This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
Giving Is An Emotional Decision
As fundraisers, we are in our jobs day-in and day-out. At times, that means that we evaluate donor relations with far too much reliance on paper or what the data tells us. We do this because we're trained to think about the financials behind giving. However, the financials are only part of the truth. The larger truth is that a donor's decision to give (and how much) is rooted in emotion.
Giving is emotional.
Reiterate your donor's emotional appeal whenever possible to increase the likelihood that you close the gift.
For example, my daughter had life-saving surgery at Children's Hospital in Boston. Our time there was life-changing and successful. After the surgery, the outreach from my daughter's surgeon and the group of medical professionals that saved her life helped me process the emotional journey I experienced as a mother and feel overwhelmingly grateful that I live in an area with access to this type of fantastic care.
When it came time to talk with a gift officer, there was a very tasteful conversation about my emotional connection to the care we received at Children's Hospital. I felt amazing about making a gift that could help other children and their families in similar ways.
My gift was not rooted in finances – it was rooted in the emotional attachment that I had to give back. In many ways, my gift was my way of saying thank you.
What emotional connections do your donors have to their giving history? Are they honoring family members or friends? Do they want to help your college open the doors of opportunity for others like them? Are they looking to make a change in the world so others can experience some happiness they've achieved or avoid some suffering they've experienced?
Sometimes, a donor's emotional connection is overlooked because we're focused on the business of the day – the numbers that get us to our goals. But, if we take a step back and really think about our donors, we can bring joy to their lives and reach our goals. Pulling at our donor's heartstrings makes a considerable difference in terms of dollars because it gives them an avenue to support something near and dear to their hearts.
Giving is very much an emotional decision.
If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your organization to have a culture of philanthropy, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, click the button below and let's connect.