One Emotion that Increases Non-Profit Donations - A Marketing Secret!

This week on the #Loyalty Loop, we're taking a journey back to the 1920s to uncover the psychological marketing campaign that saved millions of lives using an unexpected emotion.

The Loyalty Loop
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7
 Min read
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June 23, 2022

I've found the best program to lull me to sleep: Nova. The long-running PBS science series is slow, methodical, and rhythmic.

I happened on this revelation when I downloaded the PBS app on my iPad. With one tap, I could explore icy planets, desert fossils, or Arctic sinkholes without a login or donation.

I say donation because the Public Broadcasting Service is a non-profit. People like you and I pledge $120 yearly to keep programs like Nova on the air. (Do we say on the air anymore? Maybe, in the cloud?)

Individual donations make up about 30% of PBS's annual operating budget.

So, have I donated?

No. And a few weeks ago, I started wondering why not.

I'm the perfect candidate for an individual membership, as they call it. I have $120. I use the app daily. I've watched dozens of hours of programming.

Yet still, I couldn't be bothered to open my wallet.

It's not like the team at PBS hasn't tried. I'd estimate that about 60% of the app's content is locked until you become a member.

So, click on a locked episode, and they invite you to unlock it by making a donation.

Very logical.

Except logic isn't going to inspire me to donate.

PBS will have to punch me in the face with an emotional trigger before I contribute to their cause.

Not because I'm miserly. It's because I don't care. Yet. I'm happy to re-watch unlock content - after all, I sleep through most of it.

So, I went on a journey to figure out what emotion PBS could employ to get me out of bed, find my wallet, and enter those 16-digits.

And luckily for you, my not-for-profit marketer, I found the one emotion that can instantly increase donations or change consumer behavior.

So, this week on the #Loyalty Loop, we're taking a journey back to the 1920s to uncover the psychological marketing campaign that saved millions of lives using an unexpected emotion.

What's the emotion & how does it work?

P.S. Hey PBS, if you're watching, I expect an email from you using this simple emotional trigger to inspire me to become a member. I promise I'll go find my credit card.

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