An EconTalk Podcast Listening Guide

Dan Pallotta on Charity and the Culture of the Non-Profit Sector

Listen to the EconTalk podcast Dan Pallotta on Charity and the Culture of the Non-Profit Sector and consider these questions.

1. Pallotta claims there are two “rule books,” one for the for-profit sector and another for the non-profit sector. What are the five different areas in which Pallotta argues that the non-profit “rule book” discriminates against non-profit organizations?

2. What does Pallotta perceive as the flaws in arguments against high pay for non-profit executives? How compelling do you find his claims, and why?

3. What’s wrong with saying, as a donor, that you don’t want the organization to spend any money on fund-raising, according to Pallotta? How would you feel as a donor or potential donor, and why?

4. Roberts notes that Pallotta is the founder of the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer Three Day events. Describe these events and how they differ from other sorts of charitable events.

5. Why did organizations like the San Francisco AIDS Foundation have so much less success running similar events on their own, according to Pallotta?

6. What are Pallotta’s thoughts on current advertising efforts in the non-profit sector, and what does he envision as a better future?

7. What does Pallotta suggest we can conclude from the non-profit sector’s static share of GDP over the last several decades, and to what extent do you agree with his conclusions?

8. Roberts and Pallotta discuss the various effects of government actions on the non-profit sector. What are some of the effects they point to? Which are the most pressing concerns, in your opinion?

9. Pallotta envisions something like “an iTunes for charity.” What does this vision entail, and to what extent do you think something like it could be effective?

10. Pallotta asserts toward the end of the interview that he is not saying that charities should be run more like businesses. What, then, is he saying?

11. To what extent has listening to this interview changed your perspective on the non-profit sector. Explain.