Exploring Charitable Norms and Narratives: The Stories and Values That Influence Giving

A two-day virtual event on September 16 and 17

illustration of a crowd of people

Laws and regulations are often the focus of conversations about what might promote or inhibit charitable giving, but social norms and narratives can be just as powerful—or even more powerful—drivers of prosocial behavior. They shape charitable giving practice in fundamental ways.

Join the Urban Institute for Exploring Charitable Norms and Narratives: The Stories and Values That Influence Giving, a two-day virtual convening featuring research presentations and broad-ranging discussions about the norms and narratives surrounding generosity and charitable giving.

The virtual convening will draw on new research from the Urban Institute, the Media Ecosystems Analysis Group, and the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and will surface insights from practitioners and other leaders to explore 

  • how charitable and philanthropic giving appear in social media, movies, and film; 
  • how approaches to teaching charity and generosity, in both the household and school, have developed in recent years; 
  • how campaigns encouraging other prosocial behaviors might inform and intersect with those seeking to increase charitable giving and generosity; and
  • whether distinct norms and narratives govern the giving of elites and mass donors. 

We will pay particular attention to how the norms and narratives surrounding charitable giving have been shaped by, and in turn have shaped, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and campaigns to promote racial equity.

Wednesday, September 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT

Scholars from the Urban Institute, the Media Ecosystems Analysis Group, and the Norman Lear Center will discuss findings from recent research into the charitable norms and narratives most prominent in contemporary television, movies, news, and social media, as well as in public discourse.

Speakers:

  • Shena Ashley, Vice President, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute
  • Emily Boardman Ndulue, Researcher/Community Manager, Media Ecosystems Analysis Group
  • Erica Rosenthal, Research Director, Norman Lear Center, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • Benjamin Soskis, Research Associate, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute

Wednesday, September 16, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT

Two philanthropy leaders will reflect on efforts to spark a global “radical generosity revolution” and promote Black-led giving circles at the local level. Break-out discussions will examine how charitable norms and narratives have developed in recent years, particularly amid the COVID-19 crisis and racial justice protests.

Speakers:

  • Asha Curran, Chief Executive Officer, #GivingTuesday
  • Edward Jones, Founding Member, Black Benefactors; Vice President of Programs, ABFE

Thursday, September 17, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT

Leading activists, advocates, and behavioral scientists who have championed causes including economic mobility, greater representation of minorities in Hollywood, and more aggressive action to address climate change will discuss how norms and narratives have served as levers for social and political change.

Speakers:

  • Marya Bangee, Executive Director, Harness
  • William J. Congdon, Principal Research Associate, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute
  • Leslie Crutchfield, Executive Director, Business for Impact, Georgetown University
  • Nisha G. Patel, Senior Fellow, Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis; Creative Catalyst, Powered by Shakti
  • Tracy Van Slyke, Strategy Director, Pop Culture Collaborative

Thursday, September 17, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT

Leaders of two efforts promoting generosity, kindness, and charitable giving among children will be followed by break-out discussions on how to foster a culture of giving.

Speakers:

  • Kama Einhorn, Senior Content Manager, Sesame Workshop
  • Laura Wilson, Schools and Community Fundraising Lead, Comic Relief UK

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #LiveAtUrban

 

Please RSVP by September 11. Space is limited.

Support for this event is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to urban.org/fundingprinciples.

Send any inquires regarding this event to events@urban.org.

Image credit: GermanVectorPro/Shutterstock