Emotion: feel it so you can help others feel it

How do you communicate emotion to your donors?

Easy. Feel the emotion yourself.

Okay, maybe not so easy. But feeling it yourself is half the battle — probably more.

The Passionate Giving blog has some help for this at How to Insert Emotion Into Major Gifts:

Get a fix on the core thing that your non-profit does. Identify the situation you are addressing. What problem does addressing this situation solve, or what benefit is provided to society or the planet? What if no one addressed this situation or no one provided this benefit – what would happen? If this mattered to you, how would FEEL about it and what emotion would you experience? Spend some time on this to take in the emotions related to your cause.

(There’s more. Go read it.)

I think we sometimes over-value professionalism to the point that we forget the importance of how things feel. People are unlikely to give until they feel the situation.

You will always struggle at leading them to feeling until you feel it yourself. That squishy, right-brained, embarrassing stuff is as much part of the job as all your expertise and knowledge!


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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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