In their efforts to raise more money, leaders of nonprofits try to innovate how they raise money – a great tactic to maintain donors. That being said, while there are constantly new ways to better relate to donors, far too many organizations get caught up in the idea that they should follow various poorly researched fundraising fads that they are convinced will transform their efforts. Certainly, some ideas will aid nonprofits, far too many of these trends offer no real benefit for these organizations. Such is the case with the following trends:

  1. Trying to Reach Millennials

American philanthropy has taken to following the trend of trying to reach millennials. While this may seem like a noble idea, there are several flaws in this practice. Organizations that spend time worrying about how to reach millennials are effectively wasting their resources. Millennials don’t want to be reached as most of them aren’t donating consistently to any organizations. While millennials may give here and there, the reality is that they have fewer assets, lack established relationships, and are more transient overall. While pursuing a younger demographic may make sense in theory, on paper, it simply doesn’t. Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers, they only make up 11% of contributions to nonprofits.

  1. Leveraging Internet Funding

Many organizations are trying to leverage new technology as a way to increase their fundraising efforts. While the Internet simplifies the fundraising process, nonprofits that are waiting for online donations to replace their more traditional methods of raising money will be disappointed. While many organizations get caught up in the “problem” of raising money online, nonprofits don’t need to concern themselves with this.

  1. Focusing on Being Risk-Averse

In philanthropy, many organizations want to get the most results for the least amount of money. However, it is possible to be responsible with their spending without being incredibly cheap. The saying “it takes money to make money” is certainly true for philanthropic endeavors. Nonprofit executives should spend their resources on what it is needed to hire a proper fundraising stand, purchase mailings and advertisements, and investing in research and marketing efforts to make themselves more efficient. Instead, nonprofit organizations should invest their money in donor relations as a way to attract and maintain donors. In philanthropy, it’s important to put money out if organizations hope to bring money in.