Borrow some tricks from magicians

Here’s a fun post at Neuromarketing about the knowledge magicians use to create convincing illusions — and how that same knowledge can help us sell things: Six Selling Secrets From Magicians.

Here they are, along with some ways they might apply to fundraising:


  1. People Focus on Only One Thing (So don’t load up your fundraising with extraneous stuff. Just do one thing at a time.)
  2. Motion Attracts our Attention (Video can be very effective.)
  3. Big Motions Beat Little Motions (Being subtle doesn’t pay.)
  4. The Unexpected Attracts Us (Having a perfect, tasteful color pallet isn’t so great. Contrast captures attention.
  5. Mirror Neurons Engage Us (Show the actions you want donors to take.)
  6. Cut the Chatter (Be focused.)

Fundraising isn’t magic. Neither is magic. Both work best when you understand how people’s minds work. Magic uses this information to create illusions. Fundraising does it to encourage people to do that good deeds they are inclined to do.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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