In her recent article in PlannedGiving.Com, editor Karen Martin posed this question: “What problem does your nonprofit solve?” Martin’s point was that as fundraising professionals, that is where our conversations with our community need to start.

The work of a nonprofit fundraising professional is pretty simple. Meet and talk to people about your organization and help them support your organization in a way that works for them.

I could talk literally for hours about Empath Health and the programs and services. I can make lists of services provided. I can provide statistics, facts, figures and pie charts that will prove we are fiscally sound and experts in our fields. I can do this for each and every program under the umbrella of Empath Health.  But most people don’t want to listen to hours of testimony as to why they should support an organization.

What people really want, and need, to hear about is: What’s our problem?

What is the problem in our community that Empath Health and its member programs work every day to solve? I thought about that and wondered if this is a harder question to answer, given that we are made up of a number of member programs under Empath Health. Is there a separate problem for each of our individual programs, or is there a single basic problem that all of our programs work on together? Are we a bunch of random nonprofits bundled up under the name “Empath Health,” or are we a strategic group of programs all working toward a common basic problem?

Here is my answer to myself, and to Karen Martin, and to our community: The common problem that the member programs under Empath Health are trying to help solve is that of isolation. 

Each and every program under Empath Health strives to remove the isolation of chronic and life-limiting illness. The diagnosis is hard. The day-to-day living with that diagnosis and the changes it brings can be really, really hard. When you leave the doctor’s office and go back to your life and try to live every day with your new normal. It is even worse if you, or you as the caregiver, are trying to to do it alone. When you or your loved one struggle with an illness or condition that will reduce independence, cause fear, anxiety, depression, pain, and physical symptoms that threaten quality of life, the member programs of Empath Health will walk with you throughout that journey. You will not have to face it in isolation. We will be there every step of the way providing empathy, help, support, education, comfort, care, assistance, and a shoulder to lean on when it just gets too hard.

Suncoast Hospice; Suncoast PACE; EPIC; Empath Home Health; Empath Palliative Care; Empath Community Counseling; all work to ensure that nobody in our community has to face chronic and life-limiting illness and death alone. For more information on how you can be a part of the solution to our “problem,” please contact Karen Van De Putte at (727) 523-3422.