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Are you ready to fund a failure?

Posted By WINGS, Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013

"Taking risks is often perceived inside organizations as equaling wasted donor dollars, poor operating to program ratios and fear of negative public perception."


A week doesn't go by when there isn't an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy or Non Profit Quarterly about an amazing organization that has received funding from a major philanthropic foundation or philanthropist. The story is usually the same, non profit X has demonstrated incredible success and is being rewarded by foundation Y with a big cheque of support.

There is nothing wrong with such support or announcements, but have you ever wondered where is the article of foundation X or philanthropist Y funding a failure? Even better, when you are thinking about making a charitable donation or investing in a social enterprise have you ever asked yourself whether you are prepared to fund a failure?

Now before you dismiss this question as silly or worse, nonsensical, holding fast to the classical definition of failure as a "lack of success" and "an unsuccessful person, enterprise or thing", think about failure in a different light, namely, a person or organization that is willing to develop and implement a new solution or idea that hasn't been tested before. Failure from this perspective is about taking risks and innovating knowing that despite your best instincts and experience it could fail.

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Phillip Haid is Co-Founder & CEO of Public Inc.

Tags:  Huffington Post 

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