Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this Medium post, the consulting firm Jump Associates discusses how empathy in philanthropy must go beyond good intentions — it must prioritize the perspectives of others.
• Are we doing enough in the nonprofit world to make sure all voices are represented and heard? What can we do to make empathy more intuitive overall?
The changing economy has caused many people in the nonprofit world to re-examine the way they work, but too little effort has focused on one of the keys to success: empathy.
We know what you are thinking: Nonprofit groups are all about empathy. Soup kitchens, after-school programs, affordable-housing groups — the people who provide those services as well as the foundations that support them are always focused on helping others.
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But empathy — real empathy — is more than good intentions. Empathy is the ability to reach outside of yourself and walk in someone else’s shoes. Over time, empathy grows into an informed intuition for how other people see the world. We rely on this intuition to help us make better decisions that affect the folks around us.
The lesson for nonprofit groups is that empathy is about more than having compassion for others, as important as that is. It’s also about operating in a way that ensures that an organization’s work is informed by the opinions and perspectives of the people who are affected by that work.
Read the full article by Dev Patnaik and Kathleen Enright about the importance of empathy in philanthropy from Medium.
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