Frequently Asked Questions



Traditional organization structures are hierarchical: a leader, sometimes in consultation with a board of directors, determines a goal for an enterprise and directs other people to carry out the steps necessary to reach that goal. At the Charter, we support self-organization: we believe that sustainable change emerges organically from communities. As such, we facilitate connections between resources, individuals, and organizations with the intent of supporting (not controlling) outcomes of increasing compassion. In fact, because we have over 2,000 partners, and those partners support networks as well, it’s really more accurate to describe the Charter as a “network of networks.” How do networks foster societal change? Networks are the first, critical step in systemic reorganization of the type we believe is necessary to make compassion an organizing, luminous force. Meg Wheatley and Deborah Frieze describe these steps eloquently in the short article "Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale," which we’ve republished with permission.


How can I contact the Charter with a question, idea or concern? Contact the staff, members of the Global Compassion Council or Karen Armstrong?



The best way is to use the Contact Form on this web site. Or you may email questions, comments and suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You are welcome to send all inquiries for Karen Armstrong to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and the Charter team will be happy to forward them to her. This is also true of contacting members of the Charter Board of Directors or members of the Global Compassion Council (GCC). Please note in all cases, mail will be forwarded to the appropriate person and replies will come directly from them.  In the case of Karen Armstrong, her calendar is very demanding and it is often very difficult for her to respond to messages asking for personal opinions.  Requests for speaking engagements, endorsements and attendance at special events will be immediated forwarded to her personal assistant.


What kind of volunteer opportunities exist with the Charter?

volunteers needed

We can’t do this alone--it takes people power to maintain and expand our network and respond to the needs of our compassionate communities and global partners. Do you know that the Charter for Compassion (CFC) exists with the generous support of a growing group of international volunteers and only one full-time and three part-time people? As the number of our communities and partners expands, we need to increase our volunteer staff and services more than ever.  Here are some of the areas in which you can help:

Books and Film Annotated Bibliographies
Anyone interested in reading may contribute by recommending books that speak directly or indirectly to compassion and the attributes of compassion (i.e., altruism, empathy, happiness, kindness, resilience, mindfulness, self-compassion). You might find that you've found an extraordinary book and you want to do a review of that book. If you write a review, we can post it on Facebook (both our general and book club pages), possibly publish it as an article or blog on the Charter website, and include it in one of our annotated bibliographies.  This also goes for doing the same with recommending films.
Charter Salon Organization
Charter Salons are events were individual CFC members bring together people who may be interested in the concept of CFC, its mission and vision and subsequent work.  Through Charter Salons we hope to inspire and motivate participants to affirm the Charter and invite them to become members or partners, or to become involved with compassionate community iniatives.  Also, Salons act as the Charter's general grassroots fundraising activity.
Cities and Community Leads and Partner Sector Leads
Help us grow involvement in CFC by assisting in reponding to inquries made of the Charter about being a compassionate city or community and for organizations interested in being involved in our partner network (i.e., arts, education, environment, healthcare, religion/spirituality/interfaith, restorative justice, science and research and social services).  We also need volunteers to help contact organizations who be interested in becoming partner members.  In addition, we need volunteers who are interested in helping to maintain and update our Compassion Books.  We have a Compassion Reader for each of our sectors.
Conferences and Event Planning
CFC does not sponsor conferences on its own, rather we help by co-sponsoring and participating in other major events hosted by our partner organizations.  For example, in 2015 CFC helped with organizing the Parliament of World Religions (Salt Lake City, USA), and participated in the International Centre for Communication in Healthcare Conference (Hong Kong), Compassion, Innovation and Creativity Conference (Western Connecticut State University), Encuentros Mundial de Valores (Monterrey, Mexico) and the MIND Conference (University of Utrecht, Netherlands).  Each of these events requires a great deal of planning from organizing workshops to organizing booths and preparing materials for distribution.

Social Media

The Charter posts on Facebook, in fact we have three separate pages (general page, partner page and book club page), we "tweet" on Twitter, maintain Pinterest and Tumblr sites, and we also post on Instragram.  You can imagine that this takes a good amount of putting up posts and keeping up with responding to inquiries. We also have our own YouTube channel.  If you like social media we could use your help to help with research, manage our publishing calendar and help with coordinating all of these sites.

Website Design and Maintenance

Our website is on a Joomla platform.  If you have experience with website design and/or maintenance we could use your help to put up regular News and Events postings.  We could also use individuals who would help assist us in working on specific sector sections (i.e., arts, education, environment, healthcare, religion/spirituality/interfaith, restorative justice, science and research and social services), or help update our resource material. 

Writers and Editors

Each day something remarkable happens that is related to the Charter.  If you like to write we have the stories that need to be told. We also have a plethora of articles and stories that need to be edited. 

If you are interested in volunteering in any of the areas named above, please write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How can I contribute to a blog post?

2372449 orig

CFC maintains three distinct blogs: Compassion, Compassionate Communities and Compassionate Education.  We invite participation on all three blogs.  Send us your blog entry through e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you are interested in contributing on a regular basis we will set you up with your own account.

Compassion Blog

Here we highlight the work of excellent writers who are also engaged in leading the compassion movement in various places in the world. One of the writers featured is Caren Goldman, an award-winning author and seasoned journalist who writes inspirational books and articles about the intersections of healing, spirituality, psychology and religion.  Her most recent book, RESTORING LIFE’S MISSING PIECES: The Spiritual Power of Remembering and Reuniting with People, Places, Things and Self (Sky Light Paths Publishing) was named a “Best Spiritual Book of 2011.”  Caren is also an organizer of the St. Augustine Initiative for Compassion.

