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Episode 31: How valuing your donors’ identities, feelings and emotions builds loyalty, with Francesco Ambrogetti

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“If the commercial world is obsessed with the customer experience, we need to be obsessed with the supporter experience. Before we ask them for money, we have to ask them who they are and why they are here, and then go start from there.” —Francesco Ambrogetti

Today’s guest was fundamental in shifting my thinking about fundraising after I read his book, Emotionraising, a few years ago. 

The book used evidence and research from neuroscience, behavioural economics, marketing and fundraising to understand how people go from simply being aware of a cause to actually taking action by donating or volunteering.

It validated much of what smart fundraisers had been saying for a long time: We need to embrace the emotional part of the brain. We need to embrace the fact that human beings are highly emotional creatures — including in their giving. 

The author of that book, and today’s guest, is Francesco Ambrogetti.

Francesco is a senior leader in fundraising and marketing at UNICEF. He has over 20 years of international fundraising experience with UNICEF and with other UN bodies in Geneva, Bangkok, and Panama. He has advised organizations like The World Bank, WWF, Doctors Without Borders, and The Red Cross.

His new book — Hooked on a Feeling: How Passion and Devotion For Good Causes Become Memory and Identity — is all about keeping that emotional flame alive after someone makes their first and second donation to your cause. 

It’s about cultivating loyalty and commitment — and helping first-time givers become ongoing supporters.

Today we’ll cover:

  • [4:12] – What role our emotions play in life and decision-making
  • [8:10] – The 6 emotions that drive our decision making
  • [15:00] – Do we take advantage of people when we try to create an emotional experience?
  • [18:57] – How avoiding emotions betrays our donors
  • [21:00] – If first-time donors remember the organizations they’ve given to
  • [23:15] – Mike’s experience with an organization after a mystery shopping donation
  • [26:30] – How emotions become a part of someone’s memory and identity
  • [32:56] – A surprising thing that creates customer loyalty
  • [34:28] – What you can do to implement these concepts in your organization
  • [41:21] – Francesco’s encouragement for nonprofit leaders, fundraisers, and marketers

You can connect with Francesco on Linkedin. You can also learn more about what he’s doing by finding his new book, Hooked on a Feeling, and his video series The Good Suspended.

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