You’re the Microphone—3 Ways to Not Be a Faulty One

Campaign messages like “we are the voice for the children” and “we are the voice for the poor” are all too common. Those people already have their own voices (however they express themselves, be it though auditory speech or another means)…. Whether they are “heard” is another matter. My point is, being the metaphorical voice […]

3 Ways to Center Your Storytellers

I’ve written a lot about how utilizing empathy requires that we not project our own perceptions, assumptions, and desires on to others. While the general public seems to think “empathy” means feeling exactly what another person feels; we often don’t know how another person feels because we are actually  just projecting what we would feel in another person’s situation. […]

What Happens When You Can’t Get Consent to Share Stories

If you have read my last article on “Consent is a Process, Not (Just) a Form,” you’ll know that obtaining informed consent from our clients is an important part of nonprofit storytelling. But if informed consent is just not possible, what do you do? I’m not talking about those circumstances when a client clearly declines […]

Consent is a Process, not (Just) a Form

When it comes to ethical storytelling for nonprofits, “consent” has become a buzzword. Nearly every article on the topic of ethical storytelling mentions the need for “informed consent,” yet few go to the trouble of defining what exactly that means, why we need it, or how it can get operationalized. In this article, I’m going […]

The Diagram of Ethical Storytelling Excellence

This is one of those stories we tell ourselves: That fundraising staff and program staff are not aligned in storytelling. There is a perception that the fundraising staff prioritize the needs of donors, wanting to overly focus on the negative aspects of clients’ lives and commodify their stories into “assets” for the annual appeal. And […]