Trend or Fad?


Lots of new things are appearing on the fundraising scene.  The trick is to know whether it’s a trend or a fad.

A fad is popular because it’s popular.  It’s crashing onto the scene and creating quite a buzz.  Our friends are into it.  That’s part of the excitement, after all.

Think ice-bucket challenge.  After it’s initial viral success, every nonprofit wanted to get in on the act.  Numerous articles appeared on “Seeking the Next Ice Bucket Challenge.”  Fads don’t repeat, no matter how hard you try.

A trend does something different, however.  It satisfies a different need.  It’s not a momentary rush.  It’s a tool.  Momentum becomes power and power becomes change. A trend becomes more valuable as people commit to be a part of it.

Think texting-to-give.  True, it may have started as a fad, but now it is definitely not a novelty.  The initial rush is over but it’s growing.  As more and more people use this method, its power grows; its ability to create a new reality gets stronger.

The trend that is texting-to-give creates a new way for people to connect.  To be a part of something bigger than themselves.

That’s what you should look for.  Something that connects, not simply delights.   After all, fundraising is about people, not money.  Go with the trend.  Forget the fads.

Now that’s a sustainable fundraising idea.

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