Welcome to another installment of Quick and Easy Tips for Fundraising Success. You can read earlier posts in the series here.
Picture this: It’s Monday morning and you have a donor meeting scheduled for 7:30am. You get yourself out of bed, navigate rush-hour traffic, score a parking spot only two blocks away, order your coffee, and wait. And wait …and wait …and wait. The donor never shows.
Or you dial in to the scheduled development committee conference call only to spend 15 minutes alone listening to the “wait music” before realizing that no one else is joining the call. Ugh.
Today’s tip: Send meeting reminders
Is this obvious? Do you already send a reminder for every meeting in your calendar? If you do, no need to read further. These frustrating, time-wasting scenarios probably don’t happen to you – or at least they don’t happen often. If they do, read on…
Unfortunately, I had to learn this lesson the hard way – by being stood up. (Not intentionally of course – at least I hope not!) But here are some explanations I’ve heard:
- I forgot about the meeting.
- I didn’t have it in my calendar.
- I realized I was double booked (or sick) and didn’t have a way to reach you.
- Another meeting ran late and I tried to call/email/text but couldn’t reach you.
Here’s the thing: people are busy, unexpected stuff happens and/or details get overlooked. (To be honest, I’ve missed a meeting or two myself!) So now, to help avoid getting stood up in the future, I send a reminder email or text one to three days before every meeting and scheduled phone call in my calendar.
Whether I’m meeting a donor for lunch or a friend for a walk, I send the reminder. If I’m meeting with a person who doesn’t text or use email all that regularly (for example, an older donor), I’ll call a few days in advance to remind them.
Final tip: As part of the reminder I include, “And here’s my mobile number xxx-xxx-xxxx, in case anything comes up last minute.”
Has this happened to you? How have you handled it? Please share your ideas, successes or challenges in the Comments box below!
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