At Bridge: Failure is an Option?

In the session, “Tanked! Seven Online Campaigns That Should Have Performed… But Didn’t,” at the 2013 Bridge Conference, Madeline Stanionis of M&R and Ben Simon of Greenpeace wore their failure like a badge of honor.

They even handed out stickers with thumbs down so those of us in the audience could join in and fully experience the sweet, all-encompassing taste of failure by putting the stickers on our foreheads.

Stanionis and Simon reviewed various campaigns that just did not work no matter how clever they seemed. The highlight for me was the big fail when they tried to build on their successful Valentines Day campaign for a children’s hospital with temporary tattoos for kids — apparently there are still boxes and boxes available!

So what was the take away from this session? In order to succeed you have to fail. And sometimes fail and fail again. Fundraising is a subjective occupation, and not every idea is a winner.

As a new fundraiser, it was reassuring to know that two fundraising individuals as successful as Stanionis and Simon are not afraid to not only share, but actually revel, in their failures – and allow others to learn from them as well.


– Posted by Kurt Thurber


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