Synopses & Reviews
Virtually everything our society teaches about charity is backwards. The donating public is told to measure the effectiveness and moral character of charities by how little they spend on "overhead," never being taught that overhead is really investment without which the nonprofit sector can never hope to solve massive social problems. The media and government unwittingly perpetuate these views, condemning charities that invest in behind-the-scenes infrastructure or attempt to lure talent away from the for-profit sector. Counterargumentsfor instance, that visionary leaders are worth competitive compensation precisely because their expertise generates exponential value for worthy causesget no air time. In the face of this dysfunctional indoctrination, the nonprofit sector has been silent, sometimes complicit, without a strategy for organizing and defending itself.
Dan Pallotta's groundbreaking first book, Uncharitable, exposed the unjust and discriminatory rules society imposes on charities. Now, in Charity Case, Pallotta presents a visionary blueprint for a leadership movement that will fight back against these double standards. The goals of this movement are historic: to transform the way the public thinks about giving and solving problems, to educate the public about how charities really work, to rehabilitate public perception of the nonprofit sector, and to help us overcome our obsession with overhead so that we can truly change the world. Pallotta calls for the launch of a "Charity Defense Council," which would build an anti-defamation league and legal defense fund for the sector, enact a national civil rights act for charity and social enterprise, and launch a bold and ongoing national ad campaign to upgrade public literacy about giving.
Grounded in Pallotta's unorthodox vision and deep humanitarian sector experience, Charity Case is a passionate wake-up call for all of uswhether we work in the philanthropic sector, contribute time or money to critical causes, or believe in the need for quantum progress on social challengesto transcend the culture that undermines our charities' ability to make change happen.
A blueprint for a national leadership movement to transform the way the public thinks about giving
Virtually everything our society has been taught about charity is backwards. We deny the social sector the ability to grow because of our short-sighted demand that it send every short-term dollar into direct services. Yet if the sector cannot grow, it can never match the scale of our great social problems. In the face of this dilemma, the sector has remained silent, defenseless, and disorganized. In Charity Case, Pallotta proposes a visionary solution: a Charity Defense Council to re-educate the public and give charities the freedom they need to solve our most pressing social issues.
- Proposes concrete steps for how a national Charity Defense Council will transform the public understanding of the humanitarian sector, including: building an anti-defamation league and legal defense for the sector, creating a massive national ongoing ad campaign to upgrade public literacy about giving, and ultimately enacting a National Civil Rights Act for Charity and Social Enterprise
- From Dan Pallotta, renowned builder of social movements and inventor of the multi-day charity event industry (including the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days) that has cumulatively raised over $1.1 billion for critical social causes
- The hotly-anticipated follow-up to Pallotta’s groundbreaking book Uncharitable
Grounded in Pallotta’s clear vision and deep social sector experience, Charity Case is a fascinating wake-up call for fixing the culture that thwarts our charities’ ability to change the world.
"An Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector." Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Praise for Charity Case
"Every once in a while a book states the obvious in such a compelling way that it rises to the level of genius. Charity Case is that exciting. It dares the whole of the charitable industry to raise its voice to the level of the music business and other consumer giants. In its insistence that the industry reject the role of second-class citizen, it has the potential to make charity sexy, and that's the only way charity is ever going to change the world."
Clive Davis, chief creative officer, Sony Music; founder, Arista Records; former president, Columbia Records
"If we had a prize for the most innovative thinking about charity and social change it would go to Dan Pallotta. Charity Case is the blueprint for unleashing the awesome power of this sector and enlightening the society that unknowingly holds it back. Simply brilliant and in a class by itself."
Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation
"Dan Pallotta invites, tempts, and provokes every single one of us to think differently about the humanitarian sector. He has a big vision and artfully makes a case for creating a sector-wide movement capable of powerful actions and needle-moving change that improve lives. In this rapidly changing and increasingly complex world, Dan's voice is crisp, clear, and compelling."
Diana Aviv, president and CEO, Independent Sector
"Dan Pallotta is a big thinkerimpatient, generous, and insightful. It's worth hearing him out."
Seth Godin, author, Tribes
"The nonprofit world needs innovation, and Dan Pallotta is helping us see how new ideas can help make our world more successful. In these tough times, we need his out-of-the-box ideas!"
Bobby Shriver, cofounder, Product (RED)
About the Author
Dan Pallotta is a builder of movements. He created the multi-day charitable fundraising event industry, including the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, which raised $582 million in nine years and were the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Multi-day charitable events have raised in excess of $1.1 billion to date. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said his groundbreaking 2009 book Uncharitable deserves to become "the nonprofit sector's new manifesto." He lives in Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Special Note xiii
1 And You Thought Public Perception of Congress Was Bad 1
2 Build an Anti-Defamation League for Charity 29
3 Create a “Got Milk?” Campaign for Charity 59
4 Build a Legal Defense Fund for Charity 93
5 Enact a National Civil Rights Act for Charity and Social Enterprise 129
6 Organize Ourselves 179
7 You Cannot Stop the Spring 193
Thank You 219
About the Author 223