Primer on nonprofit sector buzzwords and jargon

By Jodie Shupac, writer, Charity Village

Leveraging funds. Capacity-building. Community-driven action. Enabling populations. Collaboration. Participatory action. Anti-oppression.

Just some examples of a multitude of terms regularly thrown around by professionals in the nonprofit sector, these buzzwords can be reasonably categorized as industry speak, or just plain old jargon.

Nonprofit jargon, like the vernacular of any sector or workplace, can provide a sense of unity and belonging to individuals and organizations working within a particular framework, but language of this sort can also prove imprecise, clichéd or alienating.

So why has certain terminology become so prevalent in the nonprofit sphere, and what impact is it having on both those on the frontlines and the fringes of the sector?

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