Is your fundraising just a lot of blah blah blah?

Sometimes fundraising can make you feel like the guy in that old Far Side cartoon who’s scolding his dog — and all the dog hears is “…blah blah blah Ginger blah blah…”

That’s how it goes when you try to connect with the wrong part of your donors’ brains.

Inspiring Generosity points this out at Why Reason Alone Doesn’t Work in Fundraising:

When you use stories and images (emotional content) to communicate, you are speaking directly to the part of the brain that controls emotions, trust, decision-making, and action-taking. And these largely unconscious processes are the primary drivers of action (donating, volunteering, joining, clicking).

We try to reason people into giving by slamming them with all the facts that giving is an intelligent think to do. They may completely agree with you — but you haven’t made your case for the part of their minds that actually makes the decisions.

Rational fundraising is about as rewarding as hitting your head against the wall. Emotional fundraising is they way the professionals do it.


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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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