There has been some discussion in the foundation world recently about failure (although probably not nearly enough). Particularly, about the question of why foundations don’t talk more openly about our mistakes.
While there are a few “good” reasons like protecting grantees, we all know the main explanation comes down to embarrassment and ego. I want to add one more possibility to the literature.
Perhaps foundation staff members don’t know how to fail. I don’t mean that we don’t fail. We fail all the time. I mean that we don’t know how to fail with style. Failing to succeed. With that in mind, I put together a handbook on failing at philanthropy for the Philanthropy News Digest. You can read it here.