Helping The Most Vulnerable


A lot of good comes from charitable organizations. In fact, individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $499.33 billion to U.S. charities last year!

501(c) non-profit organizations support the most fragile and challenged sectors of our country. And yet, these organizations are hog-tied when it comes to pay scales for good staff and funding for market outreach. Why? Because the rules governing non-profits have not changed in over 70 years!

Did you know?

The rules governing charitable non-profits were in place even before the 501c3 IRS status began in 1954. (Interesting Fact: United Way was founded in 1887 in Denver, originally called the Charity Organizations Society.)

Uncharitable, a movie produced and directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, is based on the book Uncharitable, by Dan Pallotta. Both the book and movie challenge conventional wisdom about nonprofit organizations and proposes a radical shift in how we think about and support the nonprofit sector. Northern Santa Barbara County United Way has partnered with the producers to promote this important film.

This documentary challenges viewers to consider whether everything we’ve been taught to think about giving, charity, and the nonprofit sector discriminates against and undermines the causes people love and want to help.

Uncharitable points out that society’s obsession with low overhead costs limits the effectiveness of charitable organizations. This undermines the ability to attract top talent, invest in infrastructure, and undertake ambitious projects that require substantial resources.

By embracing the concept of “philanthropic equity,” nonprofits can accumulate financial reserves to invest in growth, develop new initiatives, and build organizational resilience.

Dan Pallotta and others including Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, argue for a paradigm shift that encourages nonprofits to adopt business-like strategies, invest in growth, attract top talent, generate profits, and focus on long-term outcomes. By reevaluating how we measure and support nonprofits, we can solve the great problems of human suffering that have plagued humanity since the beginning of time.

We CAN build a world that works for everyone.