Earned Income and the Starvation Mentality

In several of our classes our facilitators talked about sustainability, earned income and the starvation mentality which paralyzes so many nonprofit and for profit mission based enterprises.

For those who attended the marketing class we promised several additional resources we hope everyone enjoys.


One name which came up over and over in our classes is Dan Pallotta, author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential. Dan joined us via a previously taped interview on a McCuistion TV program (www.frtv.org), Philanthropy: The Business of Changing the World, along with Brent Christopher, President & CEO, Communities Foundation of North Texas, Charlotte Keany, former Director of Consulting, Center for Nonprofit Management and Robert Wright, Co-founder: Dallas Social Venture Partners. He addresses the controversial question of charities, a business mindset and sustainability, in how they operate.


“There’s been a popular admonition in the last 15 years; we want charities to act more like a business. What we mean by that is we want to draw more blood from the stone. We want them to do even more with less. That’s the opposite of how businesses succeed. Apple didn’t succeed by spending less researching the multi touch screen for the iPhone and iPad. I take tremendous issue with this advice to charities; you should start acting more like business. We’re not for a moment ready to allow charities to act more like business. We get upset when they pay their people the kind of money we pay in business… we get upset when they want to spend money on advertising… or take risks… Please stop telling charities to act more like a business when we won’t give them permission to do that. It’s abusive.”