Humanizing Our Way Forward: Three ideas to infuse energy into the work while deepening connection, intention and trust

Featured Image with title on solid dark blue background, white The Giving Practice logo in the right bottom corner, and a sketch of hands high fiving in the bottom left corner.

After two full years of living in a post-pandemic world with seemingly endless cycles of hope followed by grief followed by hope and then grief again, we often feel exhausted – like we’re running on empty.  

In our last TGP team meeting, our consultants came together to share strategies to help us refill our tanks, and even grow them as we move forward. At the core of the conversation was the theme of humanization.  

“Given how disconnected people are feeling, and the pressure that we feel in light of challenges, bringing humanity into the process is critical. Because we’re just working together here. We’re just trying to do something together,” Mark reminded us.   

Bringing humanity into the work can come to life in many ways. Our consultants, Abby Sarmac, Mark Sedway and Dawn Chirwa, share a few examples below:   


1. Giving Permission to Pause  

Learn more about the power of pausing to advance your work in our guide: Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices.


2. Leaning into 1:1 Meetings  


In addition to hosting 1:1 meetings, infuse more connection and energy into the virtual office with strategies outlined in this one-sheeter that we developed at the onset of the pandemic and new normal of working virtually: Making the Most of Virtual Meetings.  

3. Integrating Storytelling  


Let’s face it, it can be difficult to be fully present when we’re not always fully (physically) present anymore. Practices that humanize our work like pausing, meeting 1:1 and storytelling draw us in and help us be more present. This, in turn, generates energy and helps deepen trust, a fundamental building block for transformation. 

These practices also require time. Psychologist and Holocaust survivor Edith Eger says, “Love is a four-letter word spelled t-i-m-e.” And when philanthropy is defined by “love for humanity,” taking the time to infuse more humanity into our work is the only way forward. 


Join our mailing list to stay up to date on our latest reflections, insights, interviews and more. 


Stay Connected

Sign up for our quarterly newsletters to get the latest TGP reflections and resources right in your inbox.