Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Problem With Dan Pallotta

I love Dan Pallotta...obviously.

I first read 'Uncharitable' a few years ago and it had a big impact. It didn't change my life or the way I think, but for the first time I had read someone successfully vocalising what a lot of us had been thinking. He says it better than we ever could. I went on to support his Charity Defense (sic of American spelling) Council and I was delighted to see his recent TED Talk get over a million views and counting. He upstaged Bono.

Dan Pallotta's TED Talk should be required viewing for you,
your staff, your board, your donors, your friends...

Whatever you think of Dan Pallotta and his history and his motivations you can't deny that he has brought a fantastic and important argument to the masses.

But...I believe there is one glaring problem with his argument and a single barrier preventing support from the general public.

When he speaks of the salary difference between the private sector and the charity sector he loses people. He loses people because he's talking about a $400,000 salary compared to a $232,658 salary compared to a $84,028 salary.

The average salary in Ireland is less than €40,000 (less than $50,000) but the majority of the people watching this video, supporting your charity, reading the newspapers, browsing the internet earn less than that. Most of the service staff you deal with in your day to day life are probably on about €20,000 per year. He quotes Business Week while people watching read The Daily Mail.

So when you suggest to people that it's unfair that someone only earns $84k and that they should be allowed to earn more you will almost certainly, instantly lose their support.

The correct argument is of course that nobody should be earning $400,000 or $232,000 or anything near that while there are still people suffering for no reason, people still blind because they can't afford a simple operation and children withering away and dying because they can't afford medication that is over there in that room next to them.

But strangely enough, the people who live on minimum or low wages don't seem to have a problem with the private sector earning these huge wages and being charged inflated prices on everything to pay the salaries of these high earners.

Well, hey...that's just the world we live in.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Opposite Of A Careerist

Recently, someone named Gina Miller called people like me a 'Careerist'. She explained that people like me "are not necessarily passionate about the organisations that they are involved with, but switch casually from charity to charity." More than that, a good salary is what seems to drive people like me.

I started thinking what the opposite of a careerist is, and I think it's:
  • Someone who can only care about one cause - you can not possibly care about animal rights, the environment, lifting people out of poverty AND keeping children safe.
  • Someone who makes their money through other means, such as drilling for oil, selling fizzy drinks, letting out property or managing other people's funds. They do not devote their full-time to the charity sector.
  • Someone who is not driven to succeed, to progress their career, or to earn more money.
  • Someone who misleads the public by saying 100% of your donations goes to helping others.

The Telegraph might call someone like this a philanthropist. But I think we can come up with a better name.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stream of Blog Titles

These would make good fundraising blog titles. You can have them:

  • "Why your fundraising should be more like Jefferson Airplane and less like Jefferson Starship"
  • "Scratchcards - You're The Only One That Hates Them"
  • "Taking the 'Fun' Out Of The Phrase 'Put The Fun In Fundraising'"
  • "Forget On-line Fundraising - Be like Kings of Convenience and Get Back To Basics"
  • "Why being a donor is like being a gym member"
  • "What if Dylan wrote copy"
  • "Managing Your Major Donors In The Same Way You Feed A Toddler"
  • "Stop Reading Blogs, Start Asking For Money"
  • "What You Can Learn About Fundraising From Fundraising Blogs"