‘Emotional Distance’ defines the Difference

Written by: William Makower
Posted: 1st October 2012

I’m interested in the concept of ‘emotional distance’ and the impact this has on the call to donate. Take, for example, the digitised sponsorship model as delivered by JustGiving and others. In this case, as our bank balances can testify an ask by email is sufficient if your friend/relative is climbing Kilimanjaro. But what if an email was sent by your local theatre to support access by disadvantaged groups? Evidence shows that existing supporters might give (but unlikely to be in high numbers) and new supporters are unlikely to give.

‘Emotional distance’ defines the difference. Our friend/relative climbing Kilimanjaro is emotionally closer to the donor than the emailed theatre goer.

However, if a notice is now placed on the seat back of the theatre seat in front of you, arguing the case for supporting that same campaign (helping disadvantaged groups come to the theatre), the emotional distance has been significantly shortened. My guess is, that such an approach, will dramatically increase the funding of the arts. For how this is being put into practice, see



 PS – we’re also recruiting – see




William Makower is Founder and Managing Director of Panlogic Ltd, a specialist digital consultancy offering digital engineering services (requirement definition, technical specification, procurement and programme management).

The National Funding Scheme (NFS) allows UK and visiting tourists to easily make a donation through digital channels to any participating cultural institution in the UK. Mobile giving will be the primary channel. Supported by the major arts and cultural bodies and major institutions we plan a launch in Spring 2013 prior to a national launch later that year.

















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