Like it or not, as human beings we make most of our decisions emotionally. Sometimes it’s a gut check, sometimes we do something because it just feels right. It happens more often than you realize. More importantly, it happens just as often to the people out there who are making donations and reviewing grant proposals.
When you’re crafting a proposal or an appeal, it’s crucial to keep emotional decision making in mind. You should have facts and convincing arguments to support your case, but honestly that’s the minimum for a successful appeal. If you’re missing a crucial piece of information or you make a mistake, that’ll take you out of the running, but even making sure all your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted won’t get you all the way there.
You have to change their hearts as well as their minds. What fundamental wrong does your program make right? What feels good about what your organization does? What drew you to make this work your career? Your success with an appeal will ultimately hinge on how well you convey the emotional argument at its heart.