You know that telling stories is good practice in fundraising. Did you know that one particular type of story works best?
As reported at the Neuromarketing blog, Vivid Stories Change Donor Behavior.
In a study, subjects were told various types of information, then asked to do altruistic actions, like giving to charity. The result:
The subjects who were primed with more specific thoughts about death (the vivid apartment fire) saw an increase in altruism compared to the control group even if the need was low.
If your cause is a matter of life and death, you should be telling stories of life and death.
Maybe your cause isn't a matter of life and death -- maybe you're an arts organization, and you can't really make the claim that your work saves lives. In that case, you should tell as vivid and dramatic stories as you possibly can.
Experienced fundraising writers have known (or at least suspected) this for a long time. Nice to have the scientists "discover" it.