TED Talk Tuesday: The Way We Think About Charity

As someone who has worked in and around non-profit organizations nearly all of my adult life, I had never considered just how wrong some of my own thoughts (and the thoughts of others) are when it comes to how non-profits should spend their money.

Dan Pallotta’s talk is a stark reminder of the disadvantages faced by non-profits as they seek to do some of the world’s most important work. What if a non-profit group could hire a world-renowned expert to help accomplish their goals, rather than relying on whoever is kind-hearted enough to give up a lucrative career?

Here in Texas (and in many other parts of the country), we shrug our shoulders at a college football coach making five or ten times as much as any other faculty member because we understand that football brings in revenue to the school – revenue that can be used for other programs. Yet, we have trouble using the same logic when it comes to our favorite non-profit organization.

Listen to this talk and be challenged. Ask yourself this question: What would be possible if we encouraged moral innovation in non-profits, rather than taking a hard line on frugality?