Uncommon Giving- Charity Case: An Apollo Program for Nonprofits with Dan Pallotta
He was one of the original social entrepreneurs. Dan’s career making a difference started at age 21, when he organized 38 of his Harvard classmates to bicycle 4,200 miles across America with him to fight world hunger. He launched a for-profit social enterprise that created the AIDSRides and the Breast Cancer 3-Days. These events gave 182,000 people access to their personal heroism, raised $582 million in eight years and were the subject of a Harvard Business School case study.
Dan Pallotta is a builder of movements. He is the President and Chief Humanity Officer of Advertising for Humanity, a full service agency of ideas for the humanitarian sector.
He is the founder of Pallotta TeamWorks, which invented the multi-day AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days and changed the fundamental paradigm for civic engagement in and fundraising for important social causes. It brought the practice of four-figure philanthropy within the reach of the average citizen who had never raised money for charity before in their lives. 182,000 people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds participated in these inspiring, often grueling, long-distance events, which raised $581 million in nine years – more money raised more quickly for these causes than any private event operation in history.
In just nine years, the charity events Dan created raised more money than the American Express Charge Against Hunger ($21 million), Pepsi Refresh ($15 million), Hands Across America ($34 million), USA for Africa ($66 million), Product (RED) ($150 million), Kiva ($100 million) and American Idol Gives Back, ($175 million) combined.
Three million people donated to the events. The company had 350 full-time employees in 16 U.S. offices, was the winner of Brandweek’s Best Cause- Related Event Award, and was the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Its concepts and methods are employed today by dozens of charities on a variety of events throughout the world which raise approximately one hundred million dollars annually for AIDS, breast cancer, leukemia research, multiple sclerosis, and suicide prevention.
Dan’s career as the architect of these heroic journeys for humanity began as an undergraduate at Harvard in 1983 where he chaired the Hunger Action Committee and recruited 38 of his classmates to join him in bicycling 4,200 miles across America to raise money for Oxfam and to heighten awareness of the plight of the hungry.
He is the author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, from Tufts University Press, a number 1 bestseller in the charity category on Amazon and the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said it, “deserves to become the nonprofit sector’s new manifesto.” Former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Gary Hart said it should “make us all take two steps back and imagine a new philosophy and theory of charity itself. This is nothing less than a revolutionary work.” It has been reviewed and acclaimed by the New York Times, The Economist, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online where he writes about transforming the nonprofit paradigm.