Thanking donors the right thing to do. But studies show that one simple "thank you" phone call can increase subsequent donations by as much as 25%. Here's a simple script to get you and your board started.
Research has shown that board members calling donors to do nothing more than say “thank you” for their gift can increase donations by a full 25%! Nonprofits get the best of both worlds. Board members don’t need to ask for money but can rest assured that their effort is increasing giving.
Thank you calls are straightforward and usually short. Never the less, a script can be useful, helping you get the calls started. Please resist the urge to read them word for word. You want to sound like a friend calling a friend, not robot mechanically reading words on a page.
To accomplish this, rather than having complete sentences in front of you, it is helpful to boil your call to a three key messages or bullet points. These are sort of goals for your call.
In this call I want to:
- Say my name and that I’m on the board member of [organization name].
- Let them know that staff has told me of their generosity, and
- Express my gratitude for their support of [organization name].
- Let them know I’m on the [organization name] board
- And thank them for their gift
If they seem open, you can ask them “What do you like most about [organization name]?” or “How did you first find out about [organization name]?”
Whatever you goals are try to jot down 2 or 3 phrases to remind you rather than simply reading the script. This will allow you to go with the flow of the call and freely respond to the cues the caller is giving. These usually work for all the calls you’ll make in one sitting. Try jotting them down here or on an index card.
In this call, I want to:
A Script for saying thank you
These scripts are here to show you how the phrases could work in conversation. They are not intended to be read word for word.
IF LEAVING A MESSAGE
Hi, this is __________. I am on the board of [organization name]. The [organization name] staff told me you recently made a generous gift. As a board member, I wanted to say “Thank you.” It’s members like you that make me love [organization name] even more! Thanks for helping make a difference in [a phrase about the organization’s impact].
Points to consider
- Keep messages short and sweet. Definitely under a minute. You want people to get active, not aggravated.
- This is a thank you. Try not to say anything that would obligate them. Avoid things like “Hope you’ll join me in giving at that level next year” or lines that would obligate them to asking others for a gift.
IF PEOPLE ANSWER
Hi, this is __________. I am on the board of [organization name]. [pause in case they want to say something]
The [organization name] staff told me you recently made a generous gift. As a board member, I wanted to say “Thank you.” [take a breath – pause to let the “thank you” sink in]
It’s supporters like you that make me love v even more! Thanks for helping make a difference in [a phrase about the organization’s impact].
Points to remember:
- People will only partially hear “thank you” because they’ll be waiting for the next shoe to fall – they’ll be waiting for the ask for more money .Pausing helps them realize that there is no agenda for the call other than expressing gratitude.
- These calls are intended to be short. But if they seem open to it, feel free to ask a question like “How did you get started at the chapter you’re currently in?” Some people will love the opportunity to share their story.