None of it matters. We are not rational creatures, as much as we like to think we are. Larry Summers, an economic powerhouse and former top economic advisor to more than one president, once opened an unofficial paper with a very concise and brilliant critique of the notion that markets behave rationally by saying "THERE ARE IDIOTS! Look around." Larry doesn't have many friends in the world. Geeks, always under-appreciated. Can't imagine why.
And while I'm not going to call any potential donor names, we still need to recognize how that logical part of the brain serves to justify our instinctive actions more often than not. And our instincts are, by and large, emotional, not logical.
Look at your last appeal. We have so much emotion to draw on from our artistic counterparts. Did you capture that emotion in your last appeal or was it a logical argument for why you should be supported?
How can you capture that emotion the next time you write your newsletter giving blurb or annual fund appeal?
- Remind people of that great moment in one of last year's popular shows.
- Tell a story about an artistic triumph that led to something brilliant on-stage.
- Tell a story about an audience member's experience that was outstanding in some way.
- Share an emotional comment left on your company's blog, letting your audience make your appeal for you.