April 27, 2018 | Storytelling

Your Donor’s Brain on Impact Stories


What does oxytocin have to do with impact stories?

Research conducted by renowned neuroeconomist, Paul J. Zak, showed that oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone”, and cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress, increase the propensity for people to be generous. Compared to a placebo group, this increase was a whopping 80%1.

It was also shown that the amount of oxytocin released in the brain could predict how much people were likely to give.

Why is Oxytocin Important?

Because the brain produces oxytocin while processing stories. Especially dramatic stories.

Check out Paul’s video below which powerfully illustrates his findings.

As you can see, the more personal and emotionally compelling an impact story is, the more it engages the brain. That means a good impact story is remembered more, and has more influence, than just a cold, factual statement.

From your standpoint, as someone trying to motivate donors to give, the lesson is to offer them touching, powerful impact stories as opposed to unemotional statistics.

The more you can tell effective stories to your donors, the more likely they are to donate money to your organization.

A good story is relevant, personal, and connects to a donor by showing them how a specific recipient benefited directly from their generosity. No doubt you have plenty of those, but the trick is to capture and deliver the story in a way that will have the greatest impact.

Mythos is specifically designed to align individual stories with donors. The alignment can be based on fund types, interests, subjects, departments, educators, student nationalities, and in many more ways. Whatever you think will resonate most with the donor. Engage them. Move them to tears. Show them that their donation will make a difference. And motivate them to give. Or give again.

That’s the power of a good story. And Mythos has a proven track record of gathering them and delivering them in the most effective ways.

Want to learn more about Mythos?