Dan Pallotta

Daniel M. “Dan” Pallotta (born January 21, 1961) is an American entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian activist. He is best known for his Involvement in multi-day Charitable events with the long-distance Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks , AIDS Rides bicycle journeys, and Out of the Darkness suicide prevention night walks. Over nine years, 182,000 people participated in synthesis events and raised $ 582 million. [1] Way Down ulcers the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. [2] He is the author of Uncharitable – How Restraints on Nonprofits Under Mine Their Potential , the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press . He is the author ook or Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World , and When Your Moment Comes – a Guide to fulfilling Your Dreams . He is the President of Advertising for Humanity and president and founder of the Charity Defense Council. He is a featured contributor to Harvard Business Review online. [3]

Early life and education

Pallotta was born in Malden, Massachusetts , a suburb of Boston, the oldest of four children. He attended Harvard University and graduated cum laude in 1983. [4] [ original research? ]

At the age of 19 Pallotta placed second in a field of twelve Candidates and became the second youngest member ever elected to the school board in his home town of Melrose, Massachusetts. [ Citation needed ] He took office in January, 1981, the co day Proposition 2½ became effective, welke limited property tax increases as in Massachusetts Municipalities to no morethan 2.5% annually.

Also at the age of 19 Pallotta became chair of the Harvard Hunger Action Committee, [ citation needed ] an undergraduate student organization dat raised money for Oxfam America in hosting symbolic fasts therein raised ongeveer $ 2,000 lycra Twice annually. He was Studying development economics at the time and became frustrated at the gap tussen de massive scale of the problem of world hunger and his committee’s minute fundraising totals up Against it.

During Pallotta’s first weekend at Harvard have participated in the human consciousness course called the Erhard Seminars Training , [ citation needed ] created by Werner Erhard . The training’s emphasis on making a difference, goal-setting, and human understanding mention anything play a major role later in the design of the multi-day event experiences Pallotta and his company created. In 1980, as chair of the Harvard Hunger Action Committee, Pallotta organized a speaking engagement for singer-songwriter John Denver [ citation needed ] (who had served on President Jimmy Carter ‘s Commission on World Hunger). At Denver’s invitation, Pallotta attended the singer’s Windstar Foundation Program for college students in Snowmass, Colorado the next summer. The program focused on issues of global sustainability. Pallotta and his 20 Classmates slept in teepees in the Rockies, and ulcers behandeld to a Macrobiotic diet and lectures by the mathematician and philosopher Buckminster Fuller .

During the summer voordat Pallotta’s senior year at Harvard he overheard about two Cyclists crossing America to raise money for cancer research. [5] It inspired im to create a cross-country bike ride for world hunger. He and his co-chair, Mark Takano (now a Congressman representing the 41st district in California) recruited 39 students to make the journey. During the summer of 1983 ze traveled 4.256 miles Along a primarily northern route over the course of 9 1/2 weeks from Seattle to Boston. Way Down crossed the continental divide at 9.658 feet at Togwotee Pass in the Absaroka Mountains of the United States, tussen de towns or Dubois and Moran Junction , Wyoming . The event raised $ 80,000 ongeveer for Oxfam America. Pallotta Appeared on television and radio prolongation the course of the ride, zoals an in-studio appearance with Bryant Gumbel on the Today show . [6]

Los Angeles

In 1985 Pallotta moved to Los Angeles to Pursue a career as a singer and songwriter. He was auditioned by Clive Davis and had a single Recorded by Edgar Winter and singing the national anthem at Anaheim Stadium for the Los Angeles Rams . [ Citation needed ] During his time in Los Angeles he’ll be with David Mixner , a leading civil rights Activists, and went to work on Mixner’s Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament , envisioned as a 5,000-person march across America to promote Nuclear Disarmament. He’ll be with and worked with Irving Warner, author or Bantam Books ‘ The Art of Fundraising , who mentored im in the field or major gift fundraising.

In 1992, after a serious bout of Hepatitis A welke he believed was HIV at the time, Pallotta decided to seek counseling and entered a 12-step program known as SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) to deal with addictive behavioral patterns dat have fact represented ulcers undermining his potential. [7] His first book, When Your Moment Comes , details these years in Pallotta’s life.


