Doug Page is Senior Vice President of the Redwoods Group. His passion is the YMCA where he volunteers his time to solicit in the Y’s annual campaign.
He says that all of the volunteers are told they must call and also send a personal note to everyone who gives— no matter what the amount. (I should underline the word must!
“The results have been extraordinary,” Doug says. “Since we have been making the calls, it has dramatically increased the amount we raise. People want to know that their gift is appreciated.”
I have been preaching the importance of the telephone call. I think everyone should get a phone call– no matter what the amount.
And for certain, every first-time donor. It’s one of the most important steps in retaining them the following year.
I like having the staff making the calls. It’s also a superb use of volunteers. You need to train them.
For gifts at a certain high level, use Board members. At an even higher level, get the CEO to pick up the phone and call.
When Harvard did a study after their last campaign, of their 254 million-dollar donors, 2 out of 3 started with first-time gifts of $100 or less.
Make the call! Those smaller gifts will bubble up to be your future major gifts.