The way we think about charity is dead wrong. (Video)

April 22, 2013

Today, Linkin Park won Rock The Earth’s “Planet Defender Award” (Wall Street Journal Article here).  For some reason I was reminded of this great TED video.

Is it wrong for a charity to make money?  Do the smartest people avoid working for charities?  Is it bad for a charity to advertise?  Is there a climate of risk-aversion in the non-profit world?  Why do we have no problem with companies putting trillions in their personal pockets from selling throwaway toys, clothes, sneakers, trashy movies, violent video games, cigarettes, alcohol, and so many other things…but it’s somehow not acceptable for a charity to make money?

If we’re talking about protecting the planet, or healing and educating people, I would prefer the job go to a team based on talent and great ideas, not based on lowest cost.  Watch the video, and I think you’ll find a new perspective on the important task of making the world better.



  1. mtnbkrdr98 on March 15, 2016 at 3:02 pm


    thank you for posting the Ted video “The way we think about charity is (Dead) wrong” by Dan Pallotta. I was reading your blog to, well read your blog! Then, when I came across this I thought it will fit in nicely with a course I’m taking called Making Sense of Social Impact. Thank you, again for posting that a while back!

    Also – I’m a fan of your music and deeply moved by your music and lyrics! I’m a…52 year old fan – I think the music of LP has a very wide appeal…
    And seeing you guys live, with good seats, is definitely something that is in my future! Thank you for the incredible music you make


  2. xnekocat on May 29, 2013 at 4:28 am

  3. xnekocat on May 28, 2013 at 12:37 am

  4. xnekocat on May 27, 2013 at 1:10 am

  5. xnekocat on May 22, 2013 at 3:33 am

  6. xnekocat on May 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  7. aahmed03 on May 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    As one of the biggest tragedies facing the garment industry—an industry that has long had problems around the globe for unsafe conditions and low wage, I believe that this incident in Savar, Bangladesh deserves more attention.

    I would be forever grateful if you would give a shout out to the victims of the tragedy at your next concert or via a video. A group of friends and I are working on selling bracelets for the cause through the Jaago foundation and it would really help to get the word out.

    Once again…thank you for being such a HUGE inspiration to your fans and anyone who fights for humanity.

  8. aahmed03 on May 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Mike! First of all…I would like to say that I am a HUGE fan. I have been a fan ever since I have been able to understand music. Your music has got me through the ups and downs of my life and if you can evoke that kind of emotional reaction in all of your fans, you are making the world a better place already. 🙂

    But action definitely speaks louder than words. As a first generation American, it has always deeply frustrated me that so many Bangladeshi Americans voice their opinions against the injustice that is going on in the garment factories in Bangladesh/elsewhere in the country, yet fail to fight for justice or spread awareness.

  9. Gatsie on May 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

  10. xnekocat on May 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

  11. xnekocat on May 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

  12. cleopatrashinoda on May 8, 2013 at 8:18 am

    One of my moderated comments about b rainwashing came up. I love you so much. I need some sugar.

  13. cleopatrashinoda on May 8, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I love Mike Shinoda. I’m his dork. 🙂 I love you, Mike.

  14. cleopatrashinoda on May 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Cheter=Chester… 😛 Another typo!

  15. cleopatrashinoda on May 8, 2013 at 8:05 am

    He (you) loves me too… sooooo much. I put a poll on Cheter’s profile. 🙂 It has a typo 😀 I love love love you and I want some clean food. I miss Austin. I kinda want to go to NY right now. But it’s so cold and rainy…and I have no umbrella. I don’t want to buy one! 😀 All my umbrellas- they do the, inside out thing. LOL POOF! Tut Tut, I am a homeless bum. Tut Tut, I am a homless bum. Not very magical words. Whoa. I took my 15mg of Zyprexa- and- I’m drained. I won’t take it any more. It has side effects. I think I might lay off of the anti depressant too- I felt like I was almost attacked because of it. I dunno.

