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How Does It Make You Feel?

Feelings are important. Emotions drive many of our decisions—large and small. And yet, we’re taught not to be “emotional”.

Nonprofits take this admonition very seriously as they make their rational—some might say over rational—appeals for investments in their cause.

Prove it with data. Show that we’re on top of this problem. Demonstrate we have THE solution to a great social ill.

“Give X and we’ll solve Y.”

Data is useful. Being stone-cold rational can even save your life.

It’s rarely convincing, however. It’s almost never persuasive.


It’s not what they’re feeling. It’s doesn’t tap into their soul.

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When is the last time you seriously sought to understand what your donors are feeling?

When you reach out to them do you inspire them to help you? Hint—that’s a feeling. Do they feel courageous when they invest in your cause? Does your cause stir their passion?

Encourage your investors to feel. To experience positive, uplifting emotion.

Investing in others, being generous with your resources, brings all sorts of benefits to the donors as well as you. One of these is a deep sense of well being. Money can’t by this.

Fundraising which is evergreen is never about money. Yet money is one of the results.

Principle 1 of The Eight Principles™ is Donors are the Drivers®. Don’t forget it’s about them, not you.

The next time your reach out to ask another for an investment in your cause, stop and think of how they’re feeling. I guarantee you’ll both be better for it.

Now that’s a sustainable fundraising idea.

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Larry Johnson The Eight Principles

This post was contributed by Larry Johnson. Founder of The Eight Principles™, Larry Johnson believes in the power of relationships to build a better place. Larry has closed eight figure gifts and built two asset-giving programs from the ground up.  He was recently named to the Top 25 Fundraising Experts in the US by Philanthropy Media. Larry is ranked among the top 15 fundraising coaches in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network. He is the author of the best-selling, award winning book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising. Larry has coached the volunteers and executives of hundreds of nonprofits. He recently launched the ground breaking cloud-based fundraising training program, The Oracle League™. It’s sequential, building-block knowledge approach is already generating rave reviews. Larry is a graduate of Yale University.

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