Issue 4: Philanthropy on the Fringe

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Change, disruption, risk… these are everyone’s favorite concepts, right? Probably not. But embracing the reality of these ideas – welcoming them, even – can make organizations and partnerships stronger. If we envision foundations as living entities, we have to account for evolution. And that means allowing room for things to go wrong.

Working within an environment that encourages learning from failure makes this much easier. Organizational cultures can encourage or discourage honesty and candid exploration. Which does yours do? Think about how your team would react if things went radically off plan. If failure sparks conversations about process and relationships, or if it forces grants teams to flex across arbitrary lines in the sand – is it really that bad? When things fall apart and you must start over from scratch, the opportunity is there to analyze and communicate within your group and forge new paths together. It’s amazing the things even senior members of the field can learn if every potentially risky tactic or partnership is not approached like a win-or-die situation.

In this issue of GMNsight: Philanthropy on the Fringe, we’re looking at examples of limits tested and boundaries crossed in the name of organizational and team growth. Risking failure is uncomfortable. It’s awkward. It’s sometimes downright painful. But, it’s necessary.