Do we have the wrong idea about charity? Part I
What role do nonprofits actually play in changing the world? In his book, Uncharitable, Dan Pallotta wrestles with this question while pointing out that society has established a “rulebook” for nonprofits that drastically differs from the rulebook that business and other sectors get to follow. As a result, nonprofits are repeatedly inhibited from playing the role they should play in changing the world, and are burdened by the fact that the public has the wrong idea about charity and how charity should work. Businesses have been entrusted to drive economic development and advancement, while social businesses are believed to generate solutions for all remaining matters. The outcomes these sectors produce can be easily measured, and are greatly valued. But when considering the role that nonprofits play in this dynamic, their impact is continuously questioned. While the number of nonprofits consistently grows, their measurable impact is hard to define. It is seldom that an organization, whose mission is to eradicate poverty, can say that it has fully done so in their domain. Pallotta claims that there is a solution: we need to change the way we think about changing the world.
The problem, as Pallotta identifies it, is that the charitable world is competing against all other sectors, but not by the same standards. They are restricted by this perception that ‘non’profits should spend as little as possible, even though achieving their goals would require a lot more resources to be utilized. He further argues that nonprofits are unfairly limited in what they are able to achieve because of the way society perceives charity. The charitable sector should be awarded for what they are able to accomplish, even if it comes at a cost, instead of being praised for being frugal. There is no doubt that nonprofits add traction in achieving social change, and it is clear that if we were to do away with the current setbacks they face, they would certainly reach higher grounds.
About Dan Pallotta–
Dan Pallotta is a bestselling author, humanitarian activist and a leading expert on innovation in the nonprofit sector, shares his visionary perspective on transforming the way society views charity, giving and changing the world. Pallotta's message of "freeing charity to use the tools of capitalism" will resonate with the corporate community to encourage nonprofits to use innovation and creativity to reach their potential and enhance their effectiveness to impact change. With over 2 million views on TED talk, Pallotta is a powerful, passionate and thought-provoking speaker. Pallotta is best known for creating the multi-day charitable event industry and a new generation of citizen philanthropists with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day events, which raised $582 million in nine years.
To hear more from Dan Pallotta, you can attend his lecture at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on September 11, 2013.
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