Should every request for funding via email be followed up with a phone call?

If you are referring to a mass cash appeal mailing to 100-1000, then phoning everyone is too daunting. If you anticipate making 100-1000 phone calls to follow up on your letter, you won't send the letter!

But phoning to follow up individual letters asking for support—"YES!"

Thoughts on letter follow-up phone calls:

  1. To maximize the work you already put into your mass appeal letter, phone 5-15 readers and say you are "following up on the letter I sent." Though the reader may not remember your letter, don't be discouraged! Re-describe the cash project and ask if they will prayerfully consider the gift. Possibly 50% will give!
  2. I find a "letter-phone combination results in the 80% yes-rate. I do it this way: 
    • Phone to ask if I can send a "5-pound-letter" with a ton of stuff about my ministry and an invitation for support. Most will say "yes, send it" if they have been on your mailing list.
    • I send the "5-pound-letter" with the personal appeal personally signed. The letter package includes a pledge card, return envelope, ministry literature and my photo.
    • After a week I phone: "Did you get my 5-pound-package?" (Humor.) I take my time to ask about my appeal, and we talk for 20-30 minutes.
  3. If you seek monthly support, then a letter alone is usually dead in the water. Follow up phone calls are essential to get a yes for monthly.
  4. Phoning is time-consuming and frustrating because people don't "pick-up." Use social media to find out when to call. But phoning is worth it because it enables your partners to hear your voice and feel your passion.
  5. Take notes as you talk, and it is usually appropriate to ask if you could pray for them before you say good-bye. And don't say "Bye-bye!" That is how babies talk!