How to make your stories persuade donors to give

Neuromarketing reports on a study of how stories persuade juries, at Six Characteristics of Highly Persuasive Stories. (The study itself is available here.)

Attorneys working to persuade jurors through narrative need to take these things into account:


  1. Delivery Counts. A well-written story is stronger than a weak one.
  2. Vivid Imagery.
  3. Realism and Understandability.
  4. Structure. Stories should have a beginning, middle, and end and an unconfusing structure.
  5. Context and Surroundings. Annoying, noisy design may make a story less effective
  6. Audience. Know them. Make sure you’re aiming at them.

Fundraising is easy compared to jury trials. But they’re not that different.


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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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