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Why you should use nostalgia to promote more giving

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

marketsmart blog-nostalgia used in marketingI recently stumbled upon a neat paper titled Nostalgia: The Gift That Keeps Giving. Here’s a summary:

Overview
1. Nostalgia is a very personal, social emotion that involves momentous life events and social bonds.
2. Charitable giving is a very personal, social behavior.Tweet This
3. Nonprofits regard donation encouragement as their single most important challenge.

Question: Does nostalgia promote charitable giving and volunteerism?

The Answer: Yes!

Here’s what they determined:
1. Nostalgia increases concrete, tangible and general charitable intentions.Tweet This
2. The mediator of the effect of nostalgia on charitable intentions is empathy.
3. Therefore, nostalgia augments empathy-based charitable intentions and behavior.

The MarketSmart takeaway:
Think about ways you can entwine nostalgia in your engagement fundraising efforts. For instance, if you work for a college or university consider the following:

  • Offer your prospects a free copy of the yearbook from their graduation year.
  • Show them photos of the campus and the students from the days when they attended the school.
  • Invite them to share a story from their college days.

Here’s a real-world example:
For our friends at Ocean Conservancy, we used a photo to remind planned giving prospects about the time they first fell in love with the ocean. It worked like a charm.
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Related Posts

How to make the initial engagement with a planned giving prospect
Words That Work: The Phrases That Encourage Planned Giving

2 responses to “Why you should use nostalgia to promote more giving”

  1. Pam Lake says:

    With certain age groups nostalgia helps to connect support through the generations. As our organisation is over 100 years old I find that when I ask baby boomers why they support it is not infrequent to be told that ‘mum always did and it was important to her to help the disadvantaged’. I will even be handed the original money boxes along with a story and a donation. Nostalgia can be powerful.

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