What donors’ brains do when you tell them stories

Why tell stories? Here’s a reason from the Hubspot Marketing Blog, at The Strange Thing That Happens In Your Brain When You Hear a Good Story — And How to Use It to Your Advantage:

Something surprising happens when information comes from a story rather than just simple facts: More of our brains light up. When we hear a story, the neural activity increases fivefold, like a switchboard has suddenly illuminated the city of our mind.

Sounds like good fundraising to me!

The notes two things stories do for people:

  1. Stories generate empathy. At a brain-chemistry level, stories help us care more about others.
  2. Stories bring people together. Even if you specifically dislike or don’t care about someone, hearing story about them makes you care. (You can choose to do nothing about that, but you care nonetheless.)

Ready to find out how to harness the power of story in your fundraising? Register for my new Moceanic online course, Your Blueprint for Donor-Focused, High-Revenue Fundraising Storytelling.

Register before Wednesday, February 28, and get $100 off the usual price.


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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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