The other day I was speaking with a Development Director who was clearly frustrated because she could not get a donor to call her back. When I inquired more about her methods and what she was doing it became evident that she was not being clear about her intentions. That was just one of the many reasons why the donor was not calling her back. Here are 5 more reasons donors aren't returning your call:
1. Your Message Had No Content
If you called a donor and didn't leave a specific reason for the call, odds are that the donor won't rush to call you back.
2. You Shared Too Much Information
Did you ramble on in your call? Was the message more than a minute? If you practically made the ask over the phone and you're not getting a call back the donor probably isn't going to donate.
3. You Haven't Been in Touch
If you haven't called or been in touch for more than a year. Don't be surprised when you leave a message and don't hear back. It's most likely because you don't have a relationship with the donor.
4. They Really Are Busy
Donors are busy people just like you and me. Even retired people are busy. Prior to the pandemic they were the hardest ones to track down because they had so many travel plans, social engagements, and family responsibilities. That changed during the pandemic, however, as we come out of it, keep in mind that they will once again be hard to track down by phone.
5. They Just Aren't Interested
It's sad but true this does happen. If you can't get the donor to return your call within three attempts and you can't reach them any other way then it's time to move on.
The good news is that a phone call still works when you do it right. One of the best things you can do is start your call off with a thank you for the donor's previous support. From there, be authentic and upfront about why you're calling. Don't ask a million questions about the donor's personal life. Keep it succinct and specific to what you want the person to do and don't be afraid to make the ask.