A Maverick's Defense

A controversial fund raiser says society's views limit the ability of organizations to do good

To Dan Pallotta, there's something very wrong with the nonprofit world.

It suffers, says the former fund raiser, from a self-defeating mind-set that demands charity workers sacrifice personal benefit to help their social causes.

Mr. Pallotta argues that such thinking leads to unfair scrutiny of nonprofit salaries, discourages innovative fund-raising ideas, and causes donors to frown on overhead costs.

Those problems — and the ways to overcome them —