When you write fundraising copy for a living, you learn that the proof is always in the results.

It used to irk me (now it just humors me) when non fundraisers talk philosophically about what messages will raise more money.  They love to bandy about terms like “theory of change” and “educate people about what we do.”

But 9.99999 times out of 10, those messages raise less money than an emotional, passionate plea.

I know. It’s frustrating. We want to believe that humans are rational. We want to believe that our audiences are weighing their choices and making decisions based on data and facts.

But that’s not how we operate. We buy stuff we don’t need. We eat when we’re not hungry. We get frustrated. We cry. We care. We’re human.

When non fundraisers ask me to “smarten up” the copy, or “take a more nuanced approach,” it’s helpful to show them results of past appeals. The proof is in those results. And rational, data-driven folks can see it.

So don’t get frustrated. Show them. Their “Spock-like” minds are just waiting to get blown.