“Fail Fast, Fail Cheap and Move On”

You and your team finally have it. After brainstorming, countless meetings, running it up the flagpole; your idea is set and ready for public consumption.

It doesn’t matter if it is your organization’s next product, donor appeal, or ad campaign. The fact is you feel ready to launch but what’s the next step? Do you pull together a focus group and risk losing a step to your competitors? Do you damn the torpedoes and go full steam ahead?

For many start-ups, the decision has been dictated, as evidenced in the video below: fail fast, fail cheap, and move on. Unfortunately this decision is not as easy when you work at a nonprofit. As stewards of donated dollars and a frequently small pool of resources that only get you to the plate maybe once a year, you frequently feel the pressure to hit a home run on the first pitch.

There remains a fear in the nonprofit world of taking too many chances. Some of the most successful fundraising campaigns are still traditional, direct mails. Complicating matters, many nonprofits adopt new technologies, especially social media tools, since they are free. With one foot firmly planted among older methods and the other in new technology, when will we shift our weight? When will we begin to take financial risks?

Have you already taken a risk? Let me know in the comments section below.


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