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Dan Pallotta to speak on innovation with purpose at International Fundraising Congress

Howard Lake | 18 September 2015 | News

American entrepreneur and founder of the Charity Defense Council Dan Pallotta will present the opening plenary at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands next month.

Pallotta has argued for some years that “everything the donating public has been taught about giving is dysfunctional”. He is well-known in particular for his TED Talk on the subject which has been viewed more than 3.4 million times and remains one of the 100 most-viewed TED Talks.

At IFC he will challenge delegates to think about what it takes to innovate and why there is such pressure on fundraisers to do so. These are the kinds of questions that IFC organisers The Resource Alliance say “can change entire organisations”.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Pallotta delivered the closing plenary at IFC four years ago.

This year he says about his subject:

“We’re asked to innovate without really addressing the purpose of the innovation at the outset. Is its purpose only to obey what the cutting-edge business books say we should be doing?

“I wanted to take a counter-cultural look at the subject. The talk addresses themes and questions around great innovation coming from great purpose, frustration being the fuel for innovation, the power of an idea whose time has come over an idea whose time has been forced, the role of patience and presence in innovation, the power of commitment and if you’re not taking risks, the risks will take you.”

Pallotta, author of ‘Uncharitable‘, shared his views on how charity staff in particular need to change their views on the nature of their organisations when he presented a plenary session at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention in London in 2010.

If you haven’t yet seen Pallotta in action in his TED Talk, watch it now:

The International Fundraising Congress takes place from 20-23 October 2015.