In philanthropy as in most other areas of life, individuals and organizations tend to learn from two distinctly different experiences: what works well, and what does not work so well. Failure, in fact, is often a better teacher than success. Yet most philanthropists find it discomforting to acknowledge mistakes to others, especially if it may inadvertently implicate their grantees. It’s important to realize that other funders are struggling through similar decisions.
Help them make the most of their dollars by sharing your mistakes (and what you’ve learned from them). For more information on this topic, check out the Philanthropy Roundtable article by Peter Frumkin, Failure in Philanthropy: Toward a New Appreciation.