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Are You Emotionally Connected?

By August 10, 2009September 16th, 2014Communication, Storytelling

Would it surprise you to learn that emotional campaigns are more effective than those based solely on rational/factual information?

It does NOT surprise me. I teach this fact in all of the workshops and breakout sessions I deliver. We have fun with this in the Sharing Your Mission Powerfully segments of my fundraising sessions because we work on telling stories about your mission.

One of the barriers for most people is they think the emotional example has to be sad or be about someone we feel sorry for. I disagree.

The key is to identify a variety of emotions you have to share. Check out this list and ask yourself which of these emotions could we convey today with a story or quote or photo?

  • Belonging
  • Confident
  • Excited
  • Funny
  • Grateful
  • Funny
  • Hopeful
  • Peaceful
  • Pride
  • Angry
  • Embarrassed
  • Vulnerable
  • Safe

Notice these are not all negative emotions. The focus can be a tiny moment in the week when you heard a story or a quote from an insider, like a parent of a client or the caregiver or even the client themselves that conveys one of these emotions. What you are seeking is an interaction that causes the reader or listener to connect to something deep inside.

Here’s an example of a short email message sent out to volunteers who are helping with an upcoming fundraising event:

Scurry, hurry, rush, rush, rush. We don’t want to miss the bus, bus, bus. Lions and tigers and bears OH MY!! This is why we’re on the fly!

That’s what the kids were screaming last Thursday morning as they were anxiously waiting for the Head Start bus to pick them up. The bus normally comes around 8:20am, but the kids were all ready and waiting at the front door by 8:00am sharp! They just didn’t want to miss the field trip to the Como Zoo! For some of the children, this was going to be their first trip to a Zoo ever and they were jumping with anticipation!

It was fun to be here that morning and great to hear the stories afterwards of all the animals they saw, creatures they held and butterfly’s that landed on them at the Butterfly tent.

This is how life should be for a child. Homeless or not. There are 3,000 children in Minnesota tonight.

You’ve got lots of choices about where to share emotion: fundraising campaigns, email messages, newsletters, on the website, one-on-one meetings and anywhere you are sharing communication about your organization. Keep these questions in mind as you shift your communication to include more emotion:

  • Include emotion that honors your clients.
  • Include emotion and still engage the more linear thinkers who want some facts or statistics.
  • Include emotion that is positive, hopeful, funny. It does not have to be pity or sadness.

Send me an example of your emotionally connecting communication. I love to see what works!

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