York Times editorial – Suggest a headline that captures attention, start with a clear opening statement about the nature of the problem/issue/challenge, layout out as economically as possible the key background points and proposed solutions and end with either a call-to-action for the sector or a particularly pithy/witty restatement of your thesis.

    Some other tips to make our editors happy:

    • Catchy, short, active-voice title
    • 400-800 words is enough:  Feel free to go longer, but you certainly don’t need to. We are unlikely to publish pieces over 1200 words.  The post can be just a brief thought piece, and we’ll provide links to more information. You can also include photos, videos, reports/studies, anything you need to supplement your piece.
    • Not meeting notes: While writing about the ideas generated in a program can work, your piece shouldn’t be comprehensive notes of the entire discussion. It should have a point of view, and should be oriented toward the field of philanthropy and how funders should think or act differently as a result of the information you are presenting.
    • Perhaps focus on new ideas and participant reactions: What was most surprising? The most compelling thing for our readers will be to report on the reactions of participants (unattributed, unless with permission) and the new ideas that came out of the session that may move the topic forward. Feel free to touch on any issues you feel were the most important aspects of the program, but your thoughts about next steps and how other funders can effectively intersect with the issues raised at the program will make the post most useful and interesting.
    • Discretion is the better part…Unless permission has been granted by the meeting participant, please do not use quotes that are attributed to individuals or that well-informed readers could easily deduce. Remember also that any one session or individual statement does not represent the viewpoint of the entire sector.

    Who writes for Insights?

    Most of our writers are members of Philanthropy New York or panelists asked to present at Philanthropy New York programs.  However, we will also consider opinion pieces written by people outside of Philanthropy New York membership if...

    1. the piece is written exclusively for Insights,
    2. the writer is a recognized leader within the philanthropic, nonprofit, government or business sectors and
    3. the piece has a message directed at the philanthropic sector and says something fresh (NOT along the lines of "Foundations should spend their money on...")

    If you haven't already, please check out a few of the Insights posts and see how our writers make their case. 

    To submit a draft or inquire about writing on a particular subject, please email us at editor@philanthropynewyork.org