10 Ways to Deliver Value to Your Major Donors and Planned Giving Prospects

  1. Find ways to release dopamine and/or oxytocin in your supporters’ brains. Oxytocin creates intimacy, trust, and builds healthy relationships. It is essential for creating strong bonds and improved social interactions. Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs, and gives a surge of reinforcing pleasure when achieving them. So, find ways to make your supporters feel like they are part of your mission and making an impact and you will help them release dopamine and oxytocin.
  2. Enable supporters to tap into their sense of autobiographical heroism. In other words, help each supporter feel like he or she is the hero in their own life story.
  3. Elicit feelings of symbolic immortality (a sense that he or she can live forever in the minds of others). Everyone wants to feel like they will live forever. Mostly we hope this will happen because of the meaning we might have added to other people’s lives. Draw out these feelings and your major and planned gift prospects will get more value out of the interactions they have with you and your organization.
  4. Provide a sense of “giving back.” This one is easy. People with capacity usually want to “give back” to society. By giving them ways to do just that, you’ll be delivering more value.
  5. Allow them to feel that they are being altruistic. It’s the other side of the coin of awesomeness (the two sides are “giving back” and “paying it forward”). Altruism is selflessness. People who help others selflessly feel happier, more fulfilled, energized and in control.
  6. Gives them a sense of community (connection with others). Invite them to volunteer, participate in events or webinars, watch videos, take a tour, share a story on Facebook. The opportunities are endless here.
  7. Let them have notoriety and/or praise. Not everyone wants this. But those who do will be glad you gave it to them.
  8. Empower donors so they feel like they are “righting wrongs.” This is especially powerful for causes that seek to change society. But it can also work for diseases. That’s why nonprofits are wise to deliver messages like “STOP DIABETES.”
  9. Help them feel that they are being religious or are able to satisfy religious dictates. In Judaism, for instance, there are exactly 613 requirements (commandments)… not just 10. Helping a religious person feel that they are crossing one off their list (so to speak) is valuable indeed!
  10. Provide them with a sense that they took care of their family and didn’t leave a mess for others to clean up when they are gone. Give them assistance with estate planning and they’ll be glad you did.

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