Kimberly Townsend speaking with someone.

My Philosophy of Pragmatic Altruism – and Why it Works

Everyone has a story. The challenges I faced in my personal and professional journey led me to my vision for Loretto and the greater Syracuse community. A vision that is embodied in a philosophy I call “pragmatic altruism.”

If you’ve read my book you know Lifecircle Leadership’s philosophy: doing good is good business. However, it’s not just doing good. It’s also caring for yourself, your company, your community, and getting out from under the constant pressure of our “instant-on” society – a society with a mantra that says “I want what I want and I want it now!” It’s not doing good for good’s sake, but with a vision, a purpose, and in a way that’s a “win-win” for yourself and your business. This is the heart of pragmatic altruism.

It starts with seeing every employee and every client as a human being with potential and opportunity. All too often, employers view employees as robots; just get the job done. Instead, a better business strategy and a better human strategy is to recognize the interconnectedness of employees’ work lives and personal lives.

I see myself as the individual responsible for my employees’ continued employment and well-being, and these employees are my motivation to go above and beyond the traditional corporate duties. As a result, I have led Loretto – a multi-million-dollar entity – on this very particular path of pragmatic altruism. How? By entering Loretto into a series of relationships with an assortment of philanthropic groups and community organizers – making significant improvements in the lives of my employees and the standards of the surrounding communities, while also creating situations and relationships that have proved to offer real-world benefits.

And it feels good. Because doing good extends to not just your business but also your soul. It’s about embodying selflessness and combining that with strategy—pragmatic altruism.

Pragmatic altruism is real. It works. And the time to get started is now.