Emotion - How Fundraisers use (and sometimes misuse) it!

Emotion - How Fundraisers use (and sometimes misuse) it!

Date: Thursday 28th Feb 2019

Time: 11:00am - 01:00pm

Venue: TBC

This event is now sold out.

Arrival from 10:30am

Speaker - Ken Burnett

Fundraising is inevitably emotional and emotion is hugely powerful, so must be used responsibly and wisely. This special seminar will consider why supermarkets dominate popularity polls for their pre-Christmas ads while fundraisers score so badly. It’s not just a question of budgets – there’s much more to this crucial, huge yet still largely unexplored subject – how charities use and misuse emotion.

Of course I’ll make a case for a radical overhaul of how fundraisers use and misuse emotion, culminating in a call for a new approach. But the use and misuse of emotion shouldn’t be seen in isolation, so also in this seminar I’ll be taking a step back to consider some of the threats we fundraisers face and some of the surprising opportunities these threats might present. I’ll challenge some assumptions and perceptions and will build up to a proposal for a radically different approach to how we fundraisers communicate with our prime audiences. This, I think, some people will find surprising.

This event will be followed by a sandwich lunch.



Ken Burnett spent the best part of two years compiling an encyclopaedic project on emotion for the Commission on the Donor Experience, yet still barely scratched the surface of a subject that fundraisers simply must master and manage better. In this special session commissioned by the Institute of Fundraising, Ken will be presenting the top lessons learned, asking some perhaps uncomfortable questions as he attempts to point to a way forward for a sector that, to simply survive, needs to deploy its inherently emotional messages both wisely and very well.

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