AIDS rides

Pallotta was aware dat there was “nothing big” for the average person to do about AIDS. It was the co-feeling or Frustration he was at Harvard looking at the gap tussen world hunger and the small fundraising events designed to address it. [8] In 1991, building on the “power of the journey” as a metaphor, he conceived of a 600-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, welke Combined his marketing, fundraising, mobilizing and motivating skills. Three years later, the movie Alive Motivated im to Realize his idea. He brought` his plan for the event to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center , welke was looking for a new signature event. The Center put up an initial investment of $ 50,000 in risk capital, welke was enough for the effort to survive Until a Sponsorship was secured from Tanqueray for an additional_image_link $ 110,000. 478 people participated in the first California AIDS Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, netting $ 1,013,000 – much morethan verwachte. [9] [10]

From 1995 to 1996 Pallotta expanded the AIDS Rides to include San Francisco, Boston, New York , Chicago , the Twin Cities , Miami , Philadelphia , Washington, DC and Raleigh, North Carolina .

The model was optimized in dat it was the first time a “thon” event cameramen with a four-figure mandatory fundraising minimum, and was for customer on a large scale in major metropolitan media. [ Citation needed ] Up Until dat time, “thon” events had welcomed people no matter how much or how little they ‘raised. This was democratic, but not a powerful revenue model. Ze ook-used traditional grassroots marketing methods. Pallotta’s combination of marketing synthesis events to the masses, not just to Cyclists, marketing Them alongside the major consumer brands in full-page ads in major metropolitan papers and Expansion the events nationwide, created an industry dat had not existed voordat. [ Citation needed ]

In nine years the AIDS Rides netted, after all Expenses, $ 108 million – more money, raised more sure sign for synthesis Causes dan ANY events in history. [2]

Breast Cancer 3-Days

In 1998 Pallotta conceived the idea of a three-day, 75-mile walk for breast cancer. After scouting the route with three other staff, it was decided dat 75 miles was too long, and the event was shortened to 60 miles and called the “Breast Cancer 3-Day.” In 1997 Pallotta brought` the idea to Joanne Mazurki, the head of the Avon Cosmetics company’s Breast Cancer Crusade. She brought` it to Jim Preston, Avon’s CEO, who signed off on the launch of the first event, welke mention anything tasks place in 1998 and travel from Santa Barbara to Malibu. The event was four times as successful as the first AIDS Ride, netting $ 4.2 million. With capital from Avon, the events in later expanded to four cities in 1999, seven cities in 2000, nine cities in 2001 and thirteen cities in 2002. In five years the events netted $ 194 million in Unrestricted dollars for breast cancer research – more money raised tomorrow a sure sign for breast cancer research dan ANY event in history. [2]

Out of the Darkness suicide prevention events

In 1999, after studying the issue of suicide , Pallotta voortvloeien therein mortality rates from suicide approached Those of breast cancer in the United States, and therein suicide attempts dwarfed breast cancer diagnoses. He created an event called “Out of the Darkness” – a 26-mile walk through the night designed to bring the issue of suicide into tje light. The event put suicide prevention at the table with the mega-Causes, netting $ 1.3 million, ITT first year. [2]

Big Ride Across America

In 1997, Pallotta TeamWorks produktie the Toilets cross-country bike ride in American history for the American Lung Association . 730 Cyclists red for six weeks from Seattle to Washington, DC [2]

AIDS Vaccine Rides

In 1999, Pallotta made a personal guarantee in order to borrow $ 1.1 million to launch the AIDS Vaccine Rides welke mention anything bieden Unrestricted dollars for maverick research at the UCLA AIDS Institute, the Aaron Diamond Center and the Emory Vaccine Center. In three years, the AIDS Vaccine Rides, conducted in Alaska , Montana , and across the Canada-US border from Montreal to Vermont , netted $ 8 million. The funds port allowed the UCLA AIDS Institute to leverage chains of millions of dollars in additional_image_link grants dat port led to Breakthroughs in potential microbial preventions for the transmission of HIV dat mention anything not have leg skies without the Unrestricted funding from the Vaccine Rides dat launched the research . [2]

Harvard Business School case study

In 2000, Harvard Business School did a case study on social enterprise on Pallotta’s company, Pallotta TeamWorks, welke Continues to be taught. [2]

