Stories or Stats: Making the Case for Transformational Giving

What moves donors the most — stories or statistics? 

Bruce Scott
Westfall Gold Senior Consultant

Westfall Gold has helped raise $596 million for our clients not by just making an intellectual case for support, but also an emotional and transformational case. It’s a recipe that makes donors feel good about giving to your organization—and good about what their dollars will do. 

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, this tracks with a study conducted by the state of Alaska. During the study, people who received a card that played to their emotional side—focusing on how good it feels to donate, rather than the practicality of it—were 31 percent more likely to give, and the average contribution jumped 51percent. Ultimately, Alaska charities received an additional $1.5 million in donations than the group who received the blanket ask. 

The take-home is this: It’s not a matter of stories over statistics. Rather, it’s a combination of them both — head and heart … intellectual and emotional. A compelling askgoes to the “what” and “how” of what you’re doing. But it also gets to the heart, inviting donors to become part of something transformational.

To hear some great stories of success (and the stats behind them), please call Robert Yi at 678-465-7999 or reach him at