Solicitation 101


Getting Started

1. Review the information on your pledge cards. Learn the giving histories and other important facts about your donors.

2. Based on giving history, determine how much you plan to ask the donor to pledge. Please encourage donors to consider an increased gift this year.

3. Unless the pledge card states another preference, contact the donor at the preferred phone number listed on the bottom half of the card under the address. (The top half of the card lists both home and business numbers.) Use a non-preferred number only if you are having problems contacting the donor with the preferred number.

4. If you have made two unsuccessful attempts to contact the donor by phone, send a handwritten note card or an email making these points:

– You would like to get together to learn about the donor’s interests and talk about his/her gift to the 2016 Annual Campaign.

– You are interested in the donor’s’ feedback regarding the Federation and its partner agencies.

-You would appreciate a call back at his/her earliest convenience.

5. Always set up an appointment before visiting the donor at home or work. Meeting for a meal or for coffee usually sets the stage for an engaged conversation.

During the Solicitation

1. Be sure to make this a real conversation with plenty of listening. Try to draw out the donor, particularly in regard to his or her passions and concerns. You may use some of the sample questions on the data sheet for guidance.

2. If a donor is upset with the Federation or with one of our programs or agencies, be empathetic. Jot down notes on their concerns and tell them you will follow up. Contac t your Campaign mentor or an MJF staff member as soon as possible.

3. Ask the donor to verify the accuracy of the information on the Donor Data Sheet. If information is missing, ask the donor to provide it. The following information can help address donors’ concerns about the data:

– Why share? Accurate donor information helps us avoid waste (such as sending materials to the wrong address or by sending multiple pieces to the same address) or avoid sending information about senior programs to families with young children.

– What about privacy? Donor information is stored in a secure database, to which selected Federation employees have limited access. We do not sell, share or otherwise distribute our donors’ personal information. We do, however, permit our ten partner agencies to use our mailing list one time each year. We send the list directly to the mail house so that our partner agencies never take possession of the information.

The Ask

1. When the time feels right, ask your donor, “Would you consider a gift of $XXX to the 2016 Annual Campaign?”

The Close

1. Finalize the paperwork including:

– Confirm gift amount
– If this is an in-person solicitation, have the donor sign the pledge card.
– Ask how the donor would like to pay and not on the card.
– Confirm the information on the donor card.
– Thank the donor.

After the solicitation

1. On the back of the pledge card, indicate how you solicited the donor, and print your name.

2. Mail the card back to MJF along with the donor information sheet.

3. Send an email or snail mail thank you note to the donor.