For Immediate Release

January 25, 2018

Twitter post: .@npquarterly hires Amy Costello and acquires @tinyspark_org podcast

BOSTON, MA The Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) today announced it will expand its coverage of nonprofits and philanthropy and extend its reach into public media by hiring veteran public radio reporter Amy Costello and acquiring the Tiny Spark podcast.

This is one of a number of steps NPQ is taking to expand its coverage and make it more impactful. As Chuck Bell, chair of the NPQ board explains, “This will make the dynamics of the civil sector more transparent which is important as it becomes ever more central to helping to shape the future of our democracy.” Costello, with her extensive experience in public broadcasting, will lead this initiative as NPQ’s Senior Correspondent and Investigations Editor. In that role, she will continue to produce the Tiny Spark podcast and regularly report stories in collaboration with public radio and other national media outlets but now under the NPQ umbrella.

“We are committed to expanding our investigative reporting and taking NPQ’s fearless, independent journalism about civil society to public media audiences,” said Joel Toner, Publisher and co-president of NPQ. “ While NPQ has deep knowledge of the sector, to date it has primarily addressed itself to nonprofits. This effort will engage a much wider audience.”

Editor in Chief Ruth McCambridge adds that this step has long been in the sights of the NPQ board. “Amy’s in-depth, nuanced reporting and interviews will be a wonderful complement to our growing newsroom. It feels like a very natural next step.”

Costello is a former NPR producer who founded Tiny Spark in 2011 after working as a freelance correspondent in Africa for five years. Her PBS television investigation, Sudan: The Quick and the Terrible was nominated for an Emmy Award. Tiny Spark’s reports on nonprofits, philanthropy and international aid have been cited by a number of leading news outlets including Slate, The Atlantic and Mother Jones. Costello’s stories have also been featured on NPR, PRI’s The World, the BBC World Service, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Tiny Spark and NPQ are grantees of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which has supported the marriage between the two organizations.

“I am incredibly excited to join the fabulous team of writers and editors at NPQ,” Costello said. “I look forward to producing investigative stories and in-depth interviews, and bringing NPQ’s signature brand of rigorous, independent reporting to a broader public. I can’t think of a more fitting home for the Tiny Spark podcast nor a better newsroom where I can fully pursue my passion: helping this sector to flourish, holding well-intentioned leaders to account when necessary, and doing my part to promote a thriving and active democracy.”


The Nonprofit Quarterly is an independent nonprofit news organization that has been serving nonprofit leaders, charitable foundations, educators, independent activists, and others involved in the civil sector for more than fifteen years. NPQ’s guiding philosophy is that an active, engaged, and sometimes disruptive civil sector is critical to a healthy democracy in the same way that a free and independent press is.

Media Contact: Joel Toner 617.227.4630