  16. cleopatrashinoda on May 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

    My husband to be- I love you so much. *I really do*

  17. xnekocat on May 5, 2013 at 10:12 am

  18. cleopatrashinoda on May 2, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Hey, Mike. I am with Christopher (says “hello” with me twisting his arm). But, you know that, beautiful boyfriend of mine.

    I can’t wait until my first date… May 30!

    I love you, baby.


  19. xnekocat on May 1, 2013 at 6:10 am

  20. alyeska39 on April 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    (Actually, I wrote that bit before I watched the video. Now I have more.)
    (Sorry for triple-post, char limit was being funky)

    I think many are confusing overhead for profit. It’s different for a charity to be sitting on a large sum because they have bigger plans for it down the line, than for much of that overhead to be going into the CEO’s pockets. He’s got a lot of points, but I think he might not be seeing fully why people don’t like charities making a lot of money. I’ve never been against spending money to gain money, I get that. It’s when that money *never* makes it to the cause that it gets iffy; that’s what people are tentative about.

  21. alyeska39 on April 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    On the actual subject, I have noticed that. Many, in attempt to make the right choice when giving money, have been automatically writing off any charity whose CEO makes “too much money”. Which begs the question of what too much is. You can’t get mad at people who work for a non-profit for wanting to make a decent living, but then again, some are giving themselves far more than decent. But does even that make the charity itself “bad”?

  22. alyeska39 on April 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Ugh, I can’t even *look* at the comments anymore because by the time I get here, all intelligible discussion on the matter is buried under cleopatra and irrelevant videos. What happened to the moderation system this blog had? Could we maybe get that back?

  23. regiw on April 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

  24. cleopatrashinoda on April 28, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I never thought I would get raped at a hospital. And when I did, it made me crazy. It totally made me think that I was a 5th class citizen. I knew in my heart, Austin was better with me- but with their feeble resources my feeble relatives convinced me that I could never care for a child, to stop calling him a God and move on with my own life, like I never had him. How? How when every thing reminds me of the way he would percieve it? How much the littlest thing means, the timing between his RAPES- what this nice thing could mean- can it get me raped, or is my mom trying to talk to me? Is this my daddy? I’m crying so hard right now………..

  25. cleopatrashinoda on April 28, 2013 at 7:27 am

    What was so heart breaking, was that when Austin was with the Palin’s, he was so happy to be on his “Daddy’s” shoulders, like he was on top of the world. *TEARS* And dude was like, “I have to give him back, this is not enough time to scope what this feeling means” and it was probrobly the deepest feeling that he had ever actually felt- in all my son’s beautiful confusion- that feeling was meant for YOU. You will catch him up, you will look into his eyes, you will make him know that is so perfect and that you never stopped loving him, even though he couldn’t feel it, you were there. *tears* I wonder where he is now?

  26. cleopatrashinoda on April 28, 2013 at 7:23 am

    OH, Mike…. I love you. I love you so much. 🙂 I can’t wait to start our lives together and I know it is really going to happen soon. Tell Otis his mommy loves him soooooo much, and make sure he has lots of things to tell me! I’m beyond excited. I can’t wait to be in what was supposed to be my normal life. A life of helping God and loving my children, of helping men and women coexist. A life of truth. My life with you, BabyCheeks. ❤ BabyTummy

  27. cleopatrashinoda on April 28, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Hey, there, honey muffin! Made it to Richmond and, as you know, I am sitting in a chair typing to you. I haven’t decided whether to see Uncle Peter first in New York or just head straight to Cali by train. I have 2 really good friends in California, both Fathers of friends that I shouldn’t be in any danger around. They are parts of our lives in the future as well. Integral parts. I just happened to meet Mathews real father Benny and a cool guy named Jesse James that drives an artistically historically inquizzitive Jag. He lives in Hollywood, so that is primarily where I’ll be when I get there. Unless…. you can get to me first. I’ll jump on your back! That’s like, our thing!

