Video Resource: TED Talk on Philanthropy

Sep 26, 2016

In honor of our upcoming lesson release (be on the lookout on Thursday for new lessons on Philanthropy, Entrepreneurship, and more!), we wanted to share this insightful TED Talk by Dan Pallotta on how The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong.


In the video, Dan “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. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world”.1

This TED Talk is a great supplement to our Philanthropy Lesson (coming out Thursday) and encourages students to think about the challenges of being a philanthropist or philanthropic organization. The video is approximately 20 minutes long and can be followed by some of the questions below!

  • What are some of the double standards Dan talks about in his TED Talk in regards to nonprofit organizations?
  • Dan talks about how many philanthropists prefer their money go to people and their needs rather than advertising due to the popular view that nonprofit organizations should not need to advertise and should not waste money on advertising. How do you think this affects nonprofits’ potential for impact and growth in the causes they are supporting?
  • Dan provides insight as to how we have come to think about philanthropy and charitable giving. In your own words, summarize the historical reasoning he provides in the video.
  • According to Dan, why are so many nonprofit organizations afraid to innovate? Why is this is a hindrance to nonprofits and the world as a whole?
  • What is the advice that Dan gives about fundraising in nonprofit organizations? What is his reasoning for this advice?
  • What areas/causes is the majority of charitable giving going to currently? What change does Dan propose to increase the money that is not going to these areas?
  • In your opinion, what is Dan’s main message in this TED Talk?

Did you show your students this video? We’d love to hear how it went in the comments below!


About the Author

Sonia Dalal

Share This Post

Search The Blog