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Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World
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Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  12 reviews
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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Jossey-Bass (first published July 20th 2012)
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May 17, 2013 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
As heard on the TED Radio Hour.
Our society has bent to the belief that charitable organizations can be fairly evaluated by the percentage of donations that end up in the hands of the intended recipients. While seemingly valid as an approach Charity Case makes a compelling argument that this is both unreasonable and inaccurate.

We want charities to be run, "like a business" but we don't allow them the tools to do that which we ask. We don't want them to spend money on overhead so we force charities to eliminate appropriate adv
This book is full of great research, ideas, and optimism about the nonprofit sector. Americans restrict the humanitarian sector's ability to enact real impact on the people it serves. In Charity Case, Dan Pallotta lays out how and why they do this and what we can do to change it.

This book is more geared towards those who work in the nonprofit sector. While I have only read the description of his first book, Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine their Potential, and listened to th
Eh, good but kind of a rant w/narrow scope of view to solve problems. Heckles nonprofits more than inspires them to change. Seems very white man's burden (except businessman's burden) toward the nonprofit industry instead of getting in the trenches and helping to lead the charge to change one another. While the idea of a charity defense league (a group to throw around pro-nonprofit ads and lawsuits and fight against those who unfairly smear nonprofits) has some merits, I'm always skeptical of "l ...more
I really enjoy the authors ideas around changing how we talk about charities/nonprofits/social profit organizations.

He has some great ideas and good advice.

Not sure how many of his ideas I can use in that I run a small nonprofit, but certainly some great stuff for me to think about.
Lance Eaton
Pallotta's book is essential for anyone working in the nonprofit sector. He turns long-held beliefs and prejudices about how nonprofits should function and turns them on their heads. For a sneak preview, definitely check out his Ted Talk on charity work. Essentially, he explores issues the dreaded term, "overhead" and why there is a framing battle that nonprofits are losing (emphasizing that by using the term "nonprofit" and the ways that is understood). Pallotta points out that we lock nonprofi ...more
David Meyers
While I think that the points that Pallotta makes are important and need to be addressed for the nonprofit sector to be successful, the solutions presented did not draw me in.
An interesting exploration on how the public views non-profits (generally in a negative light) and how public policy makes the work that many charitable organizations do harder. It does give some ideas on what can be done about it, and for that I gave it an extra star, but the book gets muddled on minor details it would do better to explain and move on from, but instead, gives example after example, without adding much to the argument.
Ozzie Gooen
The entire book seems to rest on one main argument: that the charity sector "needs" one shared marketing organization to educate the public. Dan makes a decent case, but I felt like the title made it seem more comprehensive. This is one fairly specific section of the entire span of all necessary activities to make the field efficient. It is a good one, but it's quite simple, and much of the book seems to be made as an argument to the few people who could make that happen.
Palotta provides an overview of his theory on the behaviors and beliefs that run deep with our society regarding nonprofits keeping humanitarian causes from being effective in alleviating the suffering of the less advantaged. This book lays out his vision for changing the way nonprofits in the U.S. function and the way they perceived by the public. His ideas are fresh and insightful.
Anu Khosla
A really important book. I won't say that he got every single thing correct, but nonetheless this is a book you have to read. If you've ever worked at a non-profit, read this. If you've ever donated money, read this. If you've ever refused to donate money out of claims of "inefficiency", then definitely read this.
I was so crazy about Uncharitable that I don't think there was any way this book could have met the incredibly high expectations I had for it. Still an important work and worth the read, however.
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Dan Pallotta (born 1961) is an American entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian activist.
More about Dan Pallotta...
Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential Charity Case When Your Moment Comes Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up For Itself and Really Change the World Almost Isn't Good Enough

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“If you put these five things together - you can't use money to attract talent, you can't advertise, you can't take risks, you can't invest in long-term results, and you don't have a stock market - then we have just put the humanitarian sector at the most extreme disadvantage to the for-profit sector on every level, and then we call the whole system charity, as if there is something incredibly sweet about it.” 1 likes
“And they are tired of being told to “act more like a business” by businesspeople who refuse to allow them to use any of the real tools of business—adequate resources, to begin with.” 0 likes
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