Skip to main content

Simple Tools…Fundraising Success!

By May 8, 2015May 12th, 2015All Posts, Commentary, Donor Cultivation

Mary Ellen Clark

Mary Ellen Clark 
Senior Vice President

We all want to be successful, whether at work or as a volunteer. As a development professional, it is your responsibility to ensure your Board has the tools necessary for fundraising success.

One of the greatest challenges facing certain Board members is getting an appointment with a prospective donor. Notice that those who have a career in sales make their calls on time and report back? Maybe it is because they have been trained in “cold calls” or in handling rejection over the phone. Or maybe they consistently work at knowing the best approach to their prospective donor.

A letter of introduction is often the best way to get the attention of the prospective donor; it can increase the likelihood that he/she will return the call and make time to meet. Here are some simple suggestions for an effective letter of introduction to help your Board members become successful in making prospective donor calls:

  • Begin with a one-page letter, and state your objective to meet in the first sentence
  • Find a catchy introductory sentence, or consider mentioning a friend’s name
  • Explain why it is important to meet in person to discuss the organization and project you are representing
  • Explain why you are involved in the project
  • If you send an email, include a short power point or video about the organization and the project
  • Repeat the fact that you will be calling for an appointment

Be certain to track in the database all contacts made with the prospective donor, and how best to communicate with him/her. Enjoy watching your Board members develop their cultivation and solicitation skills, and most importantly, enjoy watching your organization succeed!

To further discuss how your organization can achieve fundraising success, contact me directly at

Originally posted September 15, 2013 by Mary Ellen Clark.

Leave a Reply

Get Fundraising Insights Like This in Your Email Inbox

Sign-up for our non-profit focused monthly newsletter - the News You Can Use. It's been an industry must-read for more than 10 years.

Recent topics included the impact COVID-19 and tax reform on non-profit giving, #GivingTuesday strategies you need to know, and legislative updates