Here are six things you should know about how the brain works and how it plays out in fundraising, from the Bloomerang Blog, at Annual Fundraising: Influence "Yes" Using Psychology and Neuroscience:
- Reciprocity. Donors want to "give back," so remind them how they have been helped or touched by others. (Including freemiums like address labels is a weak from of reciprocity that often works too.)
- Commitment, Consistency. People who have said "yes" to you in some way or all the more likely to say yes again.
- Social Proof. People like to do what other people do. It's far more effective to tell would-be donors that other people are giving than it is to say "Hardly anyone is giving."
- Authority. Most of us trust authority figures.
- Loss Aversion. Fundraising for an opportunity that will end does well. People have a strong Fear Of Missing Out -- so common it's shortened to FOMO.
- Anchoring. Tell donors what you need from them. Give them a figure. They will most likely give something near that amount!
Knowing and using these principles will improve your fundraising. Ignoring them will cost you!