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Dan Pallotta On Why Nonprofits Should Advertise Not Just On Donated Space

April 29, 2013

In this pivotal TED lecture, activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. “What we know about charity and the nonprofit sector is undermining the causes we believe in and our desire to change the world,” says Pallotta.

We expect businesses and nonprofits to use “two separate rulebooks,” he suggests. “We tell for-profits to spend, spend, spend on advertising,” says Pallotta, but nonprofits are expected not to advertise — unless the advertising space and airtime is donated. People want to see their money spent directly on the needy. But Pallotta points out that money invested in advertising can be returned dramatically amplified. He uses his own initiatives as an example. “We got that many people to participate because we bought full-page ads,” says Pallotta. “Do you know how many people we would have gotten if we advertised with fliers in the laundromat?”

Source: A new way to judge nonprofits: Dan Pallotta at TED2013.