The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Reach out and touch someone.

with 2 comments

As gift planners we’ve long understood that when we can get a donor to experience our work first-hand, their level of commitment increases along with their financial contributions.  Now, there is research that explains why and gives gift planners a tip to increase that commitment even if the donor cannot experience our work first-hand.

In the most recent issue of Inside Influence, the e-newletter of persuasion expert Robert Cialdini, Noah Goldstein, author of “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Persuasive,” reports that consumer researchers have found that “physically touching a product might not exactly turn it into gold, but it does increase its perceived value.  Tactile contact leads to a greater sense of ownership of that product. The combination of the positive emotions and the enhanced sense of ownership lead to the increase in perceived value”

The authors understand that customers won’t always have the opportunity to touch the product (shopping on the internet being the biggest culprit). However, they found that “when a product was unavailable to touch, simply asking consumers to imagine touching it was enough to increase perceived ownership and value of the product.”

This helps explain the huge success of donor travel offered by nonprofits and the advantages of other opportunities to see (touch) the work, whether that is on a campus, in a remote part of the world or around the corner at the local food bank.  For donors who can’t or won’t engage to that degree, using words to make the work real is a step in the right direction.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

December 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This is exactly why the Benevon model is so successful; it drives donor traffic to the org. This also emphasizes another fundraising tenet: GET OUT OF THE OFFICE!! If gift planners aren’t in the field establishing a relationship to/with the donor, the donor can’t be blamed for feeling left out. If the donor can’t get to the org, then the org should go to the donor. Too much time and effort is spent and not enough money is raised by sitting in a cube all day.

    steffan cress

    December 8, 2009 at 8:13 am

  2. I believe that this is also why storytelling is so critical. It helps to connect donors emotionally to your cause; they experience the great work we do through the verbal images we are able to project.

    Bob Price

    December 8, 2009 at 8:39 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: