How to make emotional connections with donors

Your relationship with donors is almost completely based on how it feels to give to your organization.

It’s up to you to do all you can to foster positive emotional experiences.

Smart commercial marketers understand this, because it applies to them also.

Here’s some advanced thinking on creating emotional connections with customers, from Customer Experience Matters. It’s a free ebook titled 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions and it’s downloadable here.

Here are some of those tips, the ones I think apply best to fundraising:

  • Focus on evoking specific feelings.
  • Incorporate emotions into customer journey maps.
  • End on a high note.
  • Make an enemy.
  • Measure how well you evoke desired emotions.
  • Feature real customers’ stories.
  • Articulate a clear set of organizational beliefs — and stand by them.
  • Develop a tone of voice based around your core values.
  • Use stories to communicate corporate identity.
  • Celebrate shared interests.
  • Teach employees to be empathetic.
  • Empower employees to surprise customers.
  • Personalize communications with customers.
  • Assign real-life emotions to customer personas.
  • Build a community of like-minded customers.


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What this blog is about

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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