Depending on how many gifts your organization received, this is a small or large task. So recruit help if you need it by dividing up a report of the donors and their phone numbers, and distributing it amongst trusted staff, board, and volunteers.

  • Thank the donor for their gift, and mention one or two ways it will make a difference for your organization

  • If you get voice mail, leave a message with language just as above

  • If you sense the donor is open to talking a little longer on the phone, have ready a few talking points about your organization’s goals for 2019, mention an event that’s on the horizon, etc.

  • Always, always, always: ask the donor open ended questions when you can (ie: What would you like to see as a goal for our organization? What part of our work inspires you?) and listen, listen, listen – make a record of what you hear and make sure it gets returned to the right person to enter it in the donor’s data records

As a donor myself, I’ve only received calls like this from one organization. As a development professional, I’ve made hundreds of calls like this, and I can’t tell you how many donors are delighted and remark about how unusual and special it is.