AUGUST 27, 2018
HOW TO START CALLING AND TALKING TO POSSIBLE DONORS
We all know that to get ahead - both in life and in business - you have to be able to ASK for what you want clearly and effectively. And if you're in the business of fundraising, you're going to be doing a LOT of asking. But we also know that asking can be daunting. We wonder "How do I ask for things without sounding pushy, or needy? How do I make sure I reach out to people the way they need to reached?..."
Let's start with something every nonprofit has to deal with on a regular basis: How to start calling and talking to possible donors.
Whether it’s your first day at a nonprofit organization or it’s your fifth year on the job, it really doesn’t matter when your boss hands you a sheet of paper with a list of names on it. As a fundraiser, your job responsibilities include calling people to engage them in conversation with the goal of having them eventually become donors.
In my situation, my boss during my first week on the job as a nonprofit fundraiser handed me a big, thick, green and white IBM lined printout of 500 names instructing me, as it hit my desk with a thud, that I needed to call all the names on the list.
My first reaction was, “...What?!”
Then I thought, "I don’t have time to call 500 people." and was ready to share that feedback with my boss. After all, he had given me other things to do which were occupying my time, so how could he expect me to find the time to call 500 people?...
Quickly, I learned that arguing with your supervisor or boss is never a good idea. My guess is that many of you reading this have either had this happen to you, or have the dread that it will happen.
So, the questions are…
The first recommendation is to create a plan of action or a “map” for your success.
Here are the steps to follow in creating your map:
Be careful not to get “Analysis Paralysis,” which is the condition of always wanting to do more research in the hopes of discovering more information prior to picking up the phone - At some point you just have to jump in and make that call!
But armed with insight about each person you're calling, you're well on your way to having a personalized and engaging discussion with everyone you talk to. In the next blog we'll get into more detail about how to leverage those insights, and how to make sure you connect with everyone on your list.
See you again soon, and before you know it you'll have a Big Ask, too!
Philanthropy Expert and Transformational Change Agent
Professional philanthropy means I've spent my entire career facing Big Asks, and I'm proud to say that Big Asks aren't only manageable - you can even learn to love them!
THE LADY WITH THE BIG ASK is here to teach you what it takes to ask for what you want and get it - from donors, board members, bosses, coworkers, employees, and in your life.