Skip to main navigation

Catalogue Blog

Changing the Way we Think about Charity: Nonprofit Roundtable Annual Meeting

On Tuesday, hundreds of nonprofit and community leaders gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for the Nonprofit Roundtable’s Annual Meeting.

The meeting provided an opportunity to network, recognize the impact of leaders in the nonprofit sector, and learn about the Roundtable’s strategic plan for 2014 and beyond to “bring forward the leadership, voice and vision of our nonprofit community.”

Dan Pallotta, keynote speaker for the event, gave a thought-provoking talk based on his book, Uncharitable, about why charities should let go of old belief systems that hold us back from big change. Below are some of the key takeaways captured by the Catalogue team:

  • If we want to see social problems fixed on a grand scale, we must change the way we think about our approach to solving them. Simply thinking “out of the box” is not enough. We need to understand what’s inside the box: what works, what doesn’t, and what has held us back from making a bigger, lasting impact on our communities.
  • “If you prohibit failure, you squash innovation.” We must let go of our fear of failure, since innovation is critical to driving change.
  • Stop telling nonprofits to “be more like a business.” Often, this phrase is intended to mean “be more efficient.” What it should mean is this: be more like a business by investing in your people, your marketing and advertising, and new revenue ideas. When businesses do this, they see a return in talent, awareness and engagement.
  • When evaluating a charity, we need to let go of the idea that “one number” can represent its efficacy. Instead, we should be measuring a charity’s intention to have an impact, its progress towards making those goals, and how it will distribute this information.

At the Catalogue, we’re looking forward to next year’s event, and continuing our work with the Nonprofit Roundtable in 2014!

To learn more about Dan Pallotta and Uncharitable,visit:?

About The Nonprofit Roundtable: The Nonprofit Roundtable is an alliance of over 300 nonprofits and community partners building the strength, visibility, and influence of the nonprofit sector to improve the quality of life for all in the Greater Washington region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>