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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E159 – Empathy in the workplace with Ilana Jackman

“…people really respond to emergencies, and we do as individuals, when a friend is in urgent need, what we’re not very good at in our private life and in our philanthropic life is giving that long-term commitment to something that isn’t now, now, urgent! …so as we move into the next phase, that’s the challenge ahead.” - Ilana Jackman

In this episode we speak with Ilana Jackman about empathy.

We speak about the importance of empathy, on both personal and business lines, and how good empathy can make a positive difference to both, and help to get things done more efficiently.

Ilana has spoken before on the show and we know that many of our listeners have really benefitted from her lived experiences, wide knowledge and sage advice, and in this episode we cover some very topical and also timeless hints and tips, which we are sure you, dear listener will find useful.

1. Empathy is jumping into someone else's shoes

We liked Ilana’s statement that – ‘Empathy is about jumping into someone else’s shoes’. Understanding your colleagues wants and needs is a fundamental step in finding ways of working collaboratively with them.

Fundraisers need to show a high level of empathy in order to understand their colleagues as well as those they are seeking external support from, perhaps more than other roles, because a fundraiser needs others to help them achieve for the organisation. We all need each other, and whatever role you have, you need support of one type or another from colleagues in order to learn, develop and do. Incorporating time into our planning to understand our colleagues, our collaborators, is one way of delivering more effectively but also has the knock-on, positive effect of making our lives easier and hopefully more pleasurable too.

2. Making friends to make funds and building reciprocal relationships

After all, making friends to make funds sits at the heart of many fundraising successes, and going back to last week’s episode with Bill Woolsey, where he said you can’t reach people you hate, perhaps empathy is one way to learn to love those that you need.

All of us get completely into what it is that we need – we need to stay mindful that as any donor-centred approach to fundraising relies on us understanding the needs of funders and donors, so too should any approach to engaging with colleagues to further our goals be about finding the mutual wins and reciprocal relationship building.

Fundraising is about building partnerships internally as well as externally.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

This episode is brought to you by our platinum sponsor Charity People.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E121 - Non - Hierarchical Leadership With Helen Moulinos -

E81: COVID-19 and Charities with Ilana Jackman -

E:50 Psychology of Giving with Dr. Kiki Koutmeridou -


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