We the people are emotional creatures. We feel something about everything, all the time. An attractive person smiles at you and you feel stimulated. You see a car you have desired drive by. You might feel excitement. If you are competing for resources and your competition wins, you might feel jealousy. By thinking of a new concept, you might feel impassioned.
By affecting others’ emotions in a specific and chosen way, we are sometimes able to fulfill our needs by achieving our goals and others’ at the same time.
But is this emotional manipulation? No. It’s the way we function as people. The key is to mean what you say and say what you mean. Have good intentions and try to better the opportunities and lives of others. If we always keep this goal in mind, we commit an act of social good.
Needs are different from wants. Needs have a way of motivating us to action, of putting a fire under our pants, of leading us to be highly creative, because we must be. Needs are needs.
In relation to others, If you can meet both their needs and your own, you have a win/win on your hands, which can lead to the possibility of long term support of your original visions and concepts.
In the process of fundraising, by appealing to an investor or donor’s needs as a company or person, effecting their emotions in the process–by exciting their blood, by inspiring them to action, by aiding them in seeing your vision as you see it in your own imagination and by inspiring them, you have the potential to engage the individual in such a way, that they pull out their checkbook, award you a grant or invest in your company.
Ask yourself the following:
- Who am I? (Branding/Identity: Personally and company mission statement or Message)
- Who am I engaging with? (Know before whom you speak/Research)
- Where am I? (Both in terms of career development and space)
- What just happened? (Your immediate & past circumstances–are you profitable yet?)
- What do I need? (From the potential investor, donor, foundation, etc.)
- How will you serve their needs? (What do they gain by supporting you?)
- What is your first goal of action? (How do you effect others’ emotions?)
How do we get what we need?
The Key: We inspire.
Jim Hart is the Director of the Arts Entrepreneurship Program at Southern Methodist University (SMU).
(c) James David Hart