Fundraising: the “hardwired” formula that works

Nearly everything you’ll ever need to know about charitable fundraising you can learn from this video …

Okay, the video is silly. But it’s more on the mark than you might think.

Fundraising is a direct response specialty. Not many people can do it well because most think that it’s just about asking for money.

But it runs deeper than that. In fact, for charitable fundraising (the type of fundraising to support needy people), there is a formula you can tap into. This formula comes from an instinct to help that is hardwired into human beings.

I wrote an article on this fundraising formula a while back. Please read the whole article to understand the background of this idea. But here’s the gist of the formula:

As goofy as the above video is, it does follow this formula pretty closely. But let’s look at the real thing.

This video is from a TV ad called “Shoes” by Children International. It uses the formula, but emphasizes some points more than others, such as explaining what needs to be done. As with all formulas, this one is only a guide. It’s not meant to be followed slavishly. Testing will always show what works best. And this TV spot has worked for years.

FYI: Children International is a long-time client of mine. I had the privilege of traveling overseas to help shoot commercials like this for them. I was so impressed with their operation, I became a sponsor and was able to meet one of my sponsored children in Honduras.

I’m pretty jaded when it comes to fundraising pitches, since I know a lot of them are less than truthful. But these guys are for real. In case you’ve ever thought about sponsoring a child, this is the way to go.

Oh, and the “dirty” story I told you recently … that happend on the same trip as when I met my sponsored child. Yes, it really happened.

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