publication date: Feb 7, 2012
author/source: Jonathon Grapsas
posted on Future
a few weeks back about What do donors really want to do
. He talked wisely about the need to
counter what people say
with what they actually
do. That's great
direct response advice.
Emotions win. All the time.
In the post
Jeff talks about what motivates people to give and states that "... the offers
that work best are super-simple, emotional, and often a bit shortsighted.
Providing a meal for a hungry child will always beat creating systems that keep
the child from going hungry."
For me this
is about focusing on emotion, and putting aside the notion that there must some
element of rational argument within any ask.
mass-scale direct response fundraising, telling emotional stories wins hands
down. Yet the number of times I've heard, seen, listened to or been hounded to
provide a rational case as part of a request for money is staggeringly high.
A lot of
fundraising that I see that fails usually does so not because it wasn't a great
idea, but because the messaging was poor, disjointed and/or unclear. Note, this
isn't to say there isn't a role in fundraising for logic, rational thinking,
talking about programs rather than people, but rarely does it supersede bloody
good, compelling stories when it comes to the direct response world.
Your direct-response checklist
to consider when creating direct response fundraising campaigns (creating stories):
Is there a good story attached to
this appeal, or is simply a good idea? I'd argue the former must sit alongside
Have you sat down with your team and
discussed, debated and made clear exactly what it is you're trying to tell your
audience? What's the one thing they
need to know and then do right now?
Why is what you do unique? What do you do better than anyone else?
explanation may make someone listen, but a human story told properly will
compel people to act.
Jonathon Grapsas is the founder and director at flat
earth direct, an agency dedicated to fundraising and campaigning for good
causes. Jonathon spends his time working with charities around the world
focused on digital, direct response and campaigning stuff.
If you'd like to chat to Jonathon you can email him, follow him on twitter @jonathongrapsas or
check out www.flatearthdirect.com