Empathy Is Not the Endgame

As a follow up to my foundational article, “What You Thought Was Empathy Was Actually Sympathy,” in this article I dispel some misconceptions about empathy and provide tactical pointers to help nonprofit professionals better embody empathy in their work and avoid the pitfalls of sympathy. Empathy is not about emotion…it’s about understanding Rather than try […]

What You Thought Was Empathy Was Actually Sympathy

Empathy has come to have a bad rep lately. After enjoying years in the spotlight as the antidote to just about everything from prejudice to poverty, empathy is now being rebranded as the cause—not the solution—to those problems. The arguments are not insignificant. Psychologist Paul Bloom has been a long-time critic of empathy in the […]

Difficult Dialogues with Curiosity and Intention

We live in a time when remaining silent on critical issues is no longer possible. Even if we have been living lives of relative comfort—the lives of our friends, families, and neighbors are at stake. You know that you need to have more honest, transparent, and authentic conversations with donors, volunteers, and colleagues on race, […]

Why Connection is More Powerful than Content

The COVID-19 outbreak has created challenges for the way nonprofits engage their supporters. While we remain apart from each other at physical distances, unable to travel or even convene in large groups, the question on everyone’s mind is: how do we continue to steward and engage our donors while they can’t meet us in person, […]

Why does “poverty porn” still exist?

Since the term “poverty porn” first appeared in 1981, much has been said about the exploitation of human suffering to inspire charitable giving. Yet for all that we’ve learned over the last four decades, many organizations still struggle to communicate their impact in a way that authentically represents the issue and preserves the dignity of […]