Is fund raising “the black sheep of the nonprofit sector”?
Dan Pallotta thinks so.
Mr. Pallotta is the founder of a company that raised money for charities, and an advocate for business approaches to solving social problems.
Writing on his Free The Nonprofits blog, Mr. Pallotta argues that fund raisers are treated as “second-class citizens to the program staff,” something he says is ridiculous given that “without fund raising there are no programs.”
He suggests making fund raising “a program domain in and of itself — every bit as important as the medical research, social services, advocacy, and everything else it makes possible.” All spending on fund raising, under Mr. Pallotta’s plan, would be considered a program expense, not an administration cost.
That would allow for more experimentation in fund raising, a profession that is now stymied by concerns about administrative costs.
“Imagine telling an AIDS researcher that she cannot test any therapy unless it is sure to work,” writes Mr. Pallotta. “Yet that is exactly what we tell fund raisers; any idea you have will be characterized as a liability against our administration-to-program ratio and will hurt us, and by extension, you.”
What do you think of his argument?