Psychology Checklist for funding application

Below is a checklist of things to try an include in funding applications to make your bid more appealing to the reader. They are taken from my course on the Psychology of giving; f you are interested and want to know more see my Training page for details

  • Does your application engage with the readers emotions? Remember decisions are based on emotion and we use evidence to back up/confirm this decision
  • Does your application make a clear and concise claim about the problem it will solve?
  • Do you use evidence to back the claim; demonstrate trustworthiness, are the facts and figures specific?
  • Do you give a reason for your actions?; because is a powerful word!
  • Have you said what will happen is you don’t get funding as well as what you will do? Remember we are more loss adverse and a negative frame works best with facts and figures and anecdotal evidence is most persuasive when combined with a positive frame.
  • Have you addressed any weaknesses in your case? Don’t leave the reader with unanswered questions. (Many direct mails are now getting longer so that the reader can get information until they are know enough to donate – particularly useful for online giving where you can provide lots of information)
  • Have you identified any contribution already made towards the project? People like to support projects that are more likely to be successful
  • Does your application include anything to get your reader to agree with you?, if you can make a reader to make a small commitment they are likely to agree when they are asked for a related commitment later.
  • Does the application include any personal connection? How is the writer connected to the work, why are they passionate about it or how has it affected them / their family
  • Do you ask the reader any questions; this will make them think more about what you are writing and help them engage with what you write.
  • Do you give an Identifiable victim – name any people in case studies – Encountering a single victim provokes a stronger emotional response than encountering a group of victims. “As the numbers grow,” he explains, “we sort of lose the emotional connection to the people who are in need.” In other words, people decline to do what they can do because they feel bad about what they can’t do.
  • Is the solution offered relative to the scale of the problem – will it make a real difference
  • Is there urgency in the appeal – why now!

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