How? Get on the phone!
End-of-year giving decisions are made from December 10-31 in America. In other countries start-of-year financial plans are under consideration. What better time for your giving partners to keep you “top of mind” than now—at the end of one year and the beginning of another!
Organize your phone calls like this—every call need not be an appeal:
- Say thank you! And catch up on their news. Listen well!
- Re-connect. “Are you still alive! It’s been a long time since we’ve talked.”
- Set an appointment! To make an appeal or say thank you in person.
- Make an appeal. Especially if they received your end-of-year or start-of-year appeal letter. “Did you get my letter? May I explain about our finances?”
At first, I first resisted December phoning—it’s hard work and people are busy! Sure, many do not pick up the phone, but I leave a message expressing appreciation. If I had hoped to make an appeal, I promise to phone back. “It is important that I talk with you about my ministry support.”
Last December I phoned 90+ friends on my mailing list—some I didn’t know well. I only connected with 25 but another 25 called me back. I had a different purpose for each call using the bullet outline above. Some calls were short, but some lasted 10-20-30 minutes—with me listening 90% of the time.
Listening! Last year one non-donor friend told me that she and her husband had been visited by a long-time Gospel-worker friend the previous year. She said, “He didn’t ask one question about our family or jobs. He talked non-stop for two hours about his ministry.” Ouch!
I also try to pray briefly with each person. I say, “As we end our visit, would it be okay if I had a brief prayer for you?” Be brief.
Will December phoning pay off financially? Yes. I just now counted 11 people who either increased monthly support or gave extra gifts based on December phone calls. And one non-donor started without being asked. He told me how grateful he was that I “took time to phone him just to visit.”
Okay, you can do this! December phoning keeps you “top of mind” as your giving partners make financial decisions. And, they always appreciate a listening friend.