This Is Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Celebrate Failing

by Cameron Ripley  |   |  Strategy  |  2 comments

3 min to read ✭ In this post, you will learn what high impact fails are, why your nonprofit should be celebrating failure, and how they will ultimately push your organization forward.

Stop Only Celebrating Your Wins

Nonprofit leaders and marketers, it’s time to fail. Though it sounds counterintuitive to celebrate failure, we are here to tell you that if you are not failing then you are not pushing yourself hard enough. Understanding your nonprofit’s failures will get you much closer to succeeding. Your organization’s fails will help your nonprofit be completely self-aware by continuously testing your limits and how far you are willing to go. Ensure that your nonprofit is as conscious as possible and it will be the best way to audit your growth requirements and potential.


What Is a High Impact #Fail?

The best way to describe a high impact fail is that it is a failed, raw idea that your organization had taken a chance on because the outcome sounded promising. High impact fails are the shots your organization takes that have the potential to move your nonprofit forward, but ultimately do not succeed in doing so. They’re not all bad, though. Keep reading!


How Are High Impact Fails Good For Your Nonprofit?

While the risk you took was technically unsuccessful, it does not mean that the failure in and of itself cannot be qualified as a win. High impact fails mean that you are pushing the limit with where you want to take your nonprofit; they are signs of progression and modernization amidst your nonprofit’s willingness to continually innovate fresh strategies. You will eventually succeed, it is just a matter of when. A fail shows us that your nonprofit is bold and is not going to settle for playing it safe.


Why Did cBC Start Celebrating Failure?

Community Boost started celebrating failure after we felt that we were starting to plateau; our ideas, our risks, and our actions were not as daring as we wanted them to be. In order to move our company’s culture and mindset away from this feeling of mediocrity, we decided to start celebrating our high impact failures along with our wins. We have realigned what it means to us to fail, realizing that the only negative thing about failing is the fact that an idea merely didn’t work. Commemorating our high impact fails has become a way we congratulate each other for continually coming up with inventive ideas. Even when an idea we have in mind does not work out, we take that as a measure of creative success! If our team doesn’t have any high impact failures to celebrate, it means we are not pushing ourselves enough.


What Do HIFs Look Like?

We know it can seem daunting to fail, but a high impact fail is not something that should scare you or your nonprofit. Just think of it as a little victory disguising itself as a failure! Let’s say your organization is trying to become more active on social, so you compile a long list of social media influencers who could help you fundraise for your nonprofit. Of the hundreds of people you contacted to work with you, only two influencers agree to fundraise for your organization, and in the end, the partnership does not end up working out. We would consider this to be fail worth celebrating because the partnership would have pushed your organization forwards, yet the fact that prominent influencers wanted to be a part of the conversation in the first place is something amazing in itself. High impact fails can look however you want them to look just as long as you are open to accepting the silver lining they provide your nonprofit organization.


CONCLUSION: It’s Good to Fail

Next time your nonprofit does something that unexpectedly fails, make sure to celebrate it! Find the positives in the fact that failing is a testament to the lengths your organization is willing to go. That fearless boldness and voracious desire to keep your nonprofit’s strategies as raw as possible is what will push you forward amidst the wins and losses. 

Cameron Ripley


  1. Friday Five 006: Becoming a Practitioner in Digital Marketing & Reaching Donors!, on May 10, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    […] The key to digital marketing is understanding where your audience’s attention is at. What platforms are your donors using? What is grabbing the majority of their attention? Since digital marketing is a continuously changing platform, you have to be okay with trial and error. It takes time to become a practitioner of this space, but getting there requires taking risks and learning from high impact failures. […]


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