Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 16, 2018

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Keep the Ball in Your Court

by Danielle Hamilton

Ever have someone show interest in your nonprofit, only to see them walk away stuffing your business card deep into their purse or pocket? Think theyíre going to call you? Why not change the scenario?!

Keep the ball in your court! Donít let that potentially wonderful volunteer walk away. Grab their name and contact info as soon as they start to show interest. Use a script if you need to in order to steer the conversation to the name collection. This way, youíll be able to contact them with a follow-up e-mail message or phone call to personally invite them to your next volunteer meeting, or otherwise discuss ways they can help your group.

You want to keep the ball in your court by making sure you have the next move. If that person walks away without giving you their info, the chances of them remembering to contact you, or taking the time to initiate the contact, are slim. They may lose your business card, or they think about calling, but never really get around to it. If you have their contact info, then itís up to you to get in touch with them via e-mail or phone call, allowing you to keep the conversation going and build a relationship with them.

Use a sign-up sheet for potential volunteers and a separate one for people who would like more information or would like to join your e-newsletter. At the end of the event, write down a small tidbit about the potential volunteers for your own personal notesÖ lady with stroller, has 2 rescued huskies, has items to donate. These notes will help jog your memory a few days later when you start to make your follow-up calls. You want to keep the personal touch when initiating contact with a potential volunteer. This makes your organization seem more personable than a faceless corporation.

Donít let those potential volunteers or group members get away from your table without getting their phone number, mailing address and/ or e-mail address. Keep sign-up sheets handy at all events, tacking them to a clipboard with a pen attached. It just takes a phone call from you to turn a potential volunteer into your best volunteer!

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About the Author:

Danielle Hamilton is the editor of and moderator of the HumaneFundraising Yahoo group dedicated to helping humane societies and animal rescue groups raise money for needy animals. Danielle focuses her research on fundraising ideas and events that can be hosted by time-strapped nonprofits with great results.

A military wife with over 15 years of experience in fundraising and hosting events, Danielle has been working directly with animal nonprofits online since 1999.

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