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Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 35 reviews
on March 10, 2017
Great guidance for our running our Homeless Shelter in So. Cal! Finding funding to support 300 people a month and pay rent on our Commercial space is challenging. Thanks for the insights!
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on April 17, 2017
Times they are a changing! This guy will get you ahead of the curve!
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on September 4, 2012
In his first book, "Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential (Civil Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives)," Dan Pallotta brilliantly made the case that the nonprofit sector was failing precisely because the most-used measurement of its success (the overhead rate) was fatally flawed. Better than anyone in the sector, Pallotta has become articulate at forcing us to think about reframing the debate around the success of what he calls the "humanitarian sector," arguing forcefully that knee-jerk focus on salaries and overhead ignore the real desired result, societal improvement.

In "Charity Case," Pallotta lays out a bold, ambitious plan for solving the problem. He proposes the creation of a Legal Defense Fund for the sector, as well as an Anti-Defamation League that would seek to reframe the debate through aggressive outreach and promotion. The logic for these ideas is built on the rock solid foundation of Pallotta's previous work. The business models for them may be less clear.

He ventures onto more innovative--and sometimes shaky ground--with his proposal for a "National Civil Rights Act for Charity and Social Enterprise," calling for the creation of -among other things--for profit charities and foundations. At times, these ideas seem like there's an axe being ground, but they're provocative nevertheless.

Pallotta is a talented speaker and an articulate spokesman for his ideas. "Charity Case" reflects his passion, but is well researched and,like his previous efforts, well reasoned. The book is replete with actual examples of harm that's been done by ill-informed but perhaps well-intentioned laws designed to regulate charities.

In the final analysis, "Charity Case" isn't an academic exercise, it's a manifesto for the Charity Defense Council that Pallotta is forming and a call to action on his other ideas. Given Pallotta's track record, the book is not the last time we'll hear about these ideas--and that makes it a "must read" for any leader in the nonprofit sector.
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on June 23, 2013
Dan's first book ("Uncharitable") was a great eye-opener. That book, however, had a lot of personal "soap-boxes" that a reader had to work through. This book is a book of answers. Thank you Dan! While you do need to work around one major chapter that the author cannot seem to avoid (his own personal journey for the Gay/Lesbian Community), the rest of the book is an excellent challenge that Development Officers (like myself) have been pushing for many years. Development is more than fund-raising and is connected with Donor Care as well as outcomes. Donor-Care is not an overhead but a integral part of the cause.

I really appreciated the ending chapters where Dan lays out some ides, but not just his own ideas. Dan brings int he ideas of powerful, thoughtful, corporate thinkers who want to help see non-profit and for-profit invest in charity work without all the restrictions that our government puts on corporations? This chapter was especially enlightening.

If the book had avoided Dan's pet "soap-box" and also included more of the tax deductible issues faced by the faith-based/religious groups it would have been a 5 star book. The book is a superb floor plan on which to build. I really saw some great ratios, stats on the lack of power in social media, and the power of a collective for charity work (as we have seen for Milk, Pork, and Eggs). Let's work together to get misunderstanding off our backs in the Development field....Dan has carved a path we need to know rad, analyze, and consider TOGETHER.
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on January 10, 2014
The best thing about this book is the argument that non-profits should be judged by their impact, their results. His support for standardized evaluation of non-profits is well presented and timely.

Also, by encouraging non-profits to really think about what issues to focus on, what unmet needs are the highest priority, the author contributes to helping these organizations free themselves from continually going after funding for whatever issues are in vogue with grantors.

