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2017 Symposium Videos

Dan Pallotta: Uncharitable

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Uncharitable is the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press and will be the primary focus of discussion during Dan’s presentation. Dan’s presentation and book ventures where no other book on the nonprofit sector has dared to go. Where other well-intended books suggest ways to improve performance within the existing nonprofit paradigm, Uncharitable argues that the paradigm itself is the problem, and calls into question our fundamental canons about charity. Its insurgent thesis is that society’s nonprofit ethic undermines our ability to eradicate great problems, and, ironically, puts charity at a severe disadvantage to the for-profit sector at every level.

Dan Pallotta is a builder of movements. He invented the multi-day charitable event industry. He created the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. The model and methods he created are now employed by dozens of charities and have raised in excess of $1.5 billion more for important causes from pediatric leukemia to AIDS to suicide prevention and many others.

His newest book is, Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has described it as "An Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector".

His iconic 2013 TED Talk has been viewed more than 4.1 million times. It is one of the 100 most viewed TED Talks of all time. Dan is a featured regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online.

In the last five years, Dan has given over 250 talks on philanthropy and innovation in 34 states and eight countries. He is a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer and has spoken at Stanford, Wharton, Harvard Business School, Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofits, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Brown, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Council on Foundations, the Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and the Milken Institute, among others.

He is the founder and President of the Charity Defense Council, a national leadership movement dedicated to transforming the way the donating public thinks about charity and change, and founder and President of Advertising for Humanity, an idea agency dedicated to growing high-impact humanitarian organizations.

He is an elected member of the Elementary School Committee in Topsfield, Massachusetts, and a member of the Reason Project Advisory Board. He is a recipient of the Liberty Hill Foundation Creative Vision award, the Triangle Humanitarian of the Year award, the Albany State University International Citizen of the Year award, and the Seven Fund's Morality of Profit Essay Prize.

Dan has been written about in feature and cover stories in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. He has also appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, American Public Media's Marketplace, and on numerous NPR stations, among others.