The most important step in a donor stewardship or retention plan is the phone call after a gift is made. Here are two reasons why this is so important for your organization. I know you know this, but here is your gentle reminder. 🙂
Why Not Call Your Donors?
We’ve heard it all before. Maybe we’ve even spoken the words ourselves. Excuses for not calling our donors. Fear of “bothering them” is one of the top defensive reasons against making a phone call to a donor. Hogwash!
Why is it hogwash? Well, number one, donors want to know that you’ve received their contribution. Making a gift is a decision that is not taken lightly and donors want to know that it means as much to you as it does to them. (Click to tweet)
Not to mention the fact that, well, it’s just good manners.
If that’s not enough, how about the fact that this is ONE opportunity where you can get to know your donors and build rapport. If you understand what motivated their gift and what other things they may be interested in, you can forge a win/win relationship with them and keep them posted on these items. When else can you just call a donor to build rapport and it’s doesn’t feel somewhat clumsy?
If You Don’t Have Time, Make Time
The number two reason (excuse) for not calling donors is TIME. This is such a transparently bad excuse, it’s not to be taken seriously. Calling donors is your main priority after a gift is made. Period. At the very least you’ve just uncovered a kindred soul that wants to support your mission. You already have something in common to talk about. So talk about your mission. And, then listen.
There are really no great excuses to not make phone calls to your donors – we all know this. Check this: The 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report by AFP lists the 2015 donor retention rate as 46%. One way to increase that stat is to say thank you. In person. Or, over the phone.
Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash