Write The Easiest Fundraising Cold Call Script (With Samples)

Published on September 26, 2022

Telephone fundraising has contributed to a 20% increase in funds collected in the post-pandemic world. Often, these contact points start with a cold call, thus making fundraising cold calls an essential part of a nonprofit donation strategy.

However, the results you can expect from running a fundraising cold call campaign depend on–

  1. How well you structure your phone call,
  2. How you introduce yourself, 
  3. How you make your ask and
  4. How you leave a potential donor feeling at the end of the call.

For this, you need a well-rounded, well-crafted fundraising cold call script that can turn your coldest contact into a donor. This article shares the best script examples and practices you can implement to design yours.

Pro-tip: A good dialer is half the cold calling game won. For fundraising cold calls, a Power Dialer is an excellent investment. A Power Dialer lets you control your dial speed and dials the next number only when an agent indicates they are ready. It mandates agents to fill out survey forms and notes after each call, allowing you to collect valuable information on your donors and prospects. With these notes, at the end of your cold calling campaign, you would also have a list of vetted contacts for subsequent campaigns, so you know exactly who to call the next time.

Seven steps to cold call a potential donor

In this section, we explore essential steps in a fundraising cold call conversation and how you can include them in your script. These steps are:

  1. Introduce yourself.
  2. Start with a courtesy question.
  3. Understand your audience better.
  4. Offer background information.
  5. Ask the vital question.
  6. Try and ask for more.
  7. Close.

 Step 1: Introduce yourself

Introducing yourself as soon as you make your cold call is not only a best practice but is also mandated by TCPA regulations. According to the rules, you must disclose your name, designation, and the organization/campaign you work for.

Besides, it is more critical to your campaign to spend time conversing with genuinely interested donors while filtering out people who may not be interested in donating to you. Spend as little time as you can during this introduction and focus more on how to hook your audience to stay on the call for longer.

Step 2: Follow with a courtesy question

Showing courtesy is essential when fundraising through a cold call. It leaves a lasting impression on the prospective donor and may hook them onto staying on the call for longer.

Some examples of courtesy questions include:

“Is this a good time to talk to you?”

“How are you doing?”

“Is the holiday season keeping you well?”

Step 3: Understand your audience

When writing your fundraising cold call script, remember the demographic. It will help you build a rapport with the potential donor

For example, if you are calling a slightly older demographic, remember to speak slower and engage in polite banter. A younger demographic may be more receptive to a script that is to the point and shows that you also value their time. If you feel the caller is willing and wants to know more about the organization, exchanging information often provides long-term donors.

Step 4: Offer background information

This step goes beyond introducing yourself. On a cold call, the person on the other end of the line is getting to know you for the first time. Here’s some information you can offer them–

  • Your initiative(s).
  • The mission and vision of your organization.
  • Your recent success stories.
  • Why you need funds.

Step 5: Ask the Important Question

Once your contact is comfortable in the conversation, it is your moment to strike. Ask the important question – will you be able to donate? However. If the answer is no at this stage, worry not. It often takes 5-6 phone calls to convert a cold lead. 

Stay casual and non-invasive. Do not add pressure or use guilt tactics to force contact to donate. If not a donation, you can still get off this call with a warm lead for the future. Ask them if they would like to–

  • Donate in the future.
  • Help out in other ways, such as volunteering.
  • Might know others interested in your cause.
  • Might have other causes they are interested in, so you can contact them when working towards those issues.

Step 6: Try and ask for more

If the contact seems to lean toward a donation, you can push your luck and ask for more donations. A step up within a conversation could look like moving from a $20 donation to a $100 donation depending on how compelling your pitch is.

Here are some ways you can ask them to increase their donation amount:

Thanks, we are giving away amazing rewards for people who donate over $50 since that amount significantly impacts our campaign. Would you be interested?

Thank you! We are giving away (mention reward) to people who refer donors. Would you know anyone happy to donate to our organization?

Thank you for helping us out! Just to let you know, a $20 donation can help us (mention smaller impact), while a $50 donation will lead to (mention bigger impact). What amount would you like to donate?

Step 7: Close

Regardless of whether or not the prospect donated, the close should always be friendly and inviting because people are known to change their minds. Don’t write them off just yet. Instead, mark them on your prospect list and email them information about your organization.

Related Reading: How to Write a Phonathon Script That Works for All Contacts! (With Samples)

Fundraising Cold Call Script Template

Here’s what you were looking for! Let’s go through fundraising cold call scripts that will bring your campaign excellent results. 

We’ve added both linear and branching fundraising cold call script samples. If you’re unfamiliar with branching scripts, it is a type of dynamic script enabled on CallHub. The script is designed to shift to the right section depending on the responses provided by the call recipient. Here’s how it works:


Read on.

Script 1: Fundraising for an event (linear)

Agent: Hello, this is {agent_name}, from {organization_name}. Is this a good time to talk to you? I am speaking with {recipient_name}, right?
If no: What would be the best way to reach them? (ask the reason for nonavailability – work, moved away, etc. Add it into your notes for future reference)
If yes: 
Hi, at {organization_name}, we are collecting funds for (talk about your event and why it makes a difference). Our donation amounts start at $35, and the largest depends upon your generosity. Would you be interested to donate?

If no: Would there be a particular reason for it?
If yes: Thank you so much; what is the amount that you would like to donate? We accept donations through (add ways in which you accept donations). Would you like for me to send you a donation link through text?

End: Apart from this event, we also hold fundraisers for many other causes. Would you like to know about them? Thank you for your time {first_name}; it was a pleasure speaking with you. 

Script 2: Fundraising for your nonprofit (branching)

Campaign brief
You are running a cold calling campaign for {nonprofit name} to raise funds for {list reasons]. You will be calling this list to identify potential donors, make a pitch for a small donation, and filter contacts who are likely to support our organization and fundraising efforts in the future. Turning a cold prospect into a warm lead will be considered a success. 
Agent: Hi, this is {agent_name}, from {organization_name}. I wanted to know if I was speaking with {first_name}? {first_name}, have you heard of {organization_name} before?
(wait for response)
Options:YesNoDon’t remember.
If yes: Great. Since you know a bit about us, we wanted to raise funds for {state the reasons for fundraising}. Would you like to donate?Options:YesNo

If no/don’t remember: Alright, we are an organization that {talk about the organization and recent successes). We are currently looking to raise funds because (state your reasons). Would you like to donate?

If they say yes to donate: Great, we are collecting donations starting from $15 through (list payment methods). What is the amount that you would like to donate
(wait for response)
Thank you, {first_name}; I will share a donation link with you through text right now. You can click on the link to make your donation
If they say no: Thank you for your response. May I know why you would not want to donate at the present moment? (add reason to notes). Thank you. Would it be ok to contact you in the future? 

End: Thank you for your support, {first_name}. We look forward to a significant association with you. Your funds would help us (add how it will help you). (add supporter level at the end of the call)

You are prepared to begin your fundraising cold-calling campaign with these sample scripts.

Read Also: Nonprofit Fundraising: Strategies & Ideas for Success 

Use Branching Scripts on CallHub

Now that you are equipped with fundraising cold call scripts, it is go-time for your campaign! But before you leave, explore CallHub calling software with features such as branching scripts. 
With Branching scripts, your agents do not have to scroll down lengthy scripts to get to the next part. Branching scripts avoid awkward silences and keep conversations engaging for maximum results. Try CallHub for free for 14-days to explore branching scripts and more.