10 Excuses to Call a Prospect/Donor

Nonprofit development excuses imageIf you were asked to call a donor with whom you have yet to form a relationship – how many excuses could you find not to make the calls?  Ignore those, and instead, consider these ten reasons you can use to make the call feel more organic (read: comfortable).

  1. The end of the year call. I know this time of year is so busy for all of us, but I wanted to make sure to find the time before the end of the year to thank you for your generous support over the past year.   Your gift has helped us achieve x, y and z.  Happy Holidays.
  2. Beginning of year call. Now that the insanity of the holidays is over, I thought I would call you to find out if there is anything that you think we should be focusing on this year (or in the second half of the fiscal year, or with only a few months left until the fiscal year closes).
  3. We are about to send out our mid-year annual appeal letter. I know you have responded to certain letters in the past, I would love to speak with you about the factors that helped influence your gift.  Do you think that you could meet me for coffee one morning so that I could run some ideas by you?
  4. Thank you for your recent gift. Your gift has made x and y possible and ensures that we can start initiating program z in the New Year.  It occurred to me that you might be interested in seeing these programs at work.  Can we set up a time for you to come visit the center?
  5. Please come visit. I’m not sure if you have ever been to the center, so I would like to invite you to come see us and all of the exciting work that your generosity makes possible.  Could I schedule a visit for you?
  6. This year we are initiating a planned giving program. I would love to get your input on what would help influence you to make this type of contribution to an organization.  Do you have time for a cup of coffee next week?
  7. The board is undergoing changes. I’m not sure if you are aware of our recent push to expand the expertise on our board of directors.  In particular, we are looking for someone with an interest in child services who has financial planning knowledge.  Do you know of anyone who might fill that profile and be interested in learning more about our organization?
  8. We are missing your RSVP. I noticed that you have yet to RSVP for the Art Auction this Thursday. I’m trying to find out what kind of competition I will have on some of the amazing pieces that the staff has collected for the big night. Do you think you will be able to come?
  9. Giving incentives. While we have closed out our capital campaign, we do still have donor bricks available for a variety of giving levels.  I would love to set up a meeting and see if I could interest you in one of these very visible, high impact donations.
  10. All of us at organization B appreciate your generosity. Is there anyone else you know who might be interested in learning more about the organization? We would love to set up a tour of the facilities or a meeting with the executive director.