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"I believe deeply in the potential of people and in the potential of our society. And I don't think we've come anywhere close to tapping that potential. Nowhere close."

Dan has been committed to human transformation since he began studying it as a freshman at Harvard. "I think my classmates thought I had a screw loose," he says. "There weren't many popular frames of reference for human consciousness back in 1979. Words like 'possibility' and 'transformation' weren't in vogue. But I knew from the moment I first encountered them that transformation technologies held the key to creating the kind of world we all want to live in." 

AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days

Dan invented the multi- day charitable event industry. He created the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of one of the first Harvard Business School case studies on social enterprise. The model and methods he created are now employed by dozens of charities and have raised in excess of $1.5 billion more for important causes from pediatric leukemia to AIDS to suicide prevention and many others. You can view detailed financial results of the  events, see photos, videos and more on the Pallotta TeamWorks website.


In the last five years alone, Dan has given over 275 talks on philanthropy and innovation in 34 states and eight countries. He is a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer, and has spoken twice at TED, and at and for Google, E-Bay, KPMG, UBS, Stanford, Wharton, Brown, Harvard Business School, Harvard’s Hauser Center for Nonprofits, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,  NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Council on Foundations, the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Gates Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, national and global conferences for United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Childrens Miracle Network, and many others.

2013 TED Talk

Dan's iconic TED 2013 Talk has been viewed more than 4 million times  It is one of the 100 most-viewed TED Talks of all time. It generated tremendous conversation, and is one of the twenty most-commented TED Talks of all time. It is one of the featured talks in the book, "TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking," by Chris Anderson, Head of TED.


Dan is the author of “Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential,” the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said that the book, “deserves to become the nonprofit sector ’s new manifesto.” His newest book is, “Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has described it as “An Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector”. You can learn more about Dan's writing and find Amazon purchase links here.

Dan is a featured regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online.

Charity Defense Council

He is the founder and President of the Charity Defense Council, a national leadership movement dedicated to transforming the way the donating public thinks about charity and change.

Advertising for Humanity

Dan is the Chief Humanity officer for Advertising for Humanity, a bold agency of ideas committed to strengthening the fundraising power of some of America's most innovative humanitarian organizations.


Dan is a recipient of the Liberty Hill Foundation Creative Vision award, the Triangle Humanitarian of the Year award, the Albany State University International Citizen of the Year award, and the Seven Fund’s Morality of Profit Essay Prize.

He has been written about in feature and cover stories in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, American Public Media’s Marketplace, the TED Radio Hour, the BBC's Business Matters,  and on numerous NPR stations, among others.


Dan lives in Massachusetts with his husband and their three children.







How RESTRAINTS on nonprofits undermine their potential, tufts university press, 2008

The best selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said it, "deserves to become the nonprofit sector's new manifesto."

Purchase on Amazon


Charity Case

How the nonprofit community can stand up for itself and really change the world, jossey-bass, 2012

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has called it, "An Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector."

Purchase on Amazon

When Your Moment Comes

A guide to fulfilling your dreams, jodere, 2001

"Reading this book was like having a conversation with a wise, loving friend who only wants the best for you. Dan Pallotta's inspiring words and stories have shown me what, on some deep level, I already knew -- that a 5 year plan is not the way to bliss but that discovering my calling allowing the Universe to support me in a natural way is. His section on "kindness" opened my heart and brought me to tears. I plan to give this book to all my neices and nephews so that they will learn, aerly on, what success is really all about." - Amazon Review

Purchase on Amazon


Harvard Business Review

Dan is a featured regular contributor to harvard Business Review online


View the Full List of Dan's Nearly 100 Articles for Harvard Business Review Here

Rethinking Charity, May 11, 2009

Why Nonprofits Should Invest More in Advertising, May 26, 2009

The Worst Question to Ask About a Charity, June 16, 2009

"Efficiency Measures" Miss the Point, June 22, 2009

Efficiency Measures Discriminate Against Lesser-Known Causes, July 8, 2009

Efficiency Measures Short-Change Individual Action, July 13, 2009

Equal Rights for Fundraising, September 10, 2009

Gossip Kills Possibility, October 10, 2009

A Logo is Not a Brand, June 15, 2011

Taking a Risk is Not Immoral, August 4, 2011

Stop Thinking Outside the Box, November 7, 2011

I Don't Understand What Anyone is Saying Anymore, December 5, 2011

Multiplication Philanthropy, February 17, 2012

Change the World Without Losing Yourself, September 27, 2012

Never Lie About Who You Really Are, December 18, 2012

Business Can’t Solve the World’s Problems — But Capitalism Can, January 15, 2013

Take a Walk, Sure, But Don't Call it a Break, February 27, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge Won't Solve Charity's Biggest Problem, September 4, 2014

Why Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Should Use Their Money for Fundraising, December 3, 2015 

A Mega-Merger for Leadership of the Nonprofit Sector, May 13, 2016



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