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.

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

Also, if you’re not already a Movie Mondays subscriber, sign up for your own free subscription so you won’t miss out on future movies. Click here for Your FREE subscription to Movie Mondays.

For your own free subscription to Movie Mondays, click here.


  1. Christopher Davenport says

    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. :)

    • says

      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 says

    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. Erika Williams Olson says

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


Leave a Reply