Are NFTs the next big thing in fundraising?
I know the suspense is killing you, so I’ll let you off the hook:
No, they aren’t.
Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are a Big Thing in the worlds of tech and media. Articles trying to explain them tend to be quite long, but briefly, an NFT is a digital file (document, art, music, video, etc.) of which only the original exists. When you purchase an NFT, you are the sole owner of that digital thing (which is why NFTs are also known as Bitcoin 2.0). They’re popular among collectors of digital art, but other examples exist, too. Not long ago, Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, digitally signed his very first tweet, creating an NFT. He sold it for $2.5 million.
Dorsey donated the funds to charity, and other sellers of NFTs have donated some or all of the sale price to charitable causes, too. Some nonprofits have sold NFTs themselves to raise funds. I haven’t yet seen the blog post claiming NFTs mean the end of fundraising as we know it, but when I do, I won’t be surprised.
If you’ve spent any time in the industry, you probably recall several Big Things that heralded the death of “old-school fundraising.”
Crowdfunding sites were that for a while. So were social media, peer-to-peer, and even QR codes. I’m old enough to remember when the new medium of email meant direct mail was doomed. Now email itself feels old-school.
Now, I do love new ideas. And I certainly understand why the routine of much of what we do — “Oh boy, it’s time to write the Fall Match Appeal … again” — can make the new and shiny very appealing. But there’s a difference between innovating and testing improvements that build on established techniques, and going all-in on a “transformational” new approach that promises to change everything overnight.
As we always say at TrueSense, effective fundraising isn’t built on tactics, but on a philosophy: an approach that says forging relationships between donors and organizations, giving them a way to work together to help solve problems and create a better world, is what matters. Relationships should drive fundraising. Tactics follow.
We fundraisers are fortunate to have a rich, proven library of principles and fundamentals that have empowered generous and visionary people to do amazing things. We should always be wary of casting it aside in favor of the (allegedly) transformational Next Big Thing.
Oh, and my prediction for the next Next Big Thing that will destroy fundraising as we know it? Artificial Intelligence. You read it here first.
Get More Insights Into: