The most effective way to get people to take action is to appeal to their emotional side – their heart – and create urgency at the same time. As The Atlantic so poignantly reveals, all too often, we’re convinced to give to a cause that does not make the most effective use of our next giving dollar by a simple story of a single individual.
Sadly, emotional appeals simply work better than logic. But the most effective givers (of time, money, and talent) consider more than either logic or emotion. They look for the most effective use of their next gift – where is the best place to use this resource to create the largest impact?
As storytellers (all marketers and fundraisers are storytellers), then, we have two responsibilities in telling our stories.
First, yes, we should show that the next dollar given to our cause or spent on our product will create the biggest possible impact. Tell me that the people in the village in Rwanda will have 50% fewer premature deaths from tumors caused by polluted water. Tell me that 75% more school-aged females will receive an education. That’s the logic side of the equation.
A rational giver or buyer should give or buy based only on this argument. This works in theory, but not in practice.
So the second responsibility of every storyteller is to show the impact of that dollar by relaying a living, breathing example of the possible impact. Tell us about the girl in Rwanda who went on to become a doctor because she no longer had to walk four hours to retrieve clean drinking water. That’s the story side of the equation.
Logic and story. Left brain and right brain. Head and heart.
Great storytellers use both.
Build a meaningful career doing work you believe in
Get every new essay on making a positive impact in the world as it's published.