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15 telephone call do's for major and legacy gift fundraisers

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

15 telephone call tips for fundraisers - thumbnail image

15 Do’s

  1. Be straightforward. Identify the reason(s) for your call.
  2. Ask great open-ended questions that encourage dialogue and show that you are sincerely interested and care about that particular person.
  3. Listen. Your supporters want to be heard. If you do it right, they’ll talk at least twice as much as you. Hopefully more. Tweet this!
  4. Your mission is worthy, so smile and be confident. It radiates through the phone line. I’m not kidding. People can sense how you feel right through the phone line.
  5. Be honest always! You WILL get found out if you lie or tell half-truths.
  6. Test everything. For instance, what opening lines work better than others.
  7. Keep a pen and paper nearby so you can take notes. You simply won’t remember each call.
  8. Match your energy level and tone with that of your supporter’s. Be a chameleon.
  9. If you made any kind of promise during the call, be sure you do what you said you were ‘gonna do.
  10. Send personalized, relevant, follow-up emails to those who want more information. You can also send appointment confirmations to those who agreed to meet.
  11. Be loose. Shmooze a bit. You can’t read a script if you really want to engage your supporters. Instead, tell stories. Tweet this!
  12. Be a team player. Let others in your organization know what you are doing (especially if you are outsourcing the calls to a vendor).
  13. Treat people how THEY would like to be treated. Especially as you develop your calling strategy.
  14. Use technology to be more efficient (such as CRM, auto-dialing click widgets, etc).
  15. Most of all, employ telemarketing as part of an integrated approach that complements other marketing activities— not as a solo, one-shot effort.

My next blog post will include the don’t’s. Or, if you can’t wait, just download this cheat-sheet.

Related Posts

>> 3-to-1 Major Gift Fundraising
>> 5 potentially big problems related to telemarketing for planned gifts
>> How to make the initial engagement with a planned giving prospect
 

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