How To Harness The Power of Emotion

Emotion is the foundation of all human behaviour. It has been well documented that people are more likely to make a decision based on their feelings than on logic alone. LIKECHARITY work with over two hundred charities and we have seen first-hand the powerful role that emotions can play when advertising fundraising campaigns. Connecting emotionally to potential donors means that they will not only relate better to your charity but they will be more inclined to take action and donate in support of the wonderful work that your charity does.    

Here are four ways that you can utilise the power of emotion when advertising your fundraising campaigns:


1. Use emotive language

Speak directly to your donors and enable them to visualise what it would be like to require the help of your charity. Use language that clearly communicates the difference your charity can make with the support of donors. There is sometimes a perception that all charity advertising needs to be sad in order to be effective but don’t be afraid to explore other powerful emotions that are relevant to your charity.  


Image via

Image via

2. Promote your cause (and not your charity)

People like to feel that their donations are making a direct difference to someone’s life. Charities tend to provide services to lots of different people but by highlighting a case study you can emotionally engage with potential donors. The human brain is programmed to enjoy storytelling, so grounding factual information within the context of a personal story can be an excellent way to grab people’s attention. 



3. Incorporate images

The old saying that “a picture can tell a thousand words” is most definitely relevant when it comes to fundraising. Images that highlight an issue that your charity is working to change can evoke emotional reactions from potential donors. Images are also an excellent way to show how donations to your charity are utilised.  



4. Include a clear call to action

Once donors are emotionally invested in your charity it is of paramount importance to provide them with a simple way to take action. The aim of all fundraising campaigns is to raise money so it is vital that your call to action emphasises this. For example, if you want people to donate via SMS be sure to emphasise the keyword, the short-code and the donation amount.

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Deciding to donate is an emotional choice so it makes sense to harness the power of emotions when advertising your fundraising campaigns. Don’t be afraid to innovate and shift your focus if something isn’t working. Good luck!