How Your Board Can Increase Donations by 39 Percent — Without Asking for Money
Here's how to set this project up for success.
- Share the statistics with your board members about the amazing results that happen when they make prompt, personal thank-you calls to donors. Be sure they understand the "why" of the project, the upside and positive potential from making these calls promptly.
- Have one board member take charge of the project and create a small committee to work with her. (Board members respond better to a request from a peer than they do to a request from a staffer.)
- Make sure the committee members are all focused and committed, understand that prompt timing is essential, and are ready/willing to do this. (Don't ask all board members to do this — only those who are willing to commit seriously.)
- Make specific phone call assignments to each committee member. Don't send out a whole list to the entire committee and hope that someone will make the calls.
- Have each board member report back weekly on the results of his or her calls.
One organization I know had all the board members post their thank-you call results on a shared Google document. That way each board member could see who was making their calls.
Word had it that a competition took hold, and each board member tried to outdo the others. One lawyer, the busiest person on the board, made sure his calls were as up to date — or more so — as all the others.
If you're not making thank-you phone calls to your donors, you are slipping behind your fellow nonprofits. This strategy is moving from "would be nice to do" over to the "must do" category. If you want to retain these donors and establish a long-term relationship with them, then start with the happy phone call to say thank you!