Radical ideas on fund raising from Dan Pallotta

In this video Dan Pallotta suggests that if charity fund raising is to meet the needs of the world we must  ditch the idea that raising charity funding  is somehow a pure activity and  start using  ‘for profit business’ tools  such as investment in advertising,  recruitment and maybe shareholders.

Convinced?  Then read Phil Bucchanan’s article.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. This is a very interesting perspective but one that I profoundly disagree with. Why? Because Dan Pallotta does not question the logic of the system. He does not question the fact that the ‘profit sector’ is actually causing many of the ills that the world is suffering from. For example – what is causing climate change? Change that will have the biggest impact on the poor – those least responsible for it and least able to cope with it! What is causing climate change is the rampant consumption of the world’s resources and the emissions/pollution etc that are associated with it. What is driving rampant consumerism – profit. The more we consume the more money/profits companies make (but at what cost to the environment?). Rather than questioning the logic and consequences of profit driven companies and economies Dan applies the logic of the ‘profit sector’ to the ‘non profit sector’. The world does not need more charity it needs more justice. Look at what is happening with the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro – the poor are being forced out of their homes so that big companies and politicians can make profits. We will all be asked to give more in charity to help those who have been forced from their homes – charities will pick up the mess created by the drive for profits. Applying the logic of the ‘profit sector’ to the ‘non profit sector’ is not the solution to solving the world problems, in my book it will make the situation worse!

    1. Hi Joe, Whilst I agree that there are many examples of profit driven activity contributing to the ills of the world I do not think that ‘profit’ in itself is necessarily an evil, as demonstrated by social enterprise activities.
      Adriaan Mol co-founder of ‘Bushcraft’ and ‘ToughStuff’ develop and supply sustainable products to people in the least developed parts of the world. These are affordable products which enable people to provide themselves with clean water and low cost energy.
      During an interview with Tori Hogan, maker of ‘Beyond Good Intentions’ (2009), Adriaan describes how giving people access to products they can ‘buy’ seems in this instance to work better that the more traditional strategy of charity agencies providing free materials.
      Elsewhere Adriaan describes how the business disciplines of efficiency, competition, and transparency enable them to better achieve their objectives, not least in that they can scale up provision.
      I think Dan Pollatto is simply advocating the use of business tools to become more effective, attract the brightest, advertise, invest in long term ideas, be transparent and do not be afraid of ‘profit’ to fund charity activities.
      Of course I should qualify that when I talk of ‘profit’ I am thinking of ethical profit…but that is for another discussion.

  2. What a fascinating topic it is! I think I’ve been guilty of judging charities on their overheads in the past without thinking carefully about the issue- in fact following the media criticism of charities. If Dan Pallota’s ideas (and others who also agree) on charities as businesses are put into practice it might not seem such an up hill task to raise the funds.
    It would also attract the innovative creative minds to work for charities instead of business. Living well and doing good can be compatible.
    The replacing of Kerosene lamps for the purchase of LED lights recently on the site was a good example of a charity/ business benefitting both recipient and business.

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