Seattle Works

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Yep, we’re thinking about “charity” all wrong. March 16, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 9:59 am
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When I posted this Ted Talk on my facebook page earlier this week, I only needed one word to describe my thoughts:

PREACH.

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html

In case you skip the video, here’s the crux: “These social problems are massive in scale, our organizations are tiny up against them and we have a belief system that keeps them tiny.”

In the few days since, I’ve seen more and more smart people sharing this video on facebook and sharing their thoughts. With the exception of one Seattle Works board member (go Shane!) everyone I’ve seen post or comment works in the sector. Trust me, they’re not just cheering because they want a raise. They’re reacting to the shortcomings of trying to solve complex problems with one arm tied behind your back. They’re rallying against the tiredness of being told that “nonprofits should be more like a business” yet seldom given the flexibility to take risks or invest in infrastructure. They are ready to be asked instead about “the scale of their dreams”.

So how do we get this conversation going in the broader community? What does it mean when there’s a different set of rules for the nonprofit sector? What would it take to dream bigger?

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