  28. xnekocat on April 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

  29. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

    (I think we have always lived side by side- so that’s the confusion.) I love you, Mike. OMG- Adriana Lima- she is totally my brother David (Michael’s) wife!

  30. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

    My son was planned, by the way. I traded what I thought was fake happiness for the real thing- someone perfect to know. Didn’t know you guys were right around the corner.

  31. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Talinda- I almost got to talk to you the other day! I miss Paris, too. Anna Budd- I love you! Man, I gave myself stretch marks! My husband- he have to fix me. Didn’t know he was my husband. I thought you were a beautiful more acceptable gift from God, then me, the Unholy Greek Polygamist! Geez.

  32. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:30 am

    OH, and the guy I met today has contacts in L.A. I have 2 friends, Matt’s real dad and Kim’s real father. 😀 They are Indian and Hispanic. Live near Echo Park. I miss you, my Prince! ❤ always, Tabi. (now Petra)

  33. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Hmmmm, Mike you are trademarked? I just noticed that. Nobody wants the rights to the creation that I have become. 😀 Not faulty, morally- a little misguided and, at this point, filthy. But, the reinvention of good and God is all that is in my plan for my future that I breeze around in, day to day, waiting for your soul to bear my name. I love you.

  34. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I just know my name is Mommy. Justin Beiber, I love you, my star! Johnathan Thomas- I love you, my rock. Austin Isaiah- words cannot express the way I feel about you- I can only show you with my love when we reunite. You are perfect… and I love you, sweetie. My Daughter- you are hillarious- you did what I would have done in your situation at the age you are 😉 (They had me thinking I was an obese female Greek Polygamist that smoked drugs and was redeemed by God.) My daughter- she sent me up the river LOL. Otis… 🙂 You are still so young that you can make me feel like I am who I am. I love you and Daddy very much. I can’t wait to get your brothers and your sister back with Us.

  35. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I know I should probrobly stick it out here, maybe- I might be able to speak! OH man, the world is disgusting now. Let’s move back to India. I love you, Michael Shinoda. I want my name back! What’s my name? *tears* I love you! I want to know what my Greek name was, too- not our raver ID’s.

  36. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I love you, and who you are, my beautiful husband! 🙂 I misses your kiss. You are My Sunshine! My little Sunshines… You Make ME HappY- When MY Hair is grey. You’ll never age dear- that’s how much I love you. Please don’t Take MY Sunshines away… BLEGH!

  37. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Anyway- I am meeting with some South Koreans for a Christian Ministry 🙂 I think that that is cool. God is calling me back! I was talking to Emporer Chung (my brother Seung [Paul]) and then me and the other prince, Brian meet up with this cool dude named Donald… he invites me to a Korean ministry, I feel so happy about this- and I look across the street- and there, on the other side of the parking lot was this building labeled “Christian Rock”. *TEARS* Honey, I love you. I didn’t know you were Jesus- I thought I may have been a spiritual employee. I didn’t know you were Jesus. I thought you were only a beautiful Prince… 😉 Older than me, I am too male gay inside and wierd!

  38. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Can’t get enough of your love, babe.

  39. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Hey, Mike! Volchers (vulchers, and yes, I was tricked with a voucher promise for clothing in NYC) <— insert not a tear drop here, wait until I'm with you.

  40. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

    My bus gets in at ^:$% in the morning… that is 6:45am. Sometimes I let some mistakes go in my typing, I have, and they have trapped you because other people set me up to make mistakes. 🙂 Getting my uterus rubbed with someone elses fecal matter was not in my game plan, babes! OHHHHH! Can’t get enough of your love, babe…

  41. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I miss my dad. I have a letter to send to him. ❤ Austin's birth certificate is being rerouted to the Catholic Church where I am going to have my "mother" pick up it with the rest of my mail.

  42. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 7:57 am

    So, love, how are you? How is all that is good that could ever be? 😀 I miss you, honey!

