When a charity makes a profit, is your instinct to applaud or protest?

Read about Dan Pallotta's call to free nonprofits:

Connecting to Philanthropy: When a charity makes a profit, is your instinct to applaud or protest? (May 1, 2015)

Dan Pallotta, a pioneering social entrepreneur, argues that the public’s mindset of the nonprofit sector needs to change.He shares that the public expectation is often that nonprofits shouldn’t focus on earning a profit, and that a well-run nonprofit should have low overhead costs. Other critics call to end this "overhead” myth – when a nonprofit focuses on keeping low fundraising and administrative costs (vs. costs to deliver programs and services), so the nonprofit is deemed more worthy and efficient.This type of efficiency metric is often used when calculating a nonprofit’s rating. Dan Pallotta argues that the value placed on an efficiency rating limits nonprofits and needs to change.In his bestselling and controversial book, Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, Pallotta calls to free nonprofits from this expectation that limits nonprofits – both from an ideological and financial standpoint.“If we changed the way we think about charity,” Pallotta says, “charity could change the world.”In Uncharitable, he outlines the limitations of nonprofits, as well as offering possible solutions. He argues that to maximize effectiveness, nonprofits should instead act more like for-profit companies. He reasons that “if we want the nonprofit sector to do without the successful tactics of the business sector-say, marketing-how can we expect the nonprofit sector to aspire to greatness?”Pallotta is the founder of Pallotta TeamWorks, which invented the multi-day charitable event industry with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days. To date, he says, the industry has raised in excess of $1.5 billion for important causes in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., employing innovations that he pioneered in the sector.In Pallotta’s iconic TED Talk “The Way We Think about Charity is Dead Wrong,” he says many nonprofits are, “rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done.” Instead he encourages the focus to be on nonprofit accomplishments, and not solely the bottom line.The discussion he's trying to start could be extremely useful for the nonprofit community. You can join the discussion by seeing Dan Pallotta live and in person in Waukesha on June 11.

Wisconsin Philanthropy Network is proud to provide you with the opportunity to hear his presentation discussing themes from his book, Uncharitable. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said the book, "deserves to become the nonprofit sector’s new manifesto."

The event “Uncharitable: Rethinking Nonprofits with Dan Pallotta”, will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Marcus Majestic Cinema, just off of I-94 in Waukesha. Visit www.dfwonline.org/pallotta to learn more and register to attend. The registration fee includes a copy of Dan’s book, Uncharitable, a breakfast buffet and free parking.

After the morning session with Dan Pallotta, family foundations, independent foundations and private philanthropists are encouraged to stay for an afternoon of programming specifically designed just for them.

The afternoon series of educational sessions is designed to increase grantmaking impact, by continuing the conversation on assessment and solutions to nonprofit practices.

In the opening session, The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) will share findings and measureable guidelines from their new report, The Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Assess and Enhance Grantmaker Impact.

NCRP is a national independent watchdog of foundations, and they argue that the report is “vitally important for innovative and rigorous self-assessment to ensure that the social sector is part of the solution to the pressing issues we face as a nation.”

This engaging session is only the beginning of the exciting educational series designed to help grantmakers further their mission and increase their grantmaking impact.

We hope family and independent foundations and private philanthropists will join us for the “Spring Symposium”, held on Thursday, June 11, 2015, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Marcus Majestic Cinema, just off of I-94 in Waukesha. Visit www.wiphilanthropy.org to learn more about the other afternoon sessions and register to attend. Registration is complementary with the paid fee for the morning session, “Uncharitable: Rethinking Nonprofits with Dan Pallotta”.

Contributed by Melinda VerDuin, Communications and Marketing Manager, Wisconsin Philanthropy Network


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