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United Way and AT&T Host ‘UnCharitable’ Screening to Inspire Innovative Thinking Among Nonprofits, Corporate Partners

The documentary, led by author and filmmaker Dan Pallotta, introduces a radical new approach to philanthropy.

February 12, 2024

As the trusted corporate social responsibility (CSR) partner for dozens of corporations across North Texas, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas plays a pivotal role in mobilizing diverse stakeholders toward a common goal. We lead a community-wide movement to improve access to education, income and health, bringing together the corporate, philanthropic, civic and nonprofit sectors, as well as individual change-seekers, to achieve strategic goals for North Texas.

But how can United Way and our supporters continue to maximize our investments and impact? This question was one of the topics we explored on February 7, when we joined AT&T to host a screening of “UnCharitable,” a powerful new documentary from producer Dan Pallotta that uncovers the realities of nonprofit work and introduces a radical new approach to philanthropy. Pallotta, an entrepreneur and author, is well known for his incredibly popular TED Talk, “The way we talk about charity is dead wrong.”

The film highlights the need for change-seekers to think big to drive positive change —in part by adopting methods used by for-profit organizations, such as embracing risk, advertising their impact, and focusing less on overhead and more on results. The screening left United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and our community partners eager to incorporate even more innovative approaches in our work to improve access to education, income and health in North Texas.

Following the film screening, the evening included a Q&A with Pallotta led by Charlene Lake, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at AT&T, and immediate past chair of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Board of Directors.

The documentary advocates for a radical reformation in philanthropy, urging social impact organizations to break free from traditional constraints to enact real change. As one of United Way’s most generous corporate partners, AT&T has long supported innovation and ambition in our community impact work. For example, we worked closely with AT&T to develop Digital Bridges, an innovative targeted initiative that improves access to digital technology in Southern Dallas. The company also was instrumental in the launch of our flagship social innovation program, the Social Innovation Accelerator, and made the inaugural investment in the program in 2013.

As Lake explains, creating measurable, lasting change in our community requires an innovative mindset—and the willingness to embrace big ideas.

“AT&T is a big believer in bringing bold solutions to solve our community’s biggest challenges,” she said. “We’re proud of the collaboration we have with United Way and the other nonprofits who are in this room. And together, we’ve driven positive impact in our communities. But there’s so much work that has to be done. If we’re going to solve big problems in our communities, we collectively need to be stronger; we need to be bolder.”

For AT&T and dozens of other North Texas corporations, United Way is a trusted CSR partner that represents a smart, strategic and measurable way to invest in the future of our community.

As “UnCharitable” demonstrates, a substantial shift is underway in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. At United Way, we’re grateful to be able to take part in this positive transformation that promises to uplift North Texas and communities across the globe.

Missed the Event? How to See ‘UnCharitable’

If you are a change-seeker who is invested in the future of our community, “UnCharitable” promises to inspire and change your thinking. The film will change your perceptions of philanthropy, giving and how to build a world that works for everyone.

As Pallotta points out, “UnCharitable” has the power to change the way everyone associated with a nonprofit—its employees, board members, donors and partners—thinks about that organization and its mission.

“The biggest thing you can do is get everybody on your staff [to see it],” Pallotta said. “Don’t make the assumption that everybody on your staff is already persuaded. … Get everyone on your board to see it, then get your major donors to see it. Then keep educating them until you start to feel that you have a culture that’s really entrepreneurial, that’s really thinking differently, that really gets this stuff. And you’ve got to reinforce it.”

If you missed our screening, there are two ways to see the documentary:

  • Host your own screening for a nonprofit, campus or community group. Click here to learn more.
  • View it once it’s available on streaming platforms, which Pallotta expects to be this summer. (In the meantime, you can watch Pallotta’s insightful and inspiring TED Talk, a foundation of the documentary, here.)

Pallotta also offers a special training opportunity for nonprofits, The Bolder Board Training, which teaches board members how to work with their CEOs to create bolder, more audacious possibilities for impact. Click here for details.

Learn More About Partnering With Us

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is proud to partner with companies of all sizes to advance racial equity and drive lasting change in North Texas. We have the relationships, data and expertise to help you build and strengthen your culture of good citizenship and corporate social responsibility.

Interested in learning more? Visit our Partner With Us page to discover some of the ways we work with corporate partners and to connect with our team.


Partner with United Way

Join the hundreds of companies who Lead United to drive lasting change in North Texas. Connect with our team to discover how United Way can support your organization’s philanthropic and social responsibility goals.