The Top PR Firms for Nonprofits & Causes

In an uncertain world, these firms are redefining what it means to be an advocate for an equitable and just society. 

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The past 18 months have been an unprecedented whirlwind of change for the nonprofit industry. The list goes on, from emerging technologies and a shifting media industry to resistance to DEI initiatives and a dip in philanthropic donations.

Amid the chaos, the top cause-driven firms are rising above to forward the missions of those fighting for the greater good. They’re expanding their practices to encompass new clients in youth development and social justice sectors. They’re embracing data-driven practices. They’re also emphasizing inclusivity, both within internal operations and in their work with organizations. 

These feats are more impressive when considering how PR agencies have adapted to new challenges in the past year. In light of layoffs and closures across journalism—an industry the field of communications has long depended on—successful agencies champion the importance of earned media. And amid anxiety around how the artificial intelligence boom could lead to mass instances of misinformation, they’re emphasizing news literacy campaigns and educating themselves on utilizing new technology.

Don’t expect PR professionals to let up in 2024. With the upcoming election, firms like the TASC Group, Downfield Strategies and Fenton are busy working on campaigns for clients that ensure diverse voices are heard, among other initiatives. “It is a privilege working with clients who are on the front lines helping people get out the vote and working tirelessly to protect our freedoms,” Valerie De La Garza, CEO of Fenton, tells Observer.

They’re also keeping an eye on upcoming shifts in the nonprofit sector. In addition to the growing popularity of donor-advised funds and reports pointing to a more than 10 percent decrease in philanthropic giving across the U.S, agencies like Anat Gerstein are preparing for how clients will be affected by what is set to be the greatest intergenerational wealth transfer in history, as an estimated $84 trillion is expected to change hands over the next two decades.

Despite the twists and turns on the horizon, communications leaders prioritize positivity above all. For agencies such as Momentum Communications, approaching change with optimism looks like scaling into new areas, such as climate change and the environment. Reducing distrust of the media is also a key priority, as is supporting a robust and free press. “With newsrooms shrinking and journalism under threat, we hope to be part of a movement to affirm the value of journalism and journalists,” says Jim Miller, founder of Momentum Communications.

With a passion for progress and amplifying impact, the firms below are redefining what it means to advocate for an equitable and just society. 

Visit our Power Index to view the entire 2024 PR Power Series.

Anat Gerstein Inc. 

Anat Gerstein Inc.has been making moves in the past 18 months—and not just on the communications front. In addition to opening up a West Coast office, the firm recently signed a more than 7,000-square-foot lease to move its headquarters from Long Island City to Manhattan’s Garment District. 
It also launched a $50 million campaign for the nonprofit Runway Green Education Collective to build an educational and workforce campus at Floyd Bennett Field, helped raise awareness of Girl Scouts of Greater New York Troop 6000’s work with migrant girls, and aided the government group Citizens Union as it successfully advocated moving local New York elections to even-numbered years. Not to mention Anat Gerstein’s work on assisting program diversity across the 17 medical schools in New York State.

Established in 2010, the eponymous firm is led by president Anat Gerstein, formerly chief of staff and press secretary to the city’s Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, and managing director Jeff Simons, who previously ran communications for comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. In line with their backgrounds, much of the company’s work revolves around civic-minded and local causes. 

According to Gerstein, the coming years will be transformative for the nonprofit sector, which will be simultaneously affected by the world’s greatest transfer of generational wealth and a dropoff in donations that is already impacting philanthropy. “At the same time, the media, social media and storytelling landscape continues to shift,” she tells Observer. “Our goal is to redefine how nonprofits communicate, breaking through the noise with narratives that resonate and mobilize people to take action.” 

The firm, which recently launched an education and youth development practice area, is excited to work with more nonprofits. Anat Gerstein hopes to expand its operations as an outsourced communications department that can provide services ranging from media relations and events to donor communications and crisis management. 

Not that the firm hasn’t already been successful in expanding its list of more than 40 clients. In the past year, it signed on the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Center for an Urban Future to a diverse roster of nonprofits that includes the Claims Conference and AARP New York. “Our clients stay with us. Some have been with us for 12+ years,” says Gerstein, adding that the firm’s current retainer retention rate is well above 90 percent. 

Anat Gerstein and Jeff Simmons Photo by Jean-Pierre Uys

Downfield Strategies 

More than three decades after his infamous wrongful conviction as one of the “Central Park Five,” Yusef Salaam defeated two Assembly members in 2023 to become a member of the New York City Council.

Downfield Strategies led the communications for Salaam’s victory in Harlem. Despite being founded in 2021, the firm has quickly amassed a reputation for tight and aggressive media campaigns. This comes as no surprise considering founder Eric Koch’s breadth of experience working with politicians on the New York City Council, New York State Senate, and U.S. Congress, in addition to years of experience at firms like Precision Strategies and Hiltzik Strategies.
Downfield also recently ran the media operations for the Local 802 American Federation of Music, the world’s largest local union of professional musicians, as it successfully struck an agreement with David Byrne over the Talking Heads star’s Broadway musical Here Lies Love. 

