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Stats or Stories. What Works Best?

Do your donor newsletters or marketing materials show stats of... many people you’ve many Zoom classes you’ve many Shabbos meals you many donors you have?

In your conversations with donors, are you communicating success with data and numbers to back up what you tell them?

Or do you place an emphasis on finding and sharing great stories that highlight your achievements?

Research shows that donors are more responsive to an organization's request that features the story of one person, than they are to stats about the scale of the problem being faced.

When it comes to charitable giving, this research backs up what we already know - donors give according to their hearts and not their heads.

Why is this so?

If we look at the human brain, we can understand a little more why.

The part of the brain responsible for rational and analytical thought is the ‘neocortex’.

It helps us understand facts and figures, features and benefits. It’s also responsible for language.

The ‘limbic system’ is the part of the brain responsible for all our behaviour and decision making. It’s also responsible for all our feelings, like trust and loyalty.

But unlike the neocortex, the limbic system has no capacity for language. This is where gut feelings come from. It’s a feeling we get about a decision we have to make, that we struggle to explain.

When we give a donor facts and figures, we connect to their ‘neocortex’ - that part of the brain that causes the donor to be rational or critical.

And for most non profits, the data which may appear impressive to you, can be understood as unimpressive when processed through a donor's neocortex!

On the other hand, if you connect with your donors ‘limbic system’, you get a whole different outcome.

This is from where the donor feels fulfillment. And becomes inspired.

It’s where the donor has a gut feeling that he wants to give. And he gives because he connects emotionally to you and the story you tell.

As we approach the end of 2020, feel free to send me your end of year cool infographics sharing - how many Zoom classes you’ve given - how many virtual Shabbos meals you’ve made - or how many donors have given to you this year.

Make sure to include a link to donate. But don’t expect much from me unless your throw in a good story or two!

B'Hatzlacha Raba Raba,


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