Notre Dame Burning.As of today, over $700 million dollars has been raised to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral that burned earlier this week.
It was within hours of hearing that this historic landmark was in flames that major donors started to commit vast sums of money to rebuild what was lost.
Why? Because for some people, the burning of Notre Dame hit an emotional trigger in them that caused them to want to do something significant. Whether it was of a spiritual nature, pride of city or country, a memory they had or the deep loss of beauty, donors acted out of their emotion to pledge their support to rebuild.
There is no denying it. For some donors, seeing this beautiful church go up in flames triggered an outpouring of support.
There are some people who cannot understand this. “Why would you get all emotional about a building?” some have said. “There are people starving, and there are plenty of other churches who could use renovating that serve the poor.”
And all that is true.
But this is the beauty of each individual. Each of us has our own passions and interests. And why we have them is personal to each of us. We each have our story that at times triggers an outpouring of emotion from us. Sometimes that causes us to give of our own resources.
Some of us get emotional about seeing a homeless child on the street, and it causes us to volunteer or to give what we can immediately, to make sure they get shelter. Others of us cannot bear the sight of an abused animal. There are still others who absolutely get choked up when we see a country-sized swath of plastic floating in our ocean while whales are ingesting it and dying.
Each of us gets emotional about something.
As a major gift fundraiser, your work is about tapping into the emotions of your donors and inspiring to give so they can help change the world.
The problem is, many of you aren’t doing a good job of it. If you were, I wouldn’t be seeing major gift files where giving is the same year over year over year. I wouldn’t be seeing value attrition rates of 40-60% each year. I would be seeing more transformational gifts in the six and seven figures.
But I’m not.
Why? Because you haven’t tapped into your donors’ emotional triggers. You haven’t taken the time and the hard work needed to figure out each of your donors’ passions and interests, and the story behind why they have those interests. You haven’t spent enough time learning about your programs and the stories behind them, so you can match up that story with your donor’s story.
You don’t have wait for a tragedy to happen to have your donors give significantly to support your mission. But you do need to tap into the emotional triggers of your donors, because it’s from those emotions that your donor will be inspired to make an impact with their gifts.
So my question to you is, “What is keeping you from understanding what your donors get emotional about?” If you can unlock that, in yourself and in your donor, you’re on the road to helping your donor make a significant impact on the world. (Tweet it!)