Dan Palotta is a charity activist with enough experience to walk the talk. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at the TED 2013 Conference and have read his controversial book–Uncharitable, How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential.
Dan wants us to think differently about how to change the world and how we think charities should function. Most nonprofit organizations work on very small budgets, have difficulty attracting top talent because they can’t pay people what they are worth. Most nonprofits have budgets supported by donors who don’t want to pay for administrative and overhead costs. What they don’t realize is that to run programs and deliver on your mission to your stakeholders, you need to have a place to work, keep the lights on and pay decent salaries to keep your employees happy beyond just volunteering.
Dan makes a great case and its worth watching. I spend most of my time working with nonprofit organizations to help them tell their stories while also facilitating dialogs with their grantors. It is a slippery slope when you end up spending more time on evaluation than on delivering your programs. That’s my viewpoint and I think most would agree working in the social sector. I applaud Dan’s deep thinking about the life of charities and how they go about making a difference in our communities and around the world…myself included as the President of The World We Want Foundation.