That title might have bugged you a bit, but stay with me. Maybe you’ll agree with me by the time I get to the reveal.
I’ve loved magicians since I was a kid. Well more correctly: I love magic tricks, sleight-of-hand, stage magic…all that stuff.
I’m drawn to that moment when the trick climaxes, and you can’t help but mouth the word “Wow!” It’s even better when “Wow” just pops out of your mouth without you consciously saying it. You know, that low, under the breath “Wow.”
“Wow” is wonder and amazement. Joyful surprise. Genuine astonishment. Unguarded delight.
My friend Roy Williams introduced me to a magician/author named Nate Staniforth.
Roy says Nate’s book brims with beautiful writing (my copy is on the way). I’ve watched a few of Nate’s videos, here’s 2 minutes of Nate bringing the “Wow” without a stage or costumes. Give it a look.
Did you think “Wow” when you watched? I did.
Nate does magic to help people experience amazement, astonishment and wonder. In his TEDx talk, he says that as adults we’ve lost some of our ability to experience wonder.
That loss happens gradually without us even realizing it. I guess it’s natural as we grow up. Specifically, as fundraisers, marketers and development professionals we can easily forget that the “Wow” is what our donors crave.
I’m not talking about creating fiction. I’m not talking about sensationalizing. I’m not talking about making stuff up.
The “Wow” I’m talking about it is a natural part of connecting with donors the way you should.
In its best form, “Wow” doesn’t come from fancy graphics or best practices. A “Wow” doesn’t come from one kind of envelope. A “Wow” doesn’t come from a fancy, schmancy video.
A “Wow” comes from understanding how your donor thinks and what your donor wants. A “Wow” comes from understanding why a donor would give to you. It’s giving them both the “ask” they crave and the feedback they deserve after their gift. When you talk to donors about what you and your organization are doing to change the world you kill “Wow.” That’s your “Wow,” not the donor’s.
Donors can have a “Wow” moment when you make it clear how they will change the world through their giving. Donors want to know they’re making a difference through their giving. Donor-focused messaging is about bringing the “Wow” (that’s how Donoricity works).
I’m with Nate.
The world needs more wonder and “Wow.” And specifically, you and I have to believe that this grown-up world of fundraising and development can bring that wonder.
Do you believe? I think so. I’d love to hear your “Wow.”
Photo credit: Dan Zen