Once upon a time…

Did your mind perk up just a bit when you read that line?

Maybe you thought something like, Ooh, a story, that should be interesting.

We humans love stories. Not just because they’re fun to hear. Not just because they break up the monotony of a lecture or article.

Because they do tremendously powerful things to our brains.

Stories spark feelings of connection that straight information can’t. They exert massive influence over our thinking and decisions.

Why? Because they trick our brains into thinking we’re experiencing the happenings in the tale we’re being told.

Take the findings from this study done at Princeton University. In it, Israeli Professor Uri Hasson connected people to MRI machines and watched their brain function as they told each other stories.

Here’s what he discovered:

As the storyteller described experiences like smelling freshly baked bread or steaming coffee…

Their listener’s olfactory (smelling) cortex lit up. Just as if they were taking in real fragrances.

And as the storyteller described throwing a ball or some other kind of movement…

Their listener’s motor cortex responded. Just as if they were experiencing movement.

And that wasn’t all. Because the storyteller’s brain did the same things. Which meant that during the story, their brain was acting in sync with their listener’s brain, creating a powerful connection and synergy between speaker and listener.

Incredible, isn’t it?

I’m sure you’ve heard about how important it is to tell stories in your fundraising.

It’s not just a nice idea. There’s a science behind it. A science that demonstrates how much influence your stories can exert over donors’ brains.

When you tell a good story, your donor’s mind takes him inside that story. He actually starts to experience the magic of what you do. 

Plus, that brain-sync your story creates means you forge a strong sense of connection in your donor’s mind.

Want to be a great fundraiser? Learn how to tell great stories.

Two practical action steps you can start working on now:

  1. Become a story collector. As you run your organization, keep an eye out for the stories happening every day.
  2. Sharpen your storytelling skills. Practice on your kids or grandkids, or at your Shabbos table. Because the better you get at telling stories, the more powerfully you’ll be able to influence donors’ brains.

May this piece about stories trigger many success stories in your fundraising.

Which, of course, I’d love to hear. Keep them coming!

 

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