Daily Update June 10,  2016

Reframing: Communication Tip #2


This initiative is a project of the National Human Services Assembly and is generously funded by The Kresge Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Communication Tip #2: Don't Fall Into the Charity Trap
In a recent newsletter, we identified communication tips from FrameWorks Institute that can help the human service sector make the most of the new Building Well-Being Narrative. This week, we are taking a closer look at one of the words often used to describe the sector that we have learned undermines our communication efforts: CHARITY.
From Talking Human Services: A FrameWorks MessageMemo, FrameWorks Institute, November 2015
"The Charity trap. The well-known charity story rests on the largesse of the donors and the worthiness of the recipients. It focuses on the moment of human need, not on the preventions and interventions that led to that moment. It shuts out human services’ advocacy work and research and focuses attention narrowly on the provision of direct services. While it might result in a fundraising coup, it leaves donors ignorant of the larger scope of the problem and of the necessary solutions."
Download MessageMemo
By invoking this narrow view of our sector and reinforcing the perception that nonprofit professionals act only out of compassion, we make it more challenging to position the sector as worthy of investment and as being comprised of trained experts deserving of fair compensation. Not only do we want to be sure not to refer to our own organizations or work as “charity”, we will expedite uptake of the new frame if we are proactive in educating others on such problematic terms. So, for example, if a reporter or funder is using the word charity, take the time to explain to them why it is outdated and how it misleads to the public. As we seek to build public understanding of the breadth and depth of the work the human services sector does, and the critical role it plays in building a thriving society, we need to discard the old terms that no longer serve us.
Michelle Sims on our team here at the Assembly put together a fabulous, easy-to-use, compilation of the first set of reframing newsletters that focused on the four frame elements. This is a great reference guide to use as a refresher or even to keep by your laptop for short and succinct tips on what the new frame is and how to use it in your communications. Please share with your networks. Thanks, Michelle!
Download the Guide
Last month, Irv Katz gave his swan song performance on reframing at the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies national conference in San Diego. Irv worked with a group of about 40 enthusiastic human services leaders from around the country. Thanks, Irv, for being the visionary and driver behind the National Reframing Initiative!
We have a robust set of free tools to better equip you integrating this new narrative into your communications strategies.
Contact Us
For more information about reframing, please contact Ilsa Flanagan.
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Archived articles

May 26, 2016 - Match the Solution to the Problem
April 29, 2016 - Avoid These Communication Traps
April 14, 2016 - Maximum Impact: The Power of the Collective Parts
April 4, 2016 - The Final Plot Point in the New Narrative
March 17, 2016 - Getting Creative with Constructino Metaphor
March 4, 2016 - "Constructing" Your Narrative
February 18, 2016 - A Value that Resonates
February 4, 2016 - Lead with the Value

January 21, 2016 - Why Wellbeing?
January 11, 2016 - Building Well-Being: How to Use the New Frame
November 20, 2015 -  Building Wellbeing: A New Narrative for Human Services

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The Georgia Conference on Children and Families  - November 2-4, 2016