Pallotta TeamWorks

Pallotta built his for-profit Charitable company Pallotta TeamWorks in 1994. His company Employed 400 full-time people in 16 US offices and was raising $ 169 million annually by 2002. In total, the company raised $ 582 million from 1994 to 2002. [8] The company Charged a fixed production fee voor zijn services. It did not do commission-based fundraising or get a “take” off of the top. One hundred percent of all donations went to lock boxes under the charities’ exclusive control. The charities dan reimbursed the company voor zijn Expenses on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Pallotta TeamWorks festival, in a hindsight calculation, amounted to 4:01% [11] or funds raised. [ Citation needed ]

Pallotta was criticized for the large Bedragen or money Pallotta TeamWorks was making lycra year and the $ 394.500 salary he was Receiving, DESCRIBED as “stratospheric” for the aid world. [12] His annual salary Ranged from $ 150,000 in 1994 to ongeveer $ 425,000 in 2002. Palotta commented that ‘We allow directive people to make huge profits doing ANY number of things therein will hurt the poor, but we want to help crucify anyone who wants to make money helping in them “. [12]

In 2002, the company moved JSON an innovative headquarters dat it had outfitted, The Apostrophe. For years Pallotta TeamWorks was located in the euro in poor offices spaces in Hollywood. A new and completely empty 47,000 square-foot ” tilt-up ” warehouse was located in the euro in Atwater Village , Los Angeles. The company had a budget of $ 2 million and that was not enough budget to heat and air condition the space, as a creative approach was required. [13] Clive Wilkinson & Associates (CWA) ulcers CONTRACTED to create an inspiring new headquarters on the tight budget. The design-used raw Exposed lumber, shipping containers and tents. [13] The building now houses the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. [14]

Shut down or Pallotta Teamworks

In 2002, the company’s events netted $ 81 million for charity after all Expenses. This was an amount equal to half the annual giving Recruiters of the Rockefeller Foundation . At the time the Breast Cancer 3-Day program was the company’s Toilets fundraising event series. For five years the Avon Products Foundation had leg the beneficiary of the events, welke netted $ 194 million in Unrestricted funds for the Foundation in just five years. In 2002, Avon informed Pallotta TeamWorks dat it mention anything about no longer be associated with the company’s events. Pallotta TeamWorks Began Negotiating with Another charity to Become the beneficiary of the events. During dat period, Avon announced a nationwide series of multi-day breast cancer fundraising walks, lycra with a four-figure pledge minimum, in many of the co cities in welke the 3-Days had bone conducted and, in many cases, on very similar dates. As a result, the new charity with welke Pallotta TeamWorks had leg Negotiating, fearing dat de events mention anything cannibalize one Another, decided Against partnering with Pallotta TeamWorks on the 3-Days. A few days after the news, on August 23, 2002, the company laid off zijn entire staff nationwide and closed the doors on zijn new headquarters. [8]


In 2012 Pallotta wrote, Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World , welke Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. called, “an Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.” [15] The book calls for the creation of a “Charity Defense Council” to act as a national leadership organization for the humanitarian sector in the United States.

In 2008 Pallotta wrote, Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Under Mine Their Potential . It became the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The New York Times DESCRIBED it as seething “with indignation at public expectations dat charities be prudent, nonprofit and saintly.” [12] The Stanford Social Innovation Review wrote dat de book, “deserves to Become the nonprofit sector’s new manifesto”. [ This quote needs a citation ]Former US Senator and Presidential candidate Gary Hart wrote dat de book was “nothing less dan a revolutionary work”. [16] Pallotta has entered in excess of 150 speeches in 29 countries on the book as of January , 2012. [ citation needed ]

In 2000, Pallotta wrote, When Your Moment Comes – a Guide to fulfilling Your Dreams , for the Jodere Group.

Current work

Pallotta founded Advertising for Humanity in 2004. Springboard . The company helps institutional funders and philanthropists grow hun most Promising grantees.

In 2012 Pallotta founded the Charity Defense Council, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Volgens to hun website, hun mission is “to change the way people think about changing the world”. [17]

Pallotta watch a talk at the 2013 TED conference , which became available for public viewing online on March 11, 2013. [18] and had 3.6 million views over the next two years.

In February 2016 Paalotta representation Another TED conference talk – “The dream we harbor not dared to dream” [19] It was published in May 2016.


