Bridging the Divide: Connecting the Head and Heart of Philanthropy

June 27, 2013
Location: Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL)

Empathy, defined as the experience of understanding others from their perspective, can bring meaning to and curiosity about what can be a world of seemingly endless need.

Empathy may be considered the “softer side of philanthropy,” so how can grantmakers use it as a tool in effective grant making?

Widespread Empathy, a publication by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) and Jump Associates, provides funders with five steps for using empathy to understand first-hand their stakeholders’ needs and, as a result, increase the impact of their grant making. The publication also shares stories of grantmakers who are committed to widespread empathy and implement its principles in their day-to-day work.

Members gathered to explore the idea of widespread empathy and discuss together the following questions:

° How do you live this idea of empathy in grant making?
° How do we balance the challenge of being empathetic when facing strategic guidelines, managing expectations, etc.?
° What can we do to implement one or more of these five steps in our everyday work?

Widespread Empathy: a GEO Publication
Full Report
Executive Summary

True Empathy is Key to Effective Philanthropy