Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time to Talk

Even in the midst of the holiday fundraising season, the second half of December should be a time to slow down, to gather data and complete year-end reports, and use that information to create a strategy for the coming year. This less hectic workday offers the perfect opportunity to make a few friendly phone calls to donors.

These aren't "ask" phone calls. These are "team" phone calls. Focus on your biggest donors, and those in the middle who seem likely to move up the pyramid of giving soon. Do not begin by thanking them. Let's be realistic- when an organization calls and leads the conversation with "thank you for your support," you know they are going to follow it with "please give again." Instead, start with something like "I'm calling to share with you the difference you've made this year." Tie their donations to real, tangible work that the organization has done. Press the point that this is their charitable impact and they should feel good about it.

This is also a great opportunity to ask what your donors need more of in the coming year. Do they want more updates on the organization's work? Would they like to be invited to the office occasionally? Do they yearn for volunteer opportunities? We serve our donors as much as we serve the people who receive our services. It's important to meet donors' needs as well.

End the phone call with something like "Have a wonderful holiday, I look forward to working with you in the
new year." No financial ask, but a subtle way of indicating that the donor is part of the work you do, and you hope they will continue to be.

It's fun to call donors and not ask for anything! You might find that these phone calls are the best part of your day.