Neuromarketing Explained

There’s strong competition among nonprofit organizations when it comes to fundraising in the U.S. There are more than 1.5 million tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, and many have to compete for the attention of the public and donations. Therefore, there’s no surprise nonprofit organizations are constantly looking for new and effective marketing tactics to give them an advantage over their competitors.

Fortunately, there is a unique approach that nonprofits can use to better understand their prospects, while also encouraging your prospects to take action and actually contribute to your organization. This approach is called neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is based on insights from psychology and neuroscience, helping organizations get to know their audience and to learn the best motivational approaches to encourage giving. Scientists can use biometric measurements to determine how potential customers perceive advertising and branding. For instance, scientists can monitor neural responses, heart rate, and facial expressions.

Thanks to neuromarketing, organizations can promote their brands based on the way their target audiences’ brains work. Thanks to technologies like EEG and fMRI, scientists learn more about the features of our perception, and nonprofits can use this information to come up with the most effective marketing tactics.  Marketing can be much more effective if you know how people react to different types of visual stimuli, including colors and shapes. Researchers have already used fMRI to study people’s neural responses to brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Neuromarketing: How Does It Work?

People usually think all of their decisions are based on logic. However, the truth is that as much as 95% of decisions made by companies are a result of unconscious processes. People learn from their experiences and our brain quickly calculates the ratio between reward and risk. This is not a bad thing. This approach allows us to learn and to improve our individual decision-making process with time. However, sometimes making decisions based on our previous experiences prevents us from taking into account all the specifics of a particular situation.

Neuromarketing helps solve this problem, and its effectiveness is based on using “hot triggers.” Hot triggers are techniques that compel your audience to take the necessary action — such as statements that appeal to the audience’s emotions. This proactive approach is often used in infomercials, motivating the audience to buy products again.

However, that doesn’t mean neuromarketing can only be used by salesmen. If you have a nonprofit organization, you can use neuromarketing to increase monthly giving as well. Data on people’s emotional responses to different causes and visual stimuli can help nonprofits motivate their target audience to donate their time and money.

Effective Neuromarketing Strategies

Neuromarketing can help nonprofit organizations build their donor base with three key factors — personal, legit and relevant.

  1. Your cause should be personal. Make your audience feel an emotional connection with the goals of your organization. Your audience should also understand their impact on the cause and the value of their contribution.
  2. Your cause should also be perceived by the audience as legitimate. Donors want to know exactly what their money is used for.
  3. Both the cause and your campaign should also be relevant. Once you’ve proven your cause is legitimate and established effective relationships with donors, you should continue to build your campaigns based on these relationships.

What You Should Focus On

  • Donor-focused messaging: To use neuromarketing successfully, nonprofit organizations should mainly focus their message on donors, not the charity itself. Instead of focusing on what your organization has managed to achieve, explore the ways each donor contributes to achieving the common goals. Therefore, you should make sure your copy meets these objectives.
  • Rewards: When searching for donors for a nonprofit organization, it’s important to offer the right rewards. For instance, you can offer rewards in the form of presentations dedicated to the way the donors’ donation has been used. You can also invite donors to special clubs. Given that the brain calculates costs versus rewards, offering something in return certainly will help potential donors make the right decision.
  • Time limits: Another way to trigger the brain is to set time limits. If you clearly indicate that your goals must be accomplished within a certain timeframe, the cost of not participating will grow. A sense of urgency will motivate people to quickly make donations.


Author Bio

Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at review service Online Writers Rating. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.


Delaney Mullennix, MPA

Delaney joined the Nonprofit Hub team in 2021, leading strategic partnerships, and now serves as the Executive Director. She helps to manage and sustain the organization's growing national presence, modern partnership profile, and highly trafficked educational media platform. Delaney plays a major role in curating and creating educational content with a network of innovative nonprofit service, product providers, and professionals that empower organizations to go from good to growth. Delaney got her master's degree in nonprofit management and administration from Grand Valley State University, where she served on the executive board of the Nonprofit Professionals Graduate Student Organization. She's an alumna of Michigan DECA and serves as a competitive event judge to help evaluate high school students' marketing and management skills. You can find her jet-setting to a new place in her free time, volunteering for a good cause, and exploring the great outdoors.

April 24, 2020

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