We all hate the feeling when our phone call goes unanswered, especially when we are trying to achieve something important and get in front of powerful people. Excellent fundraising relies on relationships. But it 's nearly impossible to build meaningful relationships if you can 't get a donor's attention.

Why is getting a return call so important? Because it 's impossible to build a connection or relationship with a donor prospect, foundation program officer, or corporate sponsorship director if you can't get them to call you back. No matter how persuasive, compelling, or brilliant you or your nonprofit organization's mission may be, if you can't connect with a philanthropy prospect, you can't advance a relationship.

In today's fundraising world, the phone is a primary communication link. But the widespread use of email and text messaging means many individuals have forgotten the importance of good phone skills. Many fundraising offices have even abandoned this type of skills training. They are more apt to think it 's not essential for the few times they may have to "connect" on the phone. How wrong they are!

To be truly successful, fundraising executives must be able to communicate effectively by phone. If your telephone skills are lacking or you 're using the same old lines, scripts, and methods for connecting with philanthropy prospects, your organization is poised to fall behind. By enhancing your telephone effectiveness and strengthening your ability to leave effective voicemails or handle imposing gatekeepers, you can increase your chances of getting a call back.

Beyond communicating effectively on the phone, you can leverage multiple media approaches - emails, letters, text messages, and direct message features on social media - to get returned calls. These skills are the building blocks of every fundraising office, and being proficient at getting returned calls is essential at every level of a nonprofit organization.

About the Author(s)

William Mountcastle, MPA Health Giving View Bio

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