- Sharing and leveraging lessons learned from mistakes is an important but underutilized resource to improve philanthropic investments and nonprofit performance.
- Philanthropic mistakes extend beyond the results of program evaluations to include questions of mission, role, investment strategies, and implementation.
- Distinguishing between “constructive” and “nonconstructive” mistakes focuses attention on those factors that shape the outcomes for even the most well-designed investments.
- Sharing and reflecting upon mistakes has the potential to improve philanthropic capacities for anticipation, learning, and adaptation.
- Philanthropy must recognize the sometimes blurry lines between success and failure, constructive and nonconstructive mistakes, and philanthropic and nonprofit sector accountability.
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