5 reasons fundraisers won’t call their hot leads

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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.

Here are 5 proven reasons why fundraisers won’t call their leads to ask for donations:

  1. Fear of rejection: This is the most common reason for call reluctance. It’s simple and basic. No one likes to be rejected but it is part of your job. Just reach out. Nine out of ten times, your hot lead will be glad you did.
  2. Noodling: This is when you spend too much time noodling what to say, researching past giving histories, screening for wealth, or employing any other diversion. Some research is good but most of what you need to know will come out of your conversation with your supporter. So stop noodling and start engaging them in worthwhile discussions.
  3. Hyper-politeness: This is when you come up with reasons to avoid outreach such as saying to yourself, “I don’t want to bother them right now. They could be…. [pick one… eating dinner, playing golf, sleeping, working, reading, meeting with another charity, etc.].” Bottom line: People are always busy. But if you offer your hot leads value when you reach out to them, they’ll be glad you interrupted whatever they were doing.
  4. Hyper-professionalism: This is similar to hyper-politeness but it involves reasons related to business professionalism. For instance, “Before I reach out to them, I really should… [pick one… send a proper letter first, send a proper email first, be introduced at the next golf event first, wait until….., etc.].” People prefer palpable authenticity over professionalism. Be real with your hot leads. You’ll stand out since the other charities are already hitting them with uber-professional outreach efforts.
  5. Self-consciousness: This is when you worry about what they’ll think of you and become intimidated because your prospects are either wealthy, famous, or powerful, etc. Guess what… they are human! They have feelings, wants and needs and they are hoping you will provide them with value. Get over your self-consciousness and you’ll make your supporters very happy. Plus you’ll help advance your organization’s mission tremendously.


>> The Fundraising Coach — 3 wicked easy tips to make your fundraising phone calls more effective
>> Michael Rosen Says — 5 Things Never to Do in Your Phone Fundraising Calls
>> Fired Up Fundraising — Phone Calls to Donors = Highly Profitable Fundraising
>> 15 telephone call do’s for major and legacy gift fundraisers

2 responses to “5 reasons fundraisers won’t call their hot leads”

  1. Lauren Hammond says:

    I think this is something that even those of us who are more “seasoned” experience and yet don’t talk about. I know that I can get caught up in a couple of these – primarily #3 and #4. Thanks for bringing this discussion forward as a great reminder that it is all about the relationships we build

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