For those of you desperately seeking a fundraising edge for 2009, here’s one of our favorites from The Agitator backlist.

Happy Holidays!

Snorting Oxytocin

Attention major gift fundraisers!!

Next time you’re about to pop the question to a prospect (the fundraising ask, that is), squirt a dose of oxytocin up their nose. You might get two-and-a half times the gift amount that you otherwise would have!

Now exactly how you get the relationship to the point where you can squirt a hormone up their nose is another matter. Hey, by the time you’re making a serious ask you should have developed such a relationship! Or you can just spring it on them … if you get your squirt in, they’ll feel good about you no matter what.

The basis of this advice?

Research reported in the marvelous blog, Neuromarketing.

It turns out that oxytocin, a naturally occurring compound in the brain, acts as a sort of social cement. And when enhanced doses are introduced in controlled experiments, it produces quite measurable increases in pro-social feelings, such as enhanced trust.

In one experiment, participants play a "trust game" where some are invited to "invest" simulated money with others. Those dosed with oxytocin were over twice as likely to "invest" the maximum amount as those who weren’t administered the drug.

Apparently a lot of research is going on around oxytocin, as well as around the ethics of its use.

So get yours now before the FDA clamps down!

Forget donors, I know a lot of fundraisers who would do better if they self-administered some of this stuff.

Tom

Many thanks to Jeff Brooks at Donor Power Blog for this pointer. (Jeff, I’m a nut about brain research and I hadn’t noticed this site!). Jeff makes a serious point here about the deep emotional roots of giving.

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