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Dan Pallotta Uncharitable

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I rode the Texas AIDS Ride in 1998 and crewed it in 1999. I know the controversy of those events and found it tragic. Now, I write grants for public schools and school districts and have raised almost $60 million for them in less than 6 years while making a pretty good living for myself. Although I have worked for some non-profits, I generally don't because of the conversational environment that those very people unwittingly promote, which is "non-profit = no money." They want me to work for free or on contingency. I do neither. They will tell me, "We can't afford a grant writer because we're a non-profit and don't have any money." I try to explain that non-profit is really just a business model, but it is all but impossible to convince them otherwise. There is some allure in the suffering inherent in this world. I ask them, "How much does the head of the United Way make? It's not $25,000, I can tell you." But there was a time just a few short years ago when his salary (of less than $300,000, I think it was) was considered scandalous. IMAGINE! We will bail out failing for-profits with billions, but we won't pay a Child Protective Services caseworker a living wage to wade into abject poverty, neglect, abuse, and worse every single day. And we will deny the heads of these (often large) organizations adequate pay because....?

I recently spoke before a grant-writer's network group and asked them to examine their own conversations about money. "What comes out of your mouth about money?"
I asked them. "What do YOU believe about it? What do YOU say?" I then had them look at how that impacted their families, the people in their work environments, and their fund raising efforts. We definitely have to change the conversation in this sector. Otherwise, there is no hope.

Hey Grantsformation,

Someone said to me the other day that nonprofit is a tax designation, not a way of life. How true. How not having any money is supposed to help the poor and the diseased in this world is beyond me. It's an old way of thinking whose time is done. Welcome to the site!

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