Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s research demonstrating that people are more likely to donate when they feel empathy for the recipient. This research builds upon the classic psychology research demonstrating that empathy increases the likelihood of altruism, especially when there are costs to being altruistic.
It’s clear that empathy can play an important role in motivating people to give altruistically, but how can we build empathy especially for others who are not very similar to ourselves?
One useful way to build empathy in marketing materials is to create stories that allow people to connect to those who need help or to those who are helping. The idea that organizations should be engaging in storytelling to engage and attract stake holders has been recently promoted. Stories are most powerful when people are able to lose themselves in a character. This is why reading or seeing a story from the first person perspective can be so powerful.