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Donor Contact: Email, Phone, or What?

“A donor has invited me to contact her, but I don’t know her preferred means of communication!  Help!”

There are only four, thank goodness!  Email, text, phone, or handwritten note.  Very rarely these days will you send a letter, especially if you are looking for a timely reply.

If your connect with the donor was in person, hopefully you asked, “I’d be glad to!  Shall I give you a call?” and they may have said, “Email me!”  In other words, try to get a clue when you are with them.

Otherwise, here’s what I do.  I don’t like to catch my donors by surprise.  Especially senior donors.  An older lady in Florida, I’ll send her a note, reminding her of how we met, her request that I contact her, and a specific date and time I will call to follow up.

Someone who is president of a company, I might call the assistant and ask that person’s advice.  Someone in early retirement, email for sure.  Texting is only when I know the person really well.

I find email to be the safest form of approach, generally.  Like everything else in our business, think of the donor and how that person might want to be contacted.

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