Someone Just Called to Say They Cared…
This post is a bit more personal than you may be used to, but this is a very interesting time.
I’m very nearsighted, and I’ve had glasses since I was a little girl. Yes, I was one of those kids with jelly jars, and I sure got teased a lot.
But that changed last week when I had my first cataract surgery on one of my eyes. I can now see without glasses or contacts. It’s absolutely incredible!
Of course, my eyes are still adjusting, so it’ll be a bit of time before it’s all balanced out. I may still need glasses, but it’s certainly a brand-new world for me!
Any type of surgery is nerve-wracking, and I was definitely apprehensive when I went in. But the nurses and staff were all very helpful and pleasant, and the procedure itself went by really fast and painlessly.
When I got home, I was to take it easy for a day. Lo and behold, I received a phone call that afternoon from the nurse who first admitted me, asking if I was alright and if I had any questions.
I’m sure this is standard operating procedure with this eye doctor’s practice, but it sure made me feel good, knowing that someone I had only just met this morning cared enough and took some time to make a call.
What does this have to do with fundraising? I’d say, take a lesson from this doctor’s office when it comes to your donors—especially your monthly donors.
Did something special happen? Did your monthly donor make an extra gift? Did the donor decide to change their credit card gift to EFT/ACH/direct debit? If so, why not pick up the phone? Say thank you, and ask if the donor has any questions about you, your cause, their gift.
Especially in this day and age, where so much is automated and computerized, it’s good to know that we’re also human beings who, every now and then, just want to know that other people care—especially colleagues, especially donors. So think about this the next time you decide what it takes to better steward and recognize your donors.
Start with that phone call or, if you can’t reach the donor by phone, that handwritten note, letting him or her know you’re grateful. Letting him or her know there’s a person at the other end who cares. Trust me, the donor will remember! I sure will!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.