Monday, March 11, 2013

change how you think & change the world

An amazing, mind changing talk by Dan Pallotta that revisits, revises, and reinvents the way we think about charity.

Five Areas of Economic Discrimination in the Nonprofit Sector:

1. Compensation

We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interestingly, we don't have a visceral reaction to people making a lot of money not helping other people. You want to make 50 million dollars making violent video games for kids? Go for it! We'll put your picture on the cover of Wired Magazine... but you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids with malaria and you're considered a parasite yourself.

You shouldn't have to choose between doing good for yourself and your family, and choosing to do good for the world.

2. Advertising and Marketing

Money spent on advertising could bring in larger sums of money to help the needy.

3. The Taking of Risk on New Revenue Ideas

When you prohibit failure, you kill innovation.

4. Time

Using time to build scale in the social sector results in ... crucifixion.

5. Profit to Attract Risk Capital

The nonprofit sector is starved for growth and risk and idea capital.

The two big problems with the dangerous question: "What percentage of my donation goes to the cause as opposed to overhead?"

1.  Makes us think "overhead" is not part of "the cause".

"Overhead" is not a negative. "Overhead" is part of 'the cause'.

2. Forces charities to forego what they need to grow.

Don't confuse Morality with Frugality

Our generation does not want its epitaph to read: We Kept Charity Overhead Low
We want it to read that We Changed the World and part of the way we did that was changing the way we think about these things!

So the next time you're looking at a charity, don't ask about the rate of their overhead. Ask about the scale of their dreams... how do they measure their progress toward those dreams... and what resources they need to make those dreams come true.

If we are able to say that we took responsibility for the thinking that had been handed down to us... that we revisited it, we revised it, and we reinvented the whole way humanity thinks about changing things forever and for everyone... Well, that would be a real social innovation!

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