Just Do It!
Call Reports are the bane of our work . . . and absolutely necessary. You may have a term you use that’s different than Call Report, but you get the idea. It’s the documentation of the visit (or sometimes the phone call), what went on, any unusual factors that need to be noted, and how you are getting the donor closer to a yes, or closer to a larger gift.
We tell the organizations we work with to be rigid on the subject. If the development officer does not make a call report, we do not consider a call has been made. That’s how important they are.
With the unfortunate turnover of development staff, it becomes even more critical that Call Reports are made. If they are not, there is no history, no background, nothing to build on.
This, by the way, is for the CEO and the calls that are made. In some institutions, this is the most difficult Call Report to get. You may have to sit in the office and ask, “Tell me what went on during the visit.” And fill out the Report for the CEO.
Don’t worry about a formal form. I prefer that it not be too formal or structured. That will kill it— slain by the sword over-sophistication and structure.
I recommend as simple a system as possible. In fact, let everyone do the Report in the way that is most comfortable. As long as everyone does it. And it needs to be complete.