How to discover planned gifts using interns because you can't afford a telemarketing firm

1. Make sure the intern cares about your mission
2. Have the intern view videos, read reports and talk to program staff (and beneficiaries) so they are familiar with stories about the impact your organization delivers
3. Pull a list of longtime loyal donors (over 60 is preferable)
4. Write a letter to the donors but have the intern personalize and duplicate it, hand address envelopes, and mail them to donors letting them know the intern will be calling the following week

  • Thanks for __________
  • An intern will be calling next Tuesday (for example)
  • Explain why (to thank you and to ask you some quick questions to learn about you just a bit)
  • Mention that the intern will not be asking for money

5. Write a script for the intern that includes:

  • “Thank you,” “I’m an intern” and “I’m not calling to ask you for money”
  • Include a personalization point for relevance and context if possible (i.e. – “I noticed you’ve been giving for over 20 years!”)
  • Then ask permission to ask a few very brief questions about them, their life, their memories of your organization and how it entwines with their life, and what inspired them to give or get involved with the mission, etc.
  • Ask the donor if there is anything they might want (for instance, would they be interested in volunteering, seeing an annual report, viewing some videos, or anything else?)
  • The last question is the most important one; ask “Many of our supporters have expressed interest in leaving a gift to _______ in their will to benefit future generations. Is this something you have ever considered, have already done or would you be interested in receiving information about this option since it costs you nothing now?”

6. Have the intern begin making calls (note that he or she will need to call each number multiple times)
7. Capture all the interactions in your CRM
8. Prioritize who will need a follow-up call based on how they answer the last question and assign a staff person to make those calls

Related posts:

>> eBook: Words That Work – Part 2: The Phrases That Encourage Planned Giving
>> Why Failing to Focus on Major and Planned Gifts Can Be So Dangerous

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