How to Make a Thank You Call

I’m sure you have made a thank you call before and I’m sure you are great at it. I thought it might be worthwhile for me to talk about the process I go through when making these calls. I’d love to hear from you regarding what tips you have and what things you’ve done. Please leave a comment below.

How do you make a thank you phone call? I have found that sometimes when we receive an unexpected gift we are often so surprised and caught off guard by it that we don’t make the phone call. I know these objections will sometime enter my head: I don’t know this person, If they wanted me to call they would have called me, etc. What I do immediately when I get a gift is look it up in my donor database (here is a great article on choosing a donor database), depending on the size of the gift I might spend a little time on Google (or a new search engine, then I will pick up the phone and call.

When I talk with them on the phone I will thank them for their gift, if they gave a designated gift I will reference that. Then I ask them how they found my organization or heard of us (If I know the answer to this I might refer to it and ask for their story or more details). I might ask them what motivated their gift if there is a specific program they would like to learn more about. Many times I will close the call with an additional thank you and I’ll ask them if they want a tour of one of the facilities.

What do you do? What have you found successful? Leave a comment below.


4 Responses to How to Make a Thank You Call

  1. Sandra Sims says:

    Great tips on making these phone calls Jason. I can only recall getting a thank you via phone a couple of times and it was very meaningful to me as a donor. Since it does happen so rarely it also makes your organization stand out.

  2. John Haydon says:


    Great post. There are at least two reasons to make the call right away:

    1 – You’ll feel great after you make the call and can leverage that feeling to call other potential donors.

    2 – The donor feels great and will be more likely to donate again – soon.

    In terms of Google, I recommend that people use alerts to automate their research. See my post:

    John Haydon

  3. eman a.j says:

    thanks alot for this post it is really useful , and i think it helped me out alot especially im new to this , and i was looking for a tips and ways to help me and advice me in calling donors and to stay in touch with them , if you have any other advices you can tell about how to talk to donors on phone , and thank you again for your post.

  4. I always advise calling immediately! I would focus on getting to know the person in order to set up a face-to-face meeting or lunch. I have had clients who tell me that they have received large unexpected gifts and never met the donor. It’s hard to arrange meetings, but getting to know someone is essential to keeping them engaged with your organization.

    Marshall Howard

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