The way we think about charity is dead wrong

For this month’s Young Professionals Ted talks lunch, I chose the talk. The talk I chose is called The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong by Dan Pallotta.

Here were the prompting questions I came up with to lead our groups discussion:

“These social problems are massive in scale, our organizations are tiny up against them, and we have a belief system that keeps them tiny.” Do you think that if enough people change their beliefs, organizations can grow big enough to actually do things like cure cancer and end homelessness?

He talked about the hypothetical Stanford MBA grad who makes $400k/yr and who donates $100k to charity. Which role would you choose for yourself: that one or the role of CEO of the charity?

If a Disney movie flops, no problem; but if a charity tries a new endeavor and it doesn’t produce the results, their character is called into question. Do you think this is the right perspective to have? Should charities be more careful when it comes to risk taking with donations?

People often wonder what percentage of their donation goes to the cause vs. overhead.
Have you ever reconsidered donating to a charity because of the fear your donation will be misused? Have you had the belief that overhead is not part of the cause? What do you tend to assume overhead means?


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