Dan Pallotta is a leading expert on innovation in the nonprofit sector and a pioneering social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Pallotta TeamWorks, which invented the multiday AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days and changed the fundamental paradigm for civic engagement in and fundraising for important social causes. It brought the practice of four-figure philanthropy within the reach of the average citizen who had never raised money for charity before in their lives. 182,000 people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds participated in these inspiring, often grueling, long-distance events, which raised over half a billion dollars and netted $305 million in nine years - more money raised more quickly for these causes than any private event operation in history. Three million people donated to the events. The company had 350 full-time employees in 16 U.S. offices, was the winner of Brandweek’s Best Cause-Related Event Award, and was the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Its concepts and methods are employed today by dozens of charities on a variety of events throughout the world which raise approximately one hundred million dollars annually for AIDS, breast cancer, leukemia research, multiple sclerosis, and suicide prevention.
Dan’s career as the architect of these heroic journeys for humanity began as an undergraduate at Harvard in 1983 where he chaired the Hunger Action Committee and recruited 38 of his classmates to join him in bicycling 4,200 miles across America to raise money for Oxfam and to heighten awareness of the plight of the hungry.
He is the author of “Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential,” from Tufts University Press, a number 1 bestseller in the charity category on Amazon. It was nominated for the McAdam Book Award, and has been reviewed and acclaimed by the New York Times, The Economist, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online where he writes about transforming the nonprofit paradigm. He is also the author of “When Your Moment Comes: A Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams,” from Jodere.
Dan is a member of the Reason Project Advisory Board. He is the recipient of the Liberty Hill Foundation Creative Vision award, the Triangle Humanitarian of the Year award, and the Albany State University International Citizen of the Year award. He is a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer, and has spoken at Wharton, Harvard Business School, Harvard’s Hauser Center for Nonprofits, Tufts University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Milken Institute, among others. He has been written about in feature and cover stories in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, American Public Media’s Marketplace, and on numerous NPR stations, among others.
Dan was also, at 21, one of the youngest people ever elected to the school board in Melrose, Massachusetts. He lives in Boston with his partner and their three children.