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 […]

Exploitation in Fundraising Communications: 5 Critiques

In this article, I highlight the main critiques of exploitation in fundraising communications. Over the years many organizations, including nonprofits, media publications, and corporate entities, have been criticized for using exploitative language and imagery to inspire action. These communications are seen as taking advantage of the differences (access to resources, lived experience, race, geographic location, […]

How to Select the Right Staff for Your Trips

Selecting the right staff member(s) to attend your donor trips is a special challenge for many organizations. No matter how small the shop, these decisions can be very political and sometimes determined by arbitrary or irrelevant factors. Rather than dwell on what those may be, I’ve provided an article on factors you do need to […]

Why Intercultural Competence Matters in Short-term Assignments

What kind of cultural preparation do staff, volunteers, and donors really need before embarking on a short assignment overseas? Here, I argue that it is more critical to provide cultural preparation for short-term assignments than it is for long-term ones. While much attention has been paid to the role of intercultural competence in long-term international […]

Assessing Intercultural Competence in One Question

Assessing someone’s intercultural competence is one of the most difficult things to do in an interview process, so let’s drill down into one question you can start using right away. Some years ago, an organization hiring a staff position that required 25% international travel asked me to come up with one question to assess a […]