The phone call may be the most challenging tool in asking for support. Utilize the phone primarily to set-up individual appointments. The good news is that if someone agrees to meet with you personally, the chance of him/her making a pledge is high. Here are some suggestions when making the calls:
- Call your best prospects first (those who may give significantly). Avoid the temptation to only call those you feel comfortable talking to on the phone.
- Monday-Wednesday evenings tend to be the best time to call working adults (non-students). Don’t call a home after 9:30 pm (remember your time zones)!
- Try to call at least 2 weeks before you want to meet. The prospect may have a busy schedule, or it may take several days to even get in touch with the person.
- After the small talk (2 minutes max), ask directly for an appointment. Immediately suggest two times during the coming weeks when you could meet, noting you’d be happy to come whenever it’s convenient.
- Be clear that the purpose of the phone call is to set up a time to meet. In addition, be clear that the purpose of the meeting is to talk about your Urban Program and to ask for their support.
For potential supporters who live outside your geographic area, utilize the phone to ask them for support only after having sent them information via snail mail, email or social media. This will allow the potential supporter to feel more comfortable speaking on the phone. When beginning the phone conversation, first ask the potential supporter if it’s a convenient time to talk and state the purpose of your phone call.