September 9, 2012

So say authors Diana I. Tamir and Jason P. Mitchell from Harvard University’s Department of Psychology.

Yes, people love to talk about themselves – it gives our brains a dopamine high. Our brains are “wired for self-disclosure,” says neuroscience. (Think about Facebook!)

This is great information for fundraisers and their organizations. We want to hear the stories of our donors. We value donor-centrism. And neuroscience and behavioral psychology explain why.

We are in the business of collecting donor stories – and retelling those stories in our newsletters, annual reports, direct mail solicitations, on our website. Good fundraisers invite donors to tell their stories themselves – at the podium for that special event or program or in a small focus group.

Yes, people love to talk about themselves. Invite them to do so. Encourage them to do so. Welcome their stories.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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