The Battle We Face

Working for a non-profit organization is a very distinctive experience. Rewarding and fulfilling, while frustrating and vexing, the not-for-profit world is a volatile and at times, emotional endeavour. It is widely accepted that our industry provides lower wages, limited training, and minimal resources, while spending little on marketing, promotion and infrastructure, as NFPs simply cannot be structured after the corporate business model that allows organizations to thrive. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself why? Why is this simply accepted? Why is our collective perception of the not-for-profit sector so limited?

Everything the donating public has been taught about giving is dysfunctional, says activist, fundraiser and AIDS Ride founder Dan Pallotta. He has made it his mission to transform the way society thinks about charity, giving and change. Pallotta says there's a double standard between the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Businesses are celebrated for risk-taking and focusing on financial incentive, while non-profits are sentenced to begging. This double standard, he believes, drives society's sometimes debilitating relationship with not-for-profit organizations. Too many non-profits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend - not for what they get done.

Pallotta believes the near economic starvation of our non-profits is why they are not effecting enough real change with society's social problems. Watch his extremely informative and revealing presentation below and at its end, just who we are and that battles we face become very clear.

"We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interesting that we don't have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money not helping other people."                                                                                                                                                                                                       - Dan Pallotta