How to Reach Out to New Donors (the right way)

Today, we’re going to give you 5 easy steps to getting the response you want when reaching out to new partners (and following up with already-committed ones as well).

1. Send a Physical Letter: Why? Because in today’s world—it simply stands out! It also shows that you are willing to invest your time and resources into connecting with your donors, which is pretty important when you're asking for their time and resources. (And, everyone likes to get mail.)

2. Follow-Up with a Phone Call: Yes, an actual phone call. Again, because it stands out. Now, you should also know that most people won't answer. But that doesn't negate the value of you making the call in the first place. If you have phone anxiety, check out one of our favorite calling apps: (You can thank us later.)

3. Follow-Up with Another Form of Communication: After the call, move on to another form of communication: email, text, FB message, etc. Cycle through these forms of communication every three days for two weeks to keep in touch (and to keep at the front of the donor’s mind).

4. What to Do if There is No Response: If your potential donor is completely unresponsive, send a final email saying you wanted to reach out "one last time.” Saying “one last time” is key to seeing if they are truly interested in getting together to hear more about partnership (or if they are avoiding you altogether).

5. Constant Communication. Make sure each time you follow up (except for the "one last time" scenario) you let your potential donor know that you are going to follow up again. A simple, "I'll give you a call in a few days," or "If I don't hear back from you in the next few days, I'll reach out again,” will do. This lets them know reaching out to them is a priority to you (which often encourages them to make it a priority to get back with you).

Communicating with our current and future donors can be tricky. To learn more about the keys to communication, check out our e-book, How to Get a Generous Response (Almost) Every Time You Ask.

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