Everybody LOVES the Fundraising Pacakge. You Should Be Worried
Inscribed on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo
Before cable TV, if you can believe there ever was such a time, advertisers had to collect data about consumers from self-reported surveys. Viewers filled out boxes saying which shows they watched and mailed the surveys back to be tabulated.
Back then the running joke in the agency world was, "Nobody in America watches TV. And when they do, they only watch PBS."
Confirmation bias makes us believe what we want to believe regardless of the facts.
Social desirability bias makes us give people the answers we think they want to hear.
The Hawthorne effect makes us change our responses just because we're being asked our opinion.
The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is we just can't trust our own reactions.
But we're fundraisers, and we have a lot riding on our ability to predict how people will respond when we ask them for money. So, if we're trying to influence people to give, what can we rely on?
When people say, "You are not your donor," that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you review a mail package or an email, and you really love the teaser or the graphics or the copy, alarm bells should start going off in your head.
If the woman in finance or the guy in communications says, "I'd give to that!" clap your hands over your ears and flee.
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.