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.
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.