In my current role, I focus heavily in corporate relations. One thing I consistently struggle with, is how to make that first initial connection.
Between e-mail, phone, snail mail, and social media, there are countless ways to reach out. But the truth is, there’s no best practice method. It’s a matter of personal preference on their end.
I’m not a fan of the cold call, because that can leave your prospect unprepared or in the middle of something, which makes it tough to get your message across.
One method I use is to email someone first, introduce myself, let them know that I’ll be calling at a certain day and time to chat with them, and that I won’t take up much of their time. Then I’ll ask them to let me know if that time doesn’t work. With this method, the phone call isn’t completely out of the blue for them. Many times they’ll respond and ask to reschedule, or they’ll simply respond with a polite “thanks, but no thanks”.
It can be disappointing, but remember, a “no” is always better than being ignored.
How do you prefer to make first contact with potential donors? As always, if you have specific questions we can address, or tips you want to share, be sure to leave them in the comment section below.
- by Nathan Measom
Nathan Measom is a Salt Lake City based fundraiser with 14 years of non-profit experience. He currently works in Development for Best Friends Animal Society, and serves on the board of USFR.