What it’s going to take to really move the needle on humanitarian issues

After watching Dan Pallotta’s captivating TED talk “The way we think about charity is dead wrong”, I became obsessed with getting my hands on and reading any and all of Dan’s books. Being a huge fan of book summaries, the first place I began my search was in my CausePlanet’s Page to Practice™ book summary library. I knew that they had numerous titles covering the top nonprofit leadership books and relevant corporate subjects so I was ecstatic to find that Dan’s 2012 book “Charity Case: How the nonprofit community can stand up for itself and really change the world” was listed among the titles.

The summary began by stating that Dan’s first book “Uncharitable” prompted readers to ask themselves what they can do about the fact that the social sector has been forced to play by a different rule book that the corporate world thus preventing them from being able to move the needle on humanitarian issues. The author asks “What will it take to stop asking the administrative-expense question and replace it with the discussion about the quality of work being done, the long-term investment in transformative solutions and the willingness to compensate exceptional professions for tackling monstrous social issues?”

In response to this exact question, “Charity Case” was written to offer the reader the below five part answer to tackling this gigantic problem.

1. Establish an anti-defamation league: The sector needs experts in the media field to defend attacks, avoid attacks, present positive stories, and ultimately provide a well-spoken, educated alternative view of the social sector.

2. Launch an aggressive paid public media campaign: Charities are taught to give while depriving themselves of the resources to expand their giving because they are not-for-profit. Through more organizations executing paid advertising campaigns, the sector will have a voice, be able to share accurate information with the public and to advance causes.

3. Establish a legal defense fund: Nonprofits must not remain silent when unintended consequences threaten the sector; they must have a central, knowledgeable, articulate agency from which to enlist help; the agency must be proactive and create long term solutions and an effective regulatory environment; and it must work to change the public’s understanding of fraudulent activities in the sector.

4. Enact a National Civil Rights Act for Charity and Social Enterprise: The sector can  dramatically improve its standing through changes to public policy.

5. Organize the sector on behalf of its own issues: To bring the sector together, the author offers 17 ideas for how you can support the humanitarian sector’s equal economic rights.


If you are like so many social sector leaders who are desperate for an overhaul to the way the public perceives the work that you do, picking up a copy of “Charity Case” is a great place to start. In it you will find powerful ideas, inspiration quotes, a transcripted interview with the author himself and strategic action steps you can take today to help support this sector’s equal economic rights. To get your own copy of this book summary, head over to CausePlanet today and subscribe to their summary library or feel free to purchase a single summary at the CausePlanet store.



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