8The Advice We Are Given About Charity Is Wrong—Here's the Truth

In your mind, picture the sort of person you think is likely to do charity work, whether as a staffer, donor, or volunteer.

Probably the person you're picturing is a bit more empathetic and kind than the average American. It may be someone who is a bit more sensitive, both to others' pain and also to their own. It's probably someone who wants to be a good, ethical person. It's someone who prefers collaboration and community over competitiveness and control. While personality traits like these might be helpful for leading us to do charity work, unfortunately, these same traits can prevent us from being as successful as possible at it.

Our empathy for others can make it difficult ...

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