Communicate, v.: To express thoughts, ideas, feelings, information easily and effectively.

Develop, v.: To cause to become fuller, larger, better; to come into existence; to grow; to evolve.


You're a [nonprofit/artist/small business/eager individual/etc] with an idea and an attitude certain to blow the collective mind of humanity, and maybe even change civilization as we know it.


But it's not always easy changing the world alone. Sometimes, you need some (compassionate, non-judgemental, good-humored) support to help you get there.


Don't worry – you've come to the right place. 



Communications & Development

I work with individuals and organizations to develop concise, honest communications strategies and materials.

My main focus? Helping you discover, clarify, strengthen, and share your unique voice and vision. Whether you work in person, online, or on good old-fashioned paper, together we'll develop language and strategies to get you out there showering your brilliance on the world.

Why? Because you have to be able to tell people the what, why, and how of your plans and dreams if you want them to come along with you for the ride. And today more than ever, in our constantly-connected, seen-it-all world, you need to be clear, passionate, and vibrant to stand out in the crowd and make your voice heard.

Are you:

  • Embarking on a new business venture? From branding strategies to web copy to press releases, I'll help you find the words that bring people running.
  • Seeking new funding for your nonprofit? I've helped to raise and manage millions of dollars in grant and private funding from local, state, and national funders; and I've developed and managed successful crowdfunding and direct-fundraising campaigns. Turning words into money is kind of my thing.
  • Developing a new community program? Combine my decade-plus of experience in program development with your passion for your program, and we'll have no trouble discovering the best ways to tell the world all about it. And on the way, we'll muster up lots of (financial and emotional!) support from your stakeholders.
  • Starting a marketing campaign? Alright, let's sell some stuff. Or services. Or people. Whatever you're selling, they're buying -- as soon as we finesse the words, find the audience, and get this party rolling. Easy-peasy.
  • Applying for a job? I'll compliment you effusively on all your best qualities, then help you learn how to tell other people about how great you are.
  • Giving a speech? Whatever the topic, I can help you craft a pitch-perfect talk -- and, bonus points!, as a trained actor and vocalist, I can coach you through preparing to deliver it, vocally and mentally. 
  • Doing so much research your eyes are starting to cross? With both quantitative and qualitative research experience, I'm your gal. I sincerely love to read long reports and academic papers, and tell you which parts are actually relevant to your project. 

Writing & Editing

OK, so you already know all the brilliant things you want to say, but you still need a little help saying them in the most sparkling and economical fashion?

With experience creating and editing copy for

  • Websites, blogs, & social media
  • Grants & fundraising campaigns
  • Advertising & marketing campaigns
  • PR, press releases, & speeches
  • Resumes, cover letters, & queries
  • Theses, white papers, & essays
  • Manuscripts (of all flavors, shapes, and sizes)
  • Really anything that requires a creative yet technically-flawless manipulation of words in the English language,

I'm here to help you say what you want to say, even if you didn't know you wanted to say it.

Seriously, everyone needs an editor. Even I have an editor, because two sets of eyes are always better than one.

Event Planning & "Other"

With many years of experience managing professional theaters and organizing large events, I'm also quite good at helping you plan and execute outstanding events.

Something you need that you don't see on here? Just try me. I'm always excited to help people with the things they need help with.


Contact Rita@RitaOConnell.com, and we'll get started today.


Here's what people are saying:

"Business savvy, endlessly resourceful, and an expert strategist -- Rita is at the top of her game at all times. She possesses the foresight to address problems before they arise while simultaneously providing genuine and impeccable customer service to every person that crosses her path. Rita orchestrates crowds from chaos to calm, with radiant charm and grace."
– Maria Tranquilli, Executive Consultant and Coach, Simple Start Consulting


"Her professionalism under pressure... well, it's as though there is no pressure! While others are stressing out, she calmly and succinctly calls the shots with co-workers, attendees, and speakers... right at their level. How does she do that with such confidence and egoless clarity in her eyes?!"
– Monique Martineau, Speaker, Consultant


"Rita O'Connell! Calm, generous savior, website polisher extraordinaire. We love you and hope to continue into the future with you."
Veronica Golos & Catherine Strisik, Co-editors,Taos Journal of Poetry & Art


"Before working with Rita, I was too tall, awkward-looking, and incredibly loud. After working with Rita, I was still too tall, awkward-looking, and incredibly loud – but with an expertly-edited Master's thesis!"
– Jesse O'Connell, unbiased older brother


"Rita O'Connell is a saint. Not only is she smart, efficient, sophisticated and modern but she's a redhead. Working full time at a world-famous recording studio can be extremely stressful, so when I enlisted her services to aid in the creation of Carole King's daughter's resume, she jumped to the task and had a masterpiece ready for me in mere moments. I am in love with Rita, and there's nothing she can do about it."
– Sara Collins, actress, singer, world-famous-recording-studio-in-LA-employee


