Much of what I write comes directly from “current events.” These are my encounters with clients and prospects in real time. This week’s blog captures a series of events and conversations within the past 48 hours. How is that for “current?”
A situation occurred with a client that placed undue stress on the organization and subsequently some financial strain. The organization was a victim and did not specifically cause the problem.
As professional fundraisers, we advised our client that this was an opportunity to have their key supporters participate in understanding the issue. As I’ve said on past blogs, always tie the donors to the needs of your organization. By showing the “pain” and asking for help, the donor sees real tangible and immediate results from their generosity. This is not desperation, but rather good stewardship.
“So, should they call prospects or write?” I suggested a call. We gave them a script to follow when making the call. This was an opportunity for the Executive to speak with the top donor leads and strengthen the relationship. The response I received from the client was unexpected and disappointing. They loved the idea of asking for help but chose to email their top donors instead of making a phone call to each one of them. The reason the Executive gave us to why an email was sent was that they were too busy. They told me that they couldn’t afford to take the time to call prospects. I said, “Can you afford NOT to call?”
This was a golden opportunity on so many levels: connecting in a summer month. . .a true reason to engage a partner. . staying in front of a negative situation and informing the key constituents first..
As our founder, Paul, always reminds us, “We problem solve to our way to the goal.”
Would you just send an email? Can you afford not to call prospects? Would YOU have handled it any differently?
Written by: John J. Corcoran
President & CEO