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Dan Pallotta on Changing How We Think About Charity

Dan Pallotta on Changing How We Think About Charity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — November 2, 2016

For more information contact:

Betsy Gomberg | 312.322.1756

Dan Pallotta wants to change the way we think about philanthropy

Hear him at Spertus Institute on Sunday, November 20 at 1 PM
followed by a panel of expert respondents

(Chicago) As of today, Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk — titled The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong — has been viewed more than 4 million times. Why? Because with refreshing honesty, he calls into question our fundamental beliefs about philanthropy. Pallotta believes that forward-thinking, mission-driven organizations can make our world better, but we undermine their potential by under-supporting the nonprofit sector.

On Sunday, November 20 at 1 pm, Pallotta will speak at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, giving a presentation titled Uncharitable: How We Stifle Nonprofit Success. He’ll explain why asking “What percentage of my donation goes to the cause?” is a flawed and misleading way to evaluate nonprofit organizations, a method that harms those charities with the most potential to make real change.

In his talk at Spertus, Pallotta — who calls himself a “philanthropy futurist” — will be make his case for “equal economic rights for charity.” He advocates eliminating the double standard by which nonprofits are rewarded for how little they spend. Instead, he urges investment in organizations with ambitious goals and game-changing accomplishments, just as we do in business, even when that comes with a longer time frame and larger price tag.

Dan Pallotta invented the multi- day charitable event industry. He created the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years. The model and methods he created are now employed by dozens of charities and have raised in excess of $1.5 billion for critical causes. The bestselling author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer, and regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Pallotta is a prolific spokesperson for philanthropy and innovation.

Following Pallotta’s presentation, Spertus President and CEO Dr. Hal M. Lewis will lead a panel discussion titled REcharitable: Leaders Look at Ways to Advance Nonprofit Success, with leaders from the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. They will explore how Pallotta’s work can change the ways that organizations accomplish their goals, proposing ideas that nonprofits can use for growth in effectiveness and performance. The panelists are David T. Brown, Chairman, Much Shelist, and Past Chairman of the Board, Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago; David Edell, President, DRG Executive Search; and Rachel Monroe, President and CEO, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

This presentation is open to the public. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students). Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 312.322.1773. Advance ticket purchase is recommended.

Spertus Institute is located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue. Discount parking is available for $8 at Grant Park South Garage, 325 S. Michigan Avenue, with Spertus validation.

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Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs — including films, speakers, seminars, and concerts — take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online.

This program is a presentation of Spertus Institute’s Center for Jewish Leadership, supported by a generous grant from the Crown Family. Designed for professionals and volunteers who work for and with Jewish organizations, the Center for Jewish Leadership presents opportunities to learn new skills, hone existing talents, and gain the expertise to foster a vibrant Jewish future.

Spertus Institute is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.

Sponsors for Dan Pallotta’s Spertus Institute presentation include Roti Modern Mediterranean, Much Shelist, Associate Agencies, Quarles & Brady LLP, Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, ACS, Navigant, and Mesirow Financial.