Connect With What Your Donors ALREADY Feel


When organizations create their fundraising for individual donors, they usually have a goal that goes something like this:

Get donors emotionally connected to our work.

That’s a good goal – but it’s almost impossible to achieve in a letter or an email.

So I’d like to suggest a different goal for your mail and email:

Connect with the emotions that donors already feel.

Here’s why…

It’s easy to tap into a donor’s existing emotions. On the other hand, it’s hard work to teach donors about your work and then convince them to emotionally connect with it.

That’s too much to ask of a letter or email that most people will only spend a few seconds with.

So, construct your next letter or email to tap into the emotions about your beneficiaries or cause that you know your donors already have. You might know that they are angry about the injustice. Or that they are compassionate about the pain. Or that they get joy out of making the world a better place.

Whatever the emotions of your donors, name them for yourself and your team. Then build your fundraising to tap into them.

The result will be more engagement and more giving.

It’s the engagement and giving that will, over the years, result in your donors emotionally connecting with your work.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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