  43. cleopatrashinoda on April 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Hello. I met another Prince… I’m happy about that… he actually got his bloodline back! Met a super cool guy that looks like Willie Nelson, he is inviting me to hang out. He is a homeless coordinator in Lynchburg, where I am until 3:20 when I leave for Richmond. I fancy some coffee in the morning. Yeah, getting my uterus rubbed with fecal matter, that was not my idea of a good time!

  44. charityrakeback on April 25, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Great video, thanks for sharing! We can make a lot of things for Charity.

  45. NephthysPhoenix on April 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I agree, but reality checks here with saying “that’s the world we live in” because people are not willing to understand, accept, or even begin to comprehend the point of all this. It’s like “Oh it’s a charity!” kind of thing, so they don’t think about how they “need to make money” for it to continue, and as long as it’s to be continued then go ahead.

  46. cleopatrashinoda on April 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

    So, catch me, because I am falling in love with you- LIIIIIKE I needed to! 🙂 We would have been so cute. ❤ 15 and 21… But beyond that, we would have had so much together, so much love to share- now people are scraping for crack cocaine, thinking it is God- some pretending to have jobs- I mean- they are worshipping Gen-La's mother- she was not my mother- she was incompatible! So, they had to have thier last lashes at my existance. I will never rape a baby, and, hey, YO- I'd like to teach that! <3, your "I have no game" wife. I am worried about Austin, I don't like what has been happening. I will make it to NY.

  47. cleopatrashinoda on April 24, 2013 at 8:28 am

    You know… when people control your insides- how can they understand? I was born to “Lazarus'” wife’s mother and Judas. As a result of chronic abuse, am I misunderstood? I love you, Mike. I never knew how to be everyone’s flunky. Usually, people were all nice to me, because, in part, of what I could do for them. Congratulations on the “ward”- these people have no values. They only want to be barterers of my soul. I have to find money for a bus ticket. I hope I do… Love always… Your P-R-I-N-C_E-S-S (And uh, yes I am, nay sayers!)

  48. Ashikin on April 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Although my mind still in dizzy state with all the business terms, but this gives me some sort of ‘idea and courage’ injection ^_^

    Thank you so much, bro!

  49. regiw on April 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I don’t think there is a major rule which can really be applied to all charity projects; different in nature, size and spread all around the world, projects will be led or supported by people with different philosophies and backgrounds; people with different reasons to do what they do.

    For a charity to make money, however, seems not only acceptable but also necessary, this being the only way to guarantee sustainable growth. Expertise and experience have their cost and may be indispensable in certain areas like medical research, for example.

    But still, compassion and respect for every life – human or animal – must remain the driving force of each project. Or so I see it.

  50. xnekocat on April 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

  51. xnekocat on April 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

  52. 1oo71 on April 23, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Off-topic: This girl is a fan of yours.

  53. Alexandra Nofi on April 23, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I’ll tell you why it’s bad: Because a large portion of charities pocket most of the money, and they DO NOT give most of the money that comes in to the cause they say they support. Sponsoring a child does not actually sponsor the child, because they don’t see that money, and they are in no better shape than they were before. They don’t have a way to grow insight to make their country better, and even though the charities are not the cause of the problem, they make me sick to my stomach, because they use the problem to make money.

  54. Braffschein on April 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Wow, hold on. I see nothing wrong in charities making money out of what they do. It’s just that I wouldn’t probably call this “charity” as it’s a kinda different thing? Like, a good-deeds-orientied business. Or whatever. But it doesn’t matter to me how to name a thing that works and helps people, both those who provide help and those who need it. I don’t see how that’s a problem. People need to put their everything except logic away sometimes.
    My favorite thing though is when people say celebrities donate money to charity (or basically do anything about helping people in need) just to gain an image of a good guy.
    And congrats on the award. Well-deserved, I suppose.