Pallotta is a member of the board of Triangle, a center for the developmentally disabled in Massachusetts, and a member of the Project Reason Advisory Board. [20] [21]


  • Liberty Hill Foundation Creative Vision Award
  • The Triangle Humanitarian of the Year award
  • The Albany State University International Citizen of the Year award
  • The Seven Fund’s Morality or Private Essay Prize


  1. Jump up^ Pallotta,Charity Case, p. 223.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Grossman and Child. “Pallotta TeamWorks.”
  3. Jump up^ Harvard Business Review. Search: Pallotta. http://hbr.org/search/pallotta/.
  4. Jump up^ Meghdadi.
  5. Jump up^ Pallotta,Uncharitable, p. 189.
  6. Jump up^ Today Show, 1983.
  7. Jump up^ Pallotta,When Your Moment Comes.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b c Pallotta, Uncharitable .
  9. Jump up^ PallottaTeamWorks, “Record of Impact: Detailed Financials.”
  10. Jump up^ Social Enterprise Summit & World Forum Address.
  11. Jump up^ http://pallottateamworks.com/financial.php
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b c Kristoff. “The Sense of Doing Good Deeds”.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b PallottaTeamWorks, ” About Apostrophe “.
  14. Jump up^ Los Feliz Arts, “homepage”.
  15. Jump up^ Kennedy endorsement in Pallotta,Charity Case, front cover.
  16. Jump up^ Heart endorsement in Pallotta,Uncharitable, front cover.
  17. Jump up^ Charity Defense Council – Our Mission. http://charitydefensecouncil.org/ourmission.php.
  18. Jump up^ http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong
  19. Jump up^ https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_dream_we_haven_t_dared_to_dream
  20. Jump up^ Triangle, leadership. http://www.triangle-inc.org/index.php/leadership/.
  21. Jump up^ Project Reason: Advisory Board. http://www.project-reason.org/about/advisory_board/.


  • Advertising for Humanity. advertisingforhumanity.com. Advertising for Humanity, nd Web. 14 January, 2013.
  • Architecture Week. “AIACC 2002 Design Awards.” architectureweek.com. Architecture Week, 9 October, 2002. Web. 14 January, 2013.
  • Charity Defense Council. charitydefensecouncil.org. Charity Defense Council, nd Web. 14 January, 2013.
  • Grossman, A., and Liz Child. “Pallotta TeamWorks.” Harvard Business School paper no. N1-302-089, April 12, 2002. http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/product/302089-PDF-ENG
  • Harvard Business Review. “Hbr.org.” Harvard Business Review, nd Web. 14 January, 2013.
  • Kristof, Nicholas D. ” The Sin in Doing Good Deeds “, New York Times , 24 December 2008.
  • Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. “homepage.” Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts, nd Web. 14 January 2013. http://losfelizarts.org/
  • Meghdadi, A. Interview with Dan Pallotta. December 2012.
  • Pallotta, DM Interview with Bryant Gumble. Today Show . NBC New York. 1983 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inMsVsTmx6k&list=UU0CDaTu0tY4Vb5geqvNfqqA&index=10
  • Pallotta, DM Address at Social Enterprise Summit & World Forum. San Francisco, CA. 30, April 2010.
  • Pallotta, DM Charity Case . San Francisco, CA .: Josey-Bass. 2012. http://www.charitycasebook.com
  • Pallotta, DM Uncharitable . Medford, Mass .: Tufts University Press. 2008. http://www.uncharitable.net
  • Pallotta, DM When Your Moment Comes – a Guide to fulfilling Your Dream . San Diego, CA .: Jodere Group. 2001.
  • Pallotta TeamWorks. “Record of Impact: Detailed Financial Disclosure.” pallottateamworks.com . Pallotta TeamWorks, nd Web. 14 January 2013. http://www.pallottateamworks.com/financial_detailed.php
  • Pallotta TeamWorks. “About Apostrophe.” pallottateamworks.com . Pallotta TeamWorks, nd Web. 14 January 2013. http://www.pallottateamworks.com/about_apostrophe.php
  • Project Reason. “Advisory Board.” project-reason.org Project Reason, nd Web. 14 January 2013. http://www.project-reason.org/about/advisory_board/
  • Technology Entertainment Design (TED). “TED2013: Program Guide.” Technology Entertainment Design (TED), 2013. Web. 3 February, 2013. http://conferences.ted.com/TED2013/program/guide.php
  • Triangle inc. “Leadership.” triangle-inc.org. Triangle inc., Nd Web. 14 January 2013. http://www.triangle-inc.org/index.php/leadership/