V K Madhavan

Managing Director, A4e India Pvt Ltd


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Why are not-for-profits encouraged only to share successes or best practices? Isn't there a lot that can be learnt from failures?

Since most not-for-profit organisations are dependent on public money, wouldn't it make sense to also disseminate and share things that didn't work? While the incentives to share successes are clear - good marketing can lead to good fund-raising; shouldn't philanthropists and donors encourage sharing of failures and reasons thereof?

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    Mar 6 2011: I fear that there would be too many failures to read. It woud be demoralizing.
  • Feb 16 2011: The problem, I think, is that the ultimate donor is not the government agency but the public community that pays taxes to the agency. And a failure report - for example, the corruption investigation that the GFATM did - can easily catch public attention and make taxpayers demand that their money go somewhere else.
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    Feb 15 2011: To me as an outsider, what you say makes sence... in fact, I think I might be more willing to donate to an NGO's cause if they are honest about their failures along with their successes. Or to be more precise, if I see they've handled their failures well.

    I guess it depends greatly on each NGO's definition of "failure". Perhaps for some, a failure is too critical and not "handleable" (if that's even a word...).

    Any actual NGO's you have in mind (just to put things in perspective)?