We are looking forward to you adding your writing to our Compassion Blog.

Compassionate Communities Blog

What constitutes a compassionate community?  What is happening in the place where you live?  Are you involved in organizing your city to be a compassionate city?  Let us know your thoughts, the accomplishments you've been making and the problems you've uncovered.  Share your opinions, ideas, thoughts and concerns

Compassionate Education Blog

"What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?" That line is from an old Pete Seeger folksong popularized in the latter part of the last century.  It would be an interesting discussion to consider what is being taught in schools around the world today versus what was taught in the 1970s, or for that matter in the 1950s or even the 1930s.  Regardless whether we are looking at the past or the present, when it comes to teaching there are three questions that educators often consider:

  • Who are the students?
  • What's worth (most important, most meaningful) teaching?
  • How do we go about teaching the material?

What's happening in your teaching and learning? Welcome to the exploratory world of education. This Education Blog is a place to share and explore ideas about compassionate education and related skills (empathy, gratitude, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, etc), where we share what is happening in classrooms around the world, and link educators and students with one another. We want to hear from you.  Join us in the discussion.

Are there Charter projects in which I can become involved?

510lD3NM QL. SY300 Think about Taking a Stand?

How do you take a stand and begin to change the world?  Well maybe not the entire world, but perhaps the place where you live. At the very least your might change the minds of your friends and colleagues just because you brought up your concern. Who knows, maybe hundreds, thousands, and even the lives of tens of thousands of people may be different because of your deciding to do something.  We want this page to be your page--a page that is generated by the concerns of the members to the Charter for Compassion. Let us know of your concern and we'll get it up on this page for others to note.  Just contact us and follow the format below by giving us a description of the issue, some background information and point us to the ways others can get involved.  If you can't find everything you feel you want to include, don't hesitate from letting us hear from you.  We'll jump in and help.

If you need some impetus to get started we would recommend going to the website: How to Take a Stand. Don't overlook clicking on the links provided because there are some great suggestions for helping you deepen your commitment to make a difference in the world.  For example, here is a piece on "How to do the Impossible":

What does impossible really mean? Is anything truly impossible?

Humans can’t fly, but the Wright brothers proved an airplane could get us close enough. We can’t defy physics and teleport from one side of the world to another, but the internet made it possible to instantly bring the other side of the world to us.

What is impossible?

When I think about the impossible, I don’t really worry much about the undoable. I know I can’t jump off a cliff and start flying. I know I can’t close my eyes and teleport to China. What I worry about is the extremely unlikely – the problems that are solvable but so few people are willing to work on. Bringing peace to the Middle East might be a good example. Or, how about getting astronauts back to Earth without a space craft?

These are things that obviously aren’t impossible, but because either:

       So many people have tried and failed, or no one is brave enough to give it a shot, and they inherit the label impossible.

Picture, for a second, your own life and your own dreams. What are those things that you’ve always wanted to do that seem completely impossible. Hold that thought for a second. Is it actually impossible or does it just feel impratical because you don’t think you can do it. Possible for someone else, perhaps, but not for you.

There’s the problem. And the solution, believe it or not, isn’t all that complicated.

It’s commitment.

The #1 thing you must have in order to do the impossible is commitment. It comes before planning and action and everything else.

It’s the hardest thing to come by, but without it, all else is wasted. Learn more. We regularly publish issues upon which you can act.

CfCI Weekly Report Border

Signing the Charter, or affirming the principle of compassion, is an important first step. An even more important step is to join the Charter as a Member, and making a commitment to sustain the global movement and participate in a compassion initiative in your community or institution.  However, we do encourage you to contribute financially when you become a member, but it is possible to select a "Free Membership" when you join.

To sum it up:

• Everybody who signs the Charter gets our public newsletter

• Everybody who joins as a Member also gets a Members Newsletter

• You can join as a Member even if you don't make a donation at the same time.

Organizations become Partners with the Charter, and individuals become Members.


What does my contribution support?

The staff of the Charter along with all our partners, organizers working to establish compassionate cities, and individuals in all the Charter's sectors are allies in a vast and connected network working for one very hopeful vision: ”a world in which human compassion is brought to the forefront in all our interactions with one another” in our relationships, in our communities, and across all borders throughout the world.

We need to increase our staff, refine some of our online tool-kits, develop and offer education programs and online courses, and assist the quickly increasing number of cities, towns and countries who want to become compassionate communities. If you've been with us during the last year, you have witnessed  our growth, and many of you have benefited from our outreach.

We have great plans for the next years, including establishing geographic hubs for the Charter's work in several places in the world, supporting pilot projects of cities working in collaboration across geographic boundaries, offering webinars on compassion, and increasing our outreach to include the development of new sectors in the arts, social services, and restorative justice.

Facts about employer gift-matching

1Matching Gift Logo v3

Check with the Human Relations department at the company for which you work to see if there is a matching gift program available.  There are times when the Charter may receive a matching gift grant to which you can contribute.  These opportunities are announced through our newsletter.

About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.


  • Be up to date with our latest news.


  • Charter for Compassion
  • PO Box 10787
  • Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
  • twitter
  • facebook1
  • facebook2
  • youtube
  • linked in
  • pinterest
  • instagram
  • tumblr


Log in