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, […]

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 […]

What Funders Get Wrong About Site Visits

Site visits play an important role in helping funders determine which organizations and causes to allocate resources to, but unfortunately these engagements are also ripe for exploitation. Staff in nonprofits often spend undue time preparing for and facilitating site visits from funders, much of it to the detriment of their programs. Nonprofit clients are sometimes […]

Where Do You Stand? The Hottest Issues in Storytelling Ethics Today

Nonprofits have come a long way in our understanding of the potential harm that can be done by exploitative fundraising campaigns.  However, we still struggle with certain storytelling practices.   I’ve curated a list of the three hottest topics in ethical storytelling right now and presented both sides of each argument. How you should proceed with each […]

Donor-Centric Language: Efficacy and Ethics

The language we use matters. When is donor-centric language an effective way of garnering support, and when do fundraisers cross the line in communicating real issues with transparency and authenticity? A long time ago (and yes, sometimes still today), nonprofits centered themselves in their communications to donors. Fundraising appeals were very – to put it bluntly […]