Digging into nonprofits

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Susan Batt of WTHR-Indianapolis; Brad Racino of inewsource; Katie Rusnock Coughlin of Charity Navigator
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 22 at 10:15am
  • Location: Grand Canyon 4-5
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits spread across the U.S., including public charities, private foundations and other types such as chambers of commerce. These organizations are involved in a variety of industries including education, government, the environment, health and any other topic a typical reporter may cover in their day-to-day beat. Most nonprofits are required to file detailed statements — called 990s — that publicly disclose a large amount of information about the organization. 

This session is designed to provide both novice and expert reporters with tips, strategies and context for navigating the world of nonprofits. 
Panelists will:
*Explain the scope of nonprofit investigations (what type of organizations you can look into on each major beat)
*Give an overview of how nonprofits work and are held accountable across the country
*Explain how to make sense of nonprofit paperwork and find the stories (or fraud) within.

Speaker Bios

  • Susan Batt is an investigative and special projects producer at WTHR (NBC Indianapolis.) She is fortunate to work with a great 13 Investigates team that was honored last year with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver baton and two Peabody Awards.  Susan has also worked in radio and for WRTV, ABC News (Washington, D.C.) and KOMU. @susanbatt

  • Brad Racino is a senior reporter, assistant director and director of partnerships & innovation at inewsource. He produces investigations for print, radio and TV on topics including political corruption, transportation, health, maritime, education and nonprofits. His reporting has earned more than 50 awards including two IRE medals and a national Emmy nomination. In 2017, he was selected by INN as one of 10 Emerging Leaders in U.S. nonprofit journalism. @bradracino

  • Katie is responsible for managing Charity Navigator's Advisory System, which serves as a means for communicating alleged and confirmed wrongdoing at charitable organizations to donors. Previously Katie was a member of Charity Navigator's analyst team and was responsible for the evaluation of the performance of America's largest charities. Prior to joining Charity Navigator, Katie graduated from Wagner College with a B.A. in International Affairs and a minor in Journalism

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