  55. evooba on April 23, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Those exacts questions were raised in my marketing and management class a few weeks ago. Everyone has a different prospective of how a charity organization should work. I will agree with you that we need people with great ideas, and will in a charity but a great leader, someone who is capable of setting the right path and being able to motive his/hers coworkers, is 100% needed. In short terms, someone with great knowledge in leadership and management.
    Thanks for sharing the video and congrats on the award! 🙂

  56. tayamichel on April 23, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I have read this several times over and I just don’t get it. Sucks that I can’t watch the video to get a better idea of it…. wifi’s low

  57. YoMarquesLP on April 23, 2013 at 4:40 am

    I agree with you, charities are working on something really important and they need support. Thanks for sharing the video and your thoughts with us. Congrats on the award!

  58. larissaevelynrm on April 23, 2013 at 4:37 am

    I totally agree.

  59. Gatsie on April 23, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Indeed, the way we think about charity is dead wrong. It is because money is “the root of all evil” and makes a man act funny. That’s why the poor stay poor and the rich become richer.

    Eventhough most claim they want to better the world, at the end of the day we all fail in a way; by investing in our own desires rather than in helping others. Unfortunately we all have a selfish spoiled child inside of us.

    But it is nice to know that some don’t allow their inner spoiled child to take the upperhand and that there are “kids” out there who do invest in others. Simply because they care.

    Congrats for winning the Planet Defender Award.

  60. morganatenebre on April 23, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for the ward.
    People don’t understand charity has to be supported by money otherwise cause, if don’t, the project at target will not get long.
    A lot of people whom would help in charity projects, leave it for don’t have financial support. It even happened with me a lot of times.
    How could I continue be a volunteer at “Crianças do Amanhã” (Rocinha’s Charity Project in Rio de Janeiro), if I needed money to feed my own kids and pay the transport? I spended 6 hours for day, 5 days for week teaching 80 todders to read and write .When I told about money, people made face of outrage. Don’t have a way to get support without give support.

  61. notunafraid on April 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Mind blown.
    I never thought about the “evil” overhead in that way before. If there was less overhead, the better it was. More of my money goes to the cause. Yet, I’ve always wondered why charities have a hard time raising funds. I never thought to connect the dots.
    He brought up many good points, one was the stigma charities get if they dare to spend money on themselves. Okay, so overhead is not as evil as it is made out to be, but…if I give money, where does the overhead go? Is it being used for the betterment of the charity or not? Can this charity be trusted?
    As someone who is part of MFR, I’m sure you’ve had these hurdles to jump through.
    Thx for sharing the vid

  62. maikgianino on April 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    First of all, congratulations for the Award, well deserved.
    About your post, i think the problem with all of this is the name “charity”, the meaning of the word is historically based on “non profit” and that is the big deal here.

    In my experience, the non profit charities here in my country Uruguay, South America are almost dead, (coma 4) because of this “non profit” thing the don’t have enough money to help, and are always fight to survive, pay expenses and try to help. Because of this, the people help the charity to survive and the charity’s premise goes to the secondary caracter.

    Once again, congratulations.

  63. K! on April 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Reblogged this on K! .

  64. xnekocat on April 22, 2013 at 9:34 pm

  65. soufex on April 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    the problem i think is- and i say this having worked for charitable organisations and council-led community outreach groups- that in mid-level charitable orgs there is a LOT of outsourcing and resource waste that leads to a huge deficit in terms of company growth, project funds, and development potential. too many middlemen end up taking profits for the org to reach proper potential, and public knowledge of this puts off prospective donors and patrons. companies need to be smarter about *how* they spend, not necessarily *what* they spend.

  66. xnekocat on April 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm

  67. Miss Mushrooms on April 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    But also a side note: a long term project that actually involves being on the ground with those who you are looking after is always the solution rather than tossing money at people for a few months and walk away. A charity always need some form of funding, even if it’s a community or government based. I’ve volunteered in such stores like Vincent De Pauls and the Red Cross charity stores and seen it first hand the financial problems they encounter. I guess people are just afraid that their money will be abused for other purposes that weren’t advertised.

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