Visualized Autobiography and Donor Stories: Good for Your Donors, Good for Your Organization
Dr. Russell James’ research using brain MRI scans has demonstrated that planned givers visualize their autobiographies as they consider planned gifts; in fact, the areas of the brain that are activated in planned giving are vastly different from those connected with other types of donations. This suggests that visual stories about donors’ lives have a natural power to trigger reflection and consideration of a legacy—an important lesson for planned gift marketing. Both your donors and your organization will benefit if you get up close and personal with the life stories of your donors.  This session will show you how.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the brain, marketing, fundraising and video science that makes donor autobiographies—especially visualized ones—an effective tool for planned gift marketing
Consider ways to present donor-focused legacy stories (e.g., how the gift expresses the donor's life/interests/history/etc.), in addition to institutionally-focused legacy stories (e.g., how the gift helps the organization continue its work)
Explore the medium of video as a tool for constructing and sharing donor-focused legacy stories
Author Name
Elissa Leif
National Conference on Philanthropic Planning
Publication Year
Donor Relations
Document Type
Career phase
Enhancing Program
NCPP2013, Syllabus 2.04.02
National Standards for Gift Planning Success
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