Many of us know the importance of giving. Those of us who came from privilege may not always have it in the forefronts of our minds that not everyone has experienced the same type of fortune.

Giving to others in a special experience as well as an emotional one. As members of a non-profit organization, we know this principle well. When donors feel an emotional connection, they tend to give of themselves a bit more. In most instances, they don’t care about the goal that needs to be reached – what matters to them is their role in ending hunger, eliminating poverty, providing safe shelter for those in need, and making a difference.

Studies have shown that when non-profits appeal to the emotions by allowing donors to make personal connections to the recipients, the number of funds raised will increase significantly.

So what can we do with this information?

Share a story

Donors need to know why they should give. Successful giving pages create compelling stories that provide reasons for giving. When you prepare to share a story on your organization’s page, be sure to present your core message. People need to remember why they should give to you long after they’ve heard the story. To guide this process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What should our donors think?
  • What do we want our donors to feel?
  • What do we want our donors to do?

Let the answers to these questions guide you into shaping your core structure. From there, you’ll be able to structure all aspects of your campaign, right down to the emails.

Give your donors a reason to connect

Powerful stories are the ones that allow for an authentic, emotional connection. If you think in terms of books or movies, this often happens at the beginning of the story. The same idea can be used for emails. In order to strike an emotional connection between your goal and your donor, your email should have an impactful first sentence. Not only that, but you should give additional thought to how the salutation will appear. Nit picky? Not really, not when you’re going for the heart.

Give recipients a need to act

During the holiday season, many of us tend to feel strapped for cash. We’re too busy focusing on the commercial aspects of the holidays that we need reminders of what this time of year is about. Even if our wallet is a feeling a little slim, a good call to action can encourage donors to take that final step. Keep your CTA specific and active such as: Click here to give. Donate now. Whatever phrase you choose, it should motivate people to follow through.