Koch attributes his diverse client list, which includes the Met Council on Jewish Poverty, Battleground New York, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the proposed Coney Island casino, to Downfield’s strategic and tailored approach. “I’m not scared of a tough fight or long odds because those are some of the fights most worth having,” he tells Observer. “I love an underdog.” 

Downfield, representing major Democratic PACs and a dozen members of Congress, will have a busy year ahead. Koch also expects 2024 to bring a resurgence in the need for earned media in light of the fracturing of digital platforms like X. “It’s not just about being in the press; it’s about penetrating the zeitgeist,” he says. “I work with clients to do just that.” 

Eric Koch Downfield Strategies


Fenton has long been a cornerstone in the world of social impact communications. Founded in the 1980s by activist David Fenton, the firm has worked on historic campaigns ranging from Nelson Mandela’s first U.S. press tour to initiatives designed to raise media attention for the Green New Deal. 

As it enters its fifth decade, Fenton is still 100 percent committed to its mission of forwarding social justice. Aiding GPAC Illinois’s fight to ban assault weapons, leading communications for Stop AAPI Hate that spurred $40 million in funding for California’s API Equity Budget and producing a documentary series with State Innovation Exchange on the post-Roe v. Wade abortion environment—these are just some of the campaigns it has taken on in the past 18 months. 

Led by CEO Valarie De La Garza since 2021, the firm has recently onboarded new clients like the American Civil Liberties Union and Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action. Fenton also brought on Elisa Campbell, former media lead at Assembly Global in partnership with SKDK, as its new associate vice president for advertising. 

Fenton’s expertise and diverse representation keep long-term clients like Color of Change and National Nurses United returning for more. “Our staff not only understand the communities our clients serve—they often come from those same communities themselves,” says De La Garza. More than half of Fenton’s staff—55 percent—identify as people of color, compared to the industry average of 21 percent.

Advancing racial justice and the DEI movement in client industries and the PR field will continue to be a priority for Fenton over the coming year. “If there was ever a sector that should reflect the richness of our country’s multicultural and diverse communities, it should be communications,” says De La Garza. “We can’t do a good job of ‘making the shoes’ if we don’t walk in them.” 

Valarie De La Garza Fenton

Momentum Communications

Momentum Communications founder Jim Miller has wide-ranging interests—he’s a tenor for the Hudson Valley Singers and once won a piece of the Death Star model in a writing contest—but as president of the firm, he maintains a tight focus on the nonprofit sector. 

Founded in 2012, the New York-based firm works with foundations emphasizing educational opportunities and community-based solutions. It expanded even further into the social impact space, bringing on clients like Blue Star Families, the Fresh Air Fund and KC Scholars. 

Charity Navigator tapped the firm to work on a campaign that led to the organization’s online giving tool supporting its highest number of charities. Momentum’s promotion of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC’s mentorship opportunities broke another record, resulting in the organization's biggest jump in Big-Little matches in years. 

“We get them. That’s the number one thing that our clients say sets us apart,” Miller tells Observer. “It comes from making curiosity and listening integral to our culture.” 
Miller's next move is to affirm the value of the ailing journalism industry. “The PR industry—not to mention democracy itself—depends on a healthy free press,” he says. Momentum hopes to lessen distrust of news media by continuing to connect journalists to solution-oriented stories.   

With a trove of new hires that include senior account executive Linnea Lipson (formerly of Milk & Honey) and account executive Jamaal Fisher (previously a communications associate at Anat Gerstein), Momentum hopes to expand even further in 2024. The firm is especially interested in working with clients focused on climate change and those at the intersection of arts, education and social justice. 

Jim Miller Momentum Communications Group

The TASC Group

Rida Bint Fozi started her career in communications more than a decade ago as an intern with The TASC Group. As of 2023, she runs the place as president and partner—a move that comes as no surprise given her work on campaigns like leading strategic counsel for the family of Trayvon Martin, supporting Olympic athletes protesting Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, and, more recently, aiding nonprofit OceanX as it convened climate advocates during COP28.

Since 2001, the 16-person team at The TASC Group has represented nonprofits and advocacy groups with an appetite for social change. Established by chairman Larry Kopp, a former actor who appeared in Law & Order and Dumb and Dumber, it counts Mount Sinai Hospital, the United Way of New York and Bronx-based Destination Tomorrow among its clientele. 

Working with campaigns spearheading justice has long been a priority for the firm. Last year, it represented a coalition of law firms taking companies like Johnson & Johnson to task for their role in cancer cases allegedly caused by asbestos-ridden products. And that’s not all—the agency picked up new clients like Columbia Journalism School, Narrative 4 and the Hospice Foundation of America along the way.

The TASC Group also continued the annual DEI scholarship program it established at CUNY in 2021, and it plans to bring on its newest intern from the initiative this summer. According to the firm, diversifying the communications field remains a top priority. ”We aim to be an active contributor in crafting a more inclusive, sustainable, and diverse future in the PR industry,” The TASC Group tells Observer. 

Rapid technological change and the 2024 presidential election will make the upcoming year an especially important one for the agency. In addition to amplifying the work of clients representing under-resourced communities, The TASC Group plans to keep pace with the growing adoption of A.I. in the public relations sector by integrating the technology for future data and trend analysis. 

Rida Bint Fozi TASC Group

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