The Empathy Initiative needs your help
Hi👋 we are Tanja and Sonja.
We are dedicated to helping people listen to each other, even when their opinions differ, and even when they are in conflict with one another.
Nearly three years ago we founded the project Empathy City Zurich and this year the Empathy Initiative was born, with which we take our work to the whole of Switzerland. This is how:
We do awareness work, which means we talk and write about the social importance of empathy. We teach courses, trainings, and workshops on empathy and conflict resolution. We support collectives, associations, organizations, and work teams in the areas of feedback culture and sustainable engagement. We support groups in resolving acute conflicts.
We do not work for profit. We support where we are needed. To survive another year, we thus need 100,000 francs.
What we teach
We work with an approach called Nonviolent Communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg. We teach:
- Empathy: how we can listen to other people in a way that they feel understood and helps ease their pain.
- Authenticity: how to communicate in a way that increases the chances that others understand our point of view and want to cooperate.
- Conflict resolution: how to navigate conflicts while adressing the causes and not just the symptoms.
- Self-empathy: how to deal with strong emotions such as anger, sadness, or fear.
To learn more about our courses, check out our website.
An uncensored crowdfunding story
We support many associations and projects that have limited financial resources. That is why we often work far below the market price or even for free. This year we have had so many requests that we need a team to support us. Besides us, three other people receive a salary, Annabelle Ehmann, Michelle Reichelt and Livio Lunin. We also have volunteers, without whom our project would not be possible (big thankyou to you!). At the moment we can cover 64% of all wage costs with the income from courses, workshops, donations and donation-membership fees.
Now to the part that would usually be censored: this year we tried to cover the financial gap with foundation funds. So far, however, our funding applications have unfortunately not been accepted. It takes courage for us to tell the truth. It might be more marketing savvy to just highlight our successes, but what makes our project work is not only a culture of empathy, but also one of transparency. That’s why we share openly and honestly that things didn’t work out as planned. Initial difficulties are a part of establishing new projects, so why should we hide ours?
We’ll keep trying with foundation funding and are optimistic that it will work out sooner or later. But until then, we need your help.
What supports us: become a donation-member ♥E>
In order for us to survive financially for the next year and pay our salaries, we need 100,000 francs. (By the way, we are happy to give information about our salaries and budget, write us!).
Our dream is to be able to focus more and more on our workshops and courses and spend less time raising money. Crowdfunding is fun, but honestly, it’s also really exhausting. That’s why we are especially happy if you support us as a sustaining donation-member, i.e. you donate us a monthly or yearly amount. Of course, there is no cancellation period! You simply stop again when you wish.
We are infinitely grateful for all the people who support us and share with us the vision of a society in which we listen to each other again, move closer together, and are there for each other.
E> Sonja and Tanja