Have you ever been trying to reach a donor and left a LOT of messages? I don’t mean “all in the same day,” that could be construed as stalking and no one wants that. I am referring to calling the same donor/prospect over and over without getting a return call. Perhaps you might call twice a month for 3 months, and send a couple emails as well.
It is interesting how the same response can mean different things, depending on the circumstances. I have a few guy friends who are single. They tell me that if you call a woman three times and she does not respond, that is a clue that you need to move on. I suppose that that makes sense, some people have trouble giving direct feedback and so ignoring calls seems like a good option.
On the other hand, when dealing with donors or prospects, you can’t use the same logic. There are a lot of reasons why a donor or prospect may not return your call, and it does not necessarily mean that they are not going to make a gift to your organization. Persistence is an important attribute in this type of work. I have had people fail to return my phone call for the following reasons that I know about:
• Being out of town
• Work schedules
• Planning to do it tomorrow, but tomorrow always turns into the next day
• Intending to ‘just send a check’ instead
When I finally get through to the donor/prospect, they often will say something like, “Please forgive me, I know you have been trying to reach me – I’ve been remiss in calling you back” and we have a productive dialogue. Sometimes they give more money than I expected, and it is not uncommon for them to indicate that they “appreciate my persistence.”
So, when you are trying to make that 9th call to the donor/prospect, do not worry about being perceived as a stalker. In most cases they will appreciate your persistence and dedication to the mission.
Have a great week,