January 20, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2022) – The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit that supports journalism and helps citizens more fully participate in democratic life, announced today the appointment of veteran philanthropy executive Deborah Read as chief development officer to lead its global fundraising efforts.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Deborah to Poynter to help us tell our story to those with the financial wherewithal to support the craft and ethics of journalism, strengthen local news organizations and encourage fact-based expression and civil dialogue,” said Poynter president Neil Brown. “Deborah brings a distinguished record of raising money for education and democratic institutions. Her belief in our mission combined with her fundraising expertise will lead Poynter to develop relationships that can support our long-term influence and sustainability.”

Poynter has been dedicated to democracy through the advancement of independent journalism since its founding nearly 50 years ago. The world-class nonprofit has experienced its highest levels of growth in recent years serving creators and consumers of fact-based reporting as the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, International Fact-Checking Network, PolitiFact, and MediaWise as well as the owner of the decorated local newsroom, the Tampa Bay Times. Read’s new role will help maximize Institute’s impact in support of a free press.

With more than 30 years in philanthropy, Read has held numerous leadership positions at public and private higher education institutions including California Polytechnic State University, the University of Dayton, SUNY Albany, and, her alma mater, the University of Maryland.

Read comes to Poynter from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg after leading the university advancement division as regional vice chancellor for the past five years. She was instrumental in building and implementing resource development systems resulting in the university exceeding its fundraising goals for five consecutive years.

“When I first became acquainted with the Poynter Institute five years ago, I quickly realized the critical role the organization plays in journalism and more broadly in ensuring an informed citizenry in healthy democracies. As I continue to learn more about the exceptional work being conducted — I know our society needs Poynter,” said Read. “I am honored to be joining Poynter as its chief development officer. I look forward to working with president Neil Brown, the distinguished board members and the outstanding Poynter team. Together, we will build upon the solid foundation of past philanthropic success and look to enhance Poynter’s mission and priorities with increased private support.”

With her extensive background in acquiring major gifts and leading multi-million dollar campaigns, Read will oversee Poynter’s philanthropic strategies to secure transformative funding for initiatives promoting journalism education and ethics, newsroom leadership development, media literacy and fact-checking.

She will collaborate with Poynter’s Foundation Board and leadership team to design donor cultivation and stewardship plans, generate legacy gifts and build an endowment to ensure the sustainability of the Institute’s important work.

Read will join Poynter on Feb. 7. Learn how your support can help Poynter better serve you and democracy in 2022 at poynter.org/support.

We rely on support from several funding sources who value the essential role of the free press in our society. Click to see our major funders and ethics policy.

Media Contact:

Tina Dyakon
Director of Marketing
The Poynter Institute

About The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media, and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology, and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters, and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians, and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment, and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at poynter.org.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.

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