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February 8, 2022 53 min

Francesco Ambrogetti leads Supporter Engagement for UNICEF worldwide. He has over 20 years’ international experience and has worked for organizations like the WWF, MSF, and the Red Cross World Bank across four different continents. His most recent book, “Hooked on a Feeling”, inspired this episode as it dives deep into the neuroscience of fundraising and explores a number of different topics not typically explained (but highly relevant) when we’re taught fundraising best practices. In this episode, we’re covering many topics inside this amazing book, like how memory works and the way dopamine and serotonin actually shape the donor’s experience and the likelihood they will stay involved in the organization in an ongoing way. We are often told to make a thank you call to a donor within 48 hours because of it’s impact on donor retention, but do you know WHY it has such an impact? Listen to this episode to learn the science behind that fundraising recommendation, and many new science-backed strategies and tips that will change your fundraising immediately! 

This series is inspired by Neon One’s new donor report: titled ‘ Donors: Understanding The Future Of Individual Giving’. Get early access to the report by going to

Episode highlights : 

02:42 - Introducing Francesco Ambrogetti: An author passionate about fundraising and neuroscience.

6:24 - The science behind our relationship with donors: Understanding the chemical reactions that happen around fundraising work and how memory comes into play.

17:24 - Empathy and social proof: Analyzing the causes of higher retention rates based on collective giving moments.

24:42 - The peaks that cement our memory: Key reinforcements in the donor’s journey and how giving is linked to the irrational side of our brains.

30:44 - The relationship between memory and motivation: What are the things that we should be paying attention to after the donation is made?

43:18 - Celebration over transaction: Discussing the effectiveness of monthly giving programs.

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