On the negative side:
1. This book really needed to be edited to remove or drastically eliminate a lot of the "hit the reader on the head with a 2 by 4" repetition about bad things that have happened to non-profit leaders.
2. The author clearly hasn't gotten over the unexpected closure of his highly lucrative fundraising event company - it was like reading transcripts of therapy sessions in a number of sections of the book. Which is so not relevant to the theme of the book.
3. His analogy of fighting for the humanitarian sector with the battles to cure Breast Cancer or HIV is flawed. One issue is a matter of impression management, the others are life or death.
4. The best measures of the author's need to depersonalize and broaden his message can be seen in the incomplete website for the Charity Defense Fund and the only triple digits likes and traffic on Facebook.
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on November 9, 2012
I love anything Dan Pallota writes. He is so forward thinking, backs his statements up with solid research, and zeros in on all the things that are wrong with the way nonprofits currently function, and he deftly analyzes the myths that keep the dysfunctional beliefs and behaviors in place. He has some great ideas about how to fix the brokenness, though some of his recommendations will be considered too radical for most in the sector to accept.

One thing is for sure. The current system is dysfunctional, and probably the most damaging is the belief that "overhead" is an appropriate measure of nonprofit efficiency and, by extension, competence. That's absurd. Alas, Pallota may be so far ahead of his time as to be considered an outlier (ala Malcolm Gladwell). Anyone who works on the frontiers gets beat up as a matter of course. It goes with the territory. But one day, the rest of the world will catch up to him. I think some already are, judging by subtle changes in the industry literature (e..g, The Chronicle of Philanthropy which I consider to be my sector's equivalent of The New York Times).

I've been reading a lot of recent literature in the field criticizing compensation of high-level workers like executive directors, directors of development etc., which is as dysfunctional as the belief that "overhead" can tell you about efficiency. As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." And why shouldn't nonprofit leaders be adequately compensated when they do great things for their organizations. The very idea that if you work for a nonprofit, you can't make a decent salary, is absurd and pathetic. It is exceedingly disrespectful and should not be tolerated.

People need to get over the idea that nonprofit workers are in it for the passion and mission rather than making a decent wage that allows them to support their families, afford to send their kids to college, and be able to make enough to save for their own retirement. The public's, and politician's beliefs that passion for a mission and a decent wage are somehow mutually exclusive is totally unrealistic and extremely insulting. They are like ostriches sticking their heads in the sand. It's nuts, and counterproductive to say the least.

Remember folks, we account for over 10% of Gross Domestic Product nowadays, and nonprofits generate billions for their local and regional economies as well as nationally. So give us some respect.

Sara C. Weiss
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on June 9, 2013
Charity Case is thought provoking and intelligently written. However, At some point Pallotta shifts from changing the way you think about the non-profit sector to elaborately explaining the minutia involved in running a national lobbying organization. Unless you are VERY interested in Pallotta's pet project, the Charity Defense Council, than you will probably get bored halfway through. That being said, I loved how Pallota changed the way I thought about charitable organizations. You can find a lot of the most interesting concepts in his TED talk.
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on October 2, 2012
Love Dan Polletta's work but found this was an attempt to take his great work, that is well delivered in articles and presentations and turn it into a book. Does not work sadly. Got it after the first chapter or two...
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on September 26, 2012
A question Dan Pallotta says we must stop asking is, "What percentage of my donation goes to the cause versus overhead?" This book challenges the way America has been trained to think about philanthropy. Having been active in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years I have to agree, "overhead" is indispensable; nonprofits cannot attain their worthy goals without it. Yet, we expect nonprofits to achieve miracles without adequately funding them. This way of thinking has its roots in Puritanism. But, if curing cancer is deemed essential for the sake of humanity as a whole, for instance, why not fund it adequately. No for-profit would set such an ambitious goal without appropriate funding. Many nonprofit leaders have endorsed this book including Paulette Maehara, former President, AFP who says the nonprofit sector needs to focus on what's been accomplished, not on what it doesn't spend. Dan has created the Charity Defense Council: Sign-up!
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on November 21, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the follow up to "Uncharitable." "Charity Case" spurred me to join the Charity Defense Council, the mission of which is to become a voice for the non-profit - or more aptly named - humanitarian sector in order to "Fight for the People who Fight for the People." "Charity Case" asserts that the humanitarian organizations with missions to help solve major social problems are so handicapped by the restraints on marketing, capacity building and compensation that they are rendered incapable of scaling up to where they need to be in order to address these social and economic problems effectively. From my perspective in this sector for 20 years, Dan Pallotta hit it right on the money.
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