Demonstrating Authenticity and Accountability in a “Fake News” World

In an age of filtered photos and “fake news” people are desperate for authenticity. Even so-called reality TV is not real (no shocker there!).

As one scandal after another has plagued corporate America, politicians, and the media, trust has eroded into a major deficit. Sadly, even among nonprofits, only one in five Americans say they highly trust charities that are dedicated to serving the public good.

A 2019 Pew Research report includes the headline “Americans’ struggle with truth, accuracy, and accountability.” The same study goes on to explain the sobering reality: “Many think America is experiencing a crisis in facts and truth, and they believe this problem ties into the current state of distrust people have in institutions…At the same time, Americans admit they at times have trouble distinguishing the truth from falsehood from certain sources.”

Clearly, the needle on trust is moving in the wrong direction. As nonprofit leaders, what can we learn from these troubling accounts? How can we earn back trust and be more effective in fulfilling our missions?

In this presentation, originally presented at the 2019 BMWL National Nonprofit Conference, Michael Martin offers five practical ways nonprofits can demonstrate authenticity.

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