The RBF at 75: Reflecting on Risk and Failure

We marked the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s 75th anniversary in November 2015 and continue to reflect on common themes from our history through a series of essays.

As a sector, philanthropy can afford to take risks that private investors and government programs cannot. In fact, at the RBF, we feel obliged: if our success rate were 100 percent, we wouldn't be directing our resources at problems whose gravity and necessity make them worth tackling. In this essay, we revisit our history to explore how a foundation can maintain its "experimental disposition" while also recognizing when it is time to wind down a less than successful strategy.

Reflecting on Risk and Failure

Read the essay on our website | Download the PDF

Related essays

International Philanthropy

Read the essay on our website | Download the PDF

Conservation and the Environment

Read the essay on our website | Download the PDF

12 Lessons from Family Philanthropy

Read the essay on our website | Download the PDF

 

Visit the 75th anniversary timeline