“I was the midwife for Rita’s birth. She was a colicky baby, but damnit could she collaborate well with others.”
Caroline Azano, Director of Education and Outreach, MCC Theater




Emerson College Boston, MA

Class of 2007, cum laude
B.A. in Writing, Literature and Publishing


Communications & Development Consultant, 2007-present Anywhere

  • Communications and development support for nonprofits, changemakers, artists, and small businesses, specializing in strategy development, content creation, and community engagement
  • Have developed communications strategies and materials for dozens of organizations, programs, and campaigns, focusing on increased clarity of voice and vision to deepen relationships with stakeholders and community
  • Services include copywriting, research, editing, proofing, and management for websites, newsletters, and social media; grants and white papers; marketing, advertising, and PR; live and online events and meetings
  • Across sectors, have raised and managed millions of dollars in federal, state, local, and private grant funds, as well as developing and managing successful crowdfunding and direct fundraising campaigns 

Current and recent clients include:

Communications & Community Manager, Wisdom 2.0, 2011-2015  San Francisco, CA

  • Oversaw external and internal communications; also acted as customer service lead, live-in editor, front-of-house and registration manager, and assorted-odd-jobs-doer for the premier conference exploring how to live mindfully and compassionately in the modern world

Development Associate, Holy Cross Hospital, 2009-2011 Taos, NM

  • Grant writing and range of development work for regional nonprofit health system. Helped secure and/or manage more than $20 million in federal, state, and private grants; helped create and manage signature hospital events and programs; assisted with successful redesign of corporate identity
  • General writing and editing duties (web content management, white papers, press releases, newsletters, contracts, etc.); event planning and organizing; assisted with marketing and PR
  • Rural policy specialist, particularly regarding community development, health, food security, and youth; member of 2010 National Rural Youth Assembly and the Southwest Rural Policy Network

Program Director/Youth Programs Coordinator, SOMOS, 2009-2012 Taos, NM

  • Developed and managed programs, relationships, and clients, including support for writers
  • Grantwriting, general support, and material development, including successful rebranding of organization
  • Managed annual youth mentorship program, serving all county junior and senior high schools; developed and piloted a successful Writers in the Schools program

Administrative/Legal Assistant, Virtue, Najjar & Brown, PC, 2008-2009 Santa Fe, NM

  • Legal and administrative assistant for Santa Fe law firm
  • Edited briefs, contracts, and legislation; drafted documents; attended/summarized hearings
  • Tracked/reported on bills for clients during legislative sessions

House Supervisor, Cutler-Majestic Theatre, 2005-2007Boston, MA

  • Supervisor at 1,000-patron-capacity theatre in Boston Theatre District 
  • Trained and managed front-of-house staff, about 40 employees
  • Point person for staff and patron questions, problems, and suggestions


Highly-organized self-starter; excellent interpersonal and digital communications skills; curious and eager analytical thinker, with quantitative and qualitative research experience; concise and precise writer/editor, Chicago and AP fluent; PC and Mac literate; 80 WPM typing; proficient in Microsoft Office suite, Adobe InDesign and Photoshop; extensive cross-platform social media experience; experienced user of NVivo, Raiser’s Edge, Wordpress, Google Drive, Dropbox, Hootsuite, Asana, Mailchimp, Basecamp, Trello, Eventbrite, and more; basic HTML and SEO; quick to learn new software/programs; experienced event planner and organizer; flexible team player with a sense of humor and a positive attitude.


Partner & Senior Optimization Coordinator, KNCE 93.5FM, True Taos Radio

Operating out of a 1978 Airstream Excella on Taos Mesa, KNCE is an independent, locally-owned, community-supported radio station. KNCE has been broadcasting local, grassroots media into the airwaves over northern New Mexico and worldwide at truetaosradio.com since 2014. With over 75 volunteer DJs, KNCE is bringing it back to the old days of radio -- with real live people from the community getting on the mic to bring you tunes and talk they love and believe in, all day, every day.

Co-Founder and Editor, LiveTaos

LiveTaos is the leading independent voice in arts, entertainment, and culture in northern New Mexico. With dozens of contributors from the local community, LiveTaos strives to find and lift up all the people, places, food, stories, adventures, and events that make Taos and the surrounding communities so remarkable.

Company Member, Working Class Theatre and Teatro Serpiente

An actor since childhood and a classically-trained mezzo-soprano, I'm a proud member of two theatre companies who work to bring engaging, challenging, and fun theatre to our communities. As an actor, playwright, singer, musical director, and vocal coach, my work with these companies helps -- I hope! -- to keep me joyful, playful, and honest.

To conclude, here is a gigantic picture of my face! Thanks for visiting. I'll see you soon.

To conclude, here is a picture of my face.

Communications & development support for changemakers, nonprofits, artists, & small businesses.