With 2016 almost in the rearview mirror, it’s crunch time, and attention is turned to crucial year-end giving. There’s no shortage of advice about connecting with donors, and we wanted to share a recent idea that caught our eye. What do the words fair, kind, compassionate, helpful, caring, friendly, generous, honest and hard-working have in common? They are all adjectives that have been identified as being especially effective in motivating people to give. Researchers have confirmed a clear link between the way you use language to appeal to a donor’s sense of self, and the success of a campaign.

Dr. Jennifer Shang, a professor of philanthropic psychology, tells The New York Times those nine words “describe a core sense of who people actually are, as well as a core sense of who people would ideally like to be.” She adds, “It is about allowing the donors the opportunity to reflect on who they think they are.”

In other words, it’s not just an organization telling the story of its good work. It’s about donors seeing themselves as part of the story, and exhibiting those traits when they give.

There are two other words we at The Munshine Group know are key:  Thank You. As 2016 comes to a close, we say it to all the organizations we are privileged to work with, and to everyone who supports these important groups.

As always, we are here to help with your fundraising and communications plans, and wish you all good things in the year ahead.