National Press Club Journalism Institute hires new development manager

Mitch Harle, an experienced communications and fundraising professional in Washington, D.C., has joined the National Press Club Journalism Institute as its development manager. Harle started in the role on July 20. 

As development manager, Harle will oversee and expand the Institute’s fundraising and donor relations operation. Harle will build the Institute’s strong service-oriented reputation among new funders while nurturing relationships with the supporters who have made the Institute’s work possible through the years. 

“I’m thrilled to join the Institute and continue the important work it has done for journalists and communicators over the decades,” said Harle. “I first visited the National Press Club during a trip to Washington as a teenager, and getting to be a part of its history and legacy as development manager for the Institute is a true honor. This work is more critical than ever, and I can’t wait to get started.” 

The National Press Club Journalism Institute is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.

Institute Executive Director Beth Francesco created the development role in response to a growing need and responsibility to financially sustain the Institute’s service to more than 9,000 journalists annually in the U.S. and around the globe. The Institute’s reach has more than doubled in the last three years through its educational programming and training workshops, published resources including a daily industry newsletter, and focused efforts on press freedom support for individuals and through training. 

“The need has never been greater for the Institute’s services, and we’re invested in keeping these services free or low-cost for the hard-working journalists and newsrooms whose own resources are being depleted,” Francesco said. “Mitch brings a renewed energy, grant-writing experience, and commitment to great journalism as a critical role in a healthy democracy. I’m excited about his ideas and enthusiasm for the work ahead.”

Prior to his work at the Institute, Harle worked as development manager for Protect Our Care, a nonprofit dedicated to making affordable and equitable healthcare a right for everyone in America. He moved into development after serving as deputy press secretary and director of operations for the organization. He’s also worked in political research, with American Bridge 21st Century.

Institute President Gil Klein, Treasurer Paul Merrion, and member and former treasurer Doug Harbrecht were involved with the hiring process and praised Harle’s understanding of the Institute’s work, the National Press Club’s history, and the potential to attract financial backing from various supporters. 

“Mitch’s skills will help us attain our fiscal goals for the Institute,” Klein said. “We on the Institute board believe that he and Beth working together will find the support needed to expand our work to train journalists, defend press freedom and explain the role of fact-based journalism in our democracy.”

The majority of Institute programming is available at no cost to participants. The Institute is supported through grant funding, individual donations, and registration fees for select training. In addition, the Institute has relied on a small portion of investment income to support its rapid audience growth during the pandemic.

“Investing in the Institute is investing in the future of journalism,” Francesco said. “We are thrilled to have Mitch join us in amplifying this important message as we seek support to continue our important work.”

Harle is originally from Katy, Texas and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He currently lives in Washington, D.C., with his husband, Brian. Contact Harle at [email protected].

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. As the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, the Institute powers journalism in the public interest.

To donate or inquire about funding programs, please email Development Manager Mitch Harle or Executive Director Beth Francesco.

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