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20NTC Session Proposal

From Exploitation to Empathy: Ethical Representation in Fundraising Communications


Since the term “poverty porn” first appeared in 1981, much has been said about the exploitation of human suffering to inspire charitable giving. Yet four decades later, many organizations still struggle to communicate their impact in a way that authentically represents the issue and preserves the dignity of those affected by it. How do we portray our program participants as their own agents of change, while admitting that they also need our help? In a refreshing take on this provocative issue, Caliopy Glaros of Philanthropy without Borders provides an innovative approach to building capacity for empathy while motivating others to action. Attendees will leave this session with a new method for evaluating exploitation and empathy in their fundraising communications, as well as tools they can put to use right away.

Target Audience

Marketing, communications, and fundraising staff tasked with creating content for websites, social media, and mass campaigns

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