How smart nonprofits are using failures to become more successful

Episode #237

Does failure scare you? 

In today’s video, Beth Kanter talks about how some nonprofit organizations are using failure to usher in success.  She’ll tell you of an organization that launched an outreach program that only attracted three people.  Ouch!  However, out of that failure grew an idea that surpassed their expectations bringing in 250,000 new people to their organization.  Wow!

Beth mentions a couple organizations.  You can learn more about their failures turned successes in the article she wrote for the Harvard Business Review. Read the article here.

I filmed this episode at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, so she addresses folks that are in the nonprofit technology arena.  But what she has to say applies to everyone.

Beth, if you don’t know her, is a terrific resource for all things social media for nonprofits.  Definitely check out her blog. www.bethkanter.org

If you have any stories or advice on dealing with failure or disappointment, please share it in a comment box under the video.  Thanks.

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7 Responses to How smart nonprofits are using failures to become more successful

  1. Christopher Davenport June 10, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    If you have any stories or advice on dealing with failure or disappointment, please share it in a comment box. Your colleagues will thank you. :)

    • AHK June 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Good advice. Reminds me of my favorite refrigerator magnet, which I quote at my office all the time: “Always make new mistakes.” Make mistakes, make lots of mistakes, but just be sure to learn from the ones you make so that the next mistakes are fresh ones, not the same old mistake made over and over.

  2. sarah June 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    This was great! I think this is one of my favorites so far. I have had so many failures, where would I start? I think the takeaway though is how you take the failure, as Beth says, and make it a positive. I have always believed if you don’t fall off the bike in the first place, you never really learn to do something better.

  3. Erica Mills (@ericamills) June 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    I’ve seen the failure bow in action and it’s AWESOMELY AMAZING! Yes, it sounds goofy, but it’s so effective. I highly recommend it. Thanks for sharing Beth’s wisdom!

  4. Elizabeth Fitzgerald June 11, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Helpful video, Beth and Chris. A related book on the topic that I really appreciate is, “7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis” by Bill George

  5. Erika Williams Olson June 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Embrace the Fail Better culture! I’ve had this motto on my desk for years. Great video!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is your non-profit organization failing enough? | Donor Dreams Blog - August 2, 2013

    [...] #237 featuring one of my favorite social media bloggers Beth Kanter. With a title like “How smart nonprofits are using failures to become more successful,” I couldn’t help but click the link and [...]

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