Why do "Feel-Good Photos" fail in fundraising? Chalk it up to improper use of emotional contagion. Two examples illustrate how you can make the right choice...
Among US nonprofits, the overwhelming trend for years now has been to use what I call "Feel-Good Photos." Happy, healthy kids. Fat, fluffy puppies.
Trust me, I've seen puh-lenty. In my office is something called The Vault: four banker's boxes of direct mail appeals and an 8,000-plus-email Inbox of fundraising samples for every season and reason. (Like Jeff Brooks and Uncle Maynard's Treasure Trove.)
But happy images can send the wrong message.
As studies and science prove (see Jeff B. again and Stanford's Center for Social Innovation), a phenomenon known as "emotional contagion" makes sad images more effective at stirring donor sympathy.
Now that you know this little secret, let's open The Vault and look at two appeals, from Mercy Corps and U.S. Fund for Unicef... click here for samples and full article.
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