Pick Up the Phone

I want to start by saying I have this problem as well. It is easy to get comfortable with our processes and our email lists. But I’d like to advocate for the use of an old tool in fundraising, the telephone. How often do you email or send a letter instead of make a phone call? I find that email can be a great way to contact a large number of people at one time. There are some amazing things you can do to personalize email lists… I digress (I told you I’m part of the problem).

I’d like to offer that there are many things we miss by sending out an email. Talking with a donor on the phone allows us to learn a lot that we can’t learn over email. Email conversations are very scripted and short whereas on the phone you can ask questions and respond quicker. You can read verbal cues, things like hesitation or tone that we miss when we only use email. What are a few things you can learn from making a phone call:

  • Donors will often volunteer personal information about themselves or their family.
  • Many times in the small talk you will learn what is going on and important in their lives now (these are great things to follow up on later).
  • Donors will often talk about their giving interests or why they give to your organization.
  • You can learn more about the age and personality of your donor.
  • Often you can tell by the tone of their voice and their response how you rank in their giving priorities.

Do you have any additions to this list? Leave a comment below.

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