Sunday 9 March 2014

Dan Pallotta on Charity

In past blog posts, I've mentioned that turning charity into a business where people have the potential to win big could help send way more money to the poor. Sacrifice is the world's worst meme. If you want people to focus on more altruistic projects, then find a way for them to benefit from focusing on more altruistic projects.

Dan Pallotta's TED Talk is along these lines. He points out some of the double standards we hold about charitable organizations (e.g. that investing in overhead or capitalizing is immoral) and how these double standards put the non-profit sector at an extreme disadvantage to the for-profit sector.

One of Pallotta's examples is that charities are shamed into spending minimally on advertising and marketing. There is no reason to expect advertising and marketing to work less effectively for charities than for businesses. Ads and marketing work. If organizations trying to maximize their profits find it to be a great investment of their resources, why shouldn't organizations trying to maximize donations?

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