Fundraise Smarter

How This Nonprofit Used Emotional Triggers For a 5-Figure Campaign (In Under a Month)

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Feb 29, 2016 10:00:00 AM


Want your next fundraising campaign to be a success?

Nail your emotional response.

Whether it's online, at a gala, or delivered through a street canvasser, it's the most important thing a nonprofit can do to raise funds.

Here’s why:

Emotions are the #1 driver of actions. That mean sharing AND donating.

In everything you do in a campaign, your first priority should be eliciting an emotional response from your audience. And the research shows that high arousal emotions, positive and negative, get the biggest response.

So what kind of emotion should you target?

You could make people mad.

You could make people happy.

Or you could make people sad. Tug on their heartstrings a bit.

I’m here to make the case for a tear-jerker campaign.

Sometimes, a hit “right in the feels” is exactly what we need to hear to force us to open our hearts and wallets and contribute.

But it’s a delicate balance. Going the tear-jerker route can quickly start to feel overly “preachy” or like a guilt-trip to your donor. That’s not what we’re going for.

You have to inject just the right amount of heartbreak, urgency, and hope to pull it off.

I think the best way to do that is by looking at a successful example of a nonprofit that knows how to get an emotional response and breaking down exactly what makes it so effective.

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Topics: Fundraising, Storytelling,

Finding New Donors with Donor Stories

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Sep 14, 2015 9:00:00 AM

The nonprofit fundraising world is filled with storytelling advice, and for good reason. Telling your nonprofit’s story in a powerful way is a far more effective means of cultivating and finding new donors.

But often times, we stop the story telling at the beneficiaries of our organization. Many fundraisers feel that once they’ve told the story of their nonprofit’s mission, there’s no other story to tell.

However, this overlooks what can be one of your most powerful sources of story telling magic (and one that can help you find new donors as well): your donors’ stories.

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Topics: Fundraising, online fundraising, Storytelling,, Finding new donors, donor acquisition

Ask the Experts: Avoid Lazy Nonprofit Storytelling

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jul 1, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Storytelling is all the rage right now in the nonprofit world. But sometimes we can get, well...a little lazy in our storytelling.

It's alright, happens to the best of us.

Lori Jacobwith of Ignited Fundraising was kind enough to join us this week to talk about this topic! Check out our interview below and don't miss these highlights:

  • The most important thing fundraisers can do to tell better stories (0:40")
  • How to avoid lazy storytelling (6:20")
  • Watch Lori tell the same story two ways: the lazy way and the WOW way! (7:50")
  • Listen to Lori's fundraising haiku (15:30")
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Topics: Nonprofit, Storytelling,

7 Free Visual Storytelling Tools for Nonprofits [SlideShare]

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Mar 23, 2015 10:00:00 AM

You know the importance of storytelling. You know the importance of data. You know the importance of using visuals to communicate with donors.

And you know that if you put all of these things together, the skies will open up and you’ll ascend into fundraising Nirvana.

Or something like that.

The problem is: how the hell do you do that?!

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Topics: Fundraising, Storytelling,, Tools

Nonprofit Storytelling Lessons From GoPro

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Mar 5, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Do you want your nonprofit to be memorable in an online world with viciously short attention spans? Than you'd better be a good storyteller.

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Topics: Nonprofits, Nonprofit, Storytelling,

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