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How to write the easiest Fundraising Cold Call Script (Samples Included)

Published: Jan 11, 2018

Telephone fundraising is a big challenge. Even with the most proven fundraising ideas, cold calling is a sweat-inducing process. However, with the right script and natural flow, the stress level is reduced, and your objectives come more natural and with far less stress.

The fundraising cold call script is not there for you to read directly from, but instead, it is to assist you when you come to the point in the conversation where information is required. Beginning direct from a script often turns off prospective donors. A natural conversation is far more comforting and welcoming.

How do you cold call a donor?

Writing a fundraising script is not as difficult as you would think.  Several steps should come naturally and follow in a conversational tone.

Step 1: Introduce yourself

Always ensure the person you are talking to knows your name, foundation, and purpose. Do not be discouraged if they hang up, or instantly resist the phone call. It’s hard to find the right time to talk to someone who isn’t expecting your call.

Step 2: Start with a Courtesy Question

Starting with a show of courtesy is essential when fundraising through a cold call. It is often what keeps the prospective donor interested.

Step 3: Offer Germane Information

Yes, you have introduced yourself, and who you represent, but if you keep a potential donor on the line, you need to give background information about your foundation. Keep it short and bring attention to the important work your organization has done.

Step 4: Ask the Important Question

The prospect is still on the line. You then want to make the initial request for assistance or donation in a non-invasive way. Abrupt questions turn the person off on the other end. Briefly mention the power of small frequent donations from people like them and what you’re organization has achieved and will continue to, thanks to patrons like them.

Step 5: Try and ask for more

You can be more aggressive as the prospect continues to want more information.  In some cases, a higher donation comes through this process.

Step 6: Close

Regardless of whether or not the prospect donated funds, 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 donor list and send them informational material about your organization over email.

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

Important reminder: When writing your fundraising cold call script, keep in mind 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 value their time as well. If you feel the caller is willing and wanting to know more about the organization, exchanging information often provides long-term donors.

Pro tip: Use a branched script to give answers based on your prospective donor’s responses. Define multiple branches a conversation can take so your volunteers have relevant questions handy for every possible scenario.

Also, check out these phonathon tips and cold calling tips to fundraise better!

Fundraising Cold Call Script Template

Use the script template below as a quick guide to building your own. When writing it out, the ease comes when you can simulate each outcome.


Section 1: Hello, {Contact Name}. I am {Callers Name} from {Organization Name}. How are you, this {morning or evening}?

(Around Holiday Seasons, starting with Happy New Year or Happy Holidays is acceptable.)

Wait for a response, even a negative one. In either case, respond according to policy. If the caller remains on the line, then respond to their greetings accordingly before the courtesy question. 

First ask

Question 1: I would like to verify the information we have on file. Is it a good time to review your current contact information?”

If yes, go to ‘Build rapport’. 

If no, go to Question 2.

Question 2: When is a good time to get in touch with you?

Note down the response.

Build rapport

Question 3: Thank you for updating our files. When was the last time you donated money or time to {Organization Name}?”

If they donated recently, go to Question 4.

If they donated in the past year or before, go to Question 5.

If they have never donated, go to Question 6.

The question will be what creates a friendly rapport to build off of during the phone call. During this portion of the cold call is when you make a transition to why you are explicitly calling them.

Second ask

Question 4: That’s awesome, we appreciate your contributions, and I’m sure it has created a significant impact. Our next campaign is just around the corner, and will start on {campaign_date}. Would you be interested in donating for {campaign_name}?

Question 5: We appreciate your prior donations more than you know. Our next campaign is just around the corner, and will start on {campaign_date}. Would you be interested in donating this year?

Question 6: No worries. We have a lot of first time donors this time, who are eager to see the impact their donation will create. Would you like to join them and donate {donation_ask}?

If yes, go to Section 3.

If no, go to Section 2.

The primary question has two different approaches. If the donor has donated before, then the example response is the route you need to go. If the call is truly cold and the caller has never donated, then you will want to give the caller information about what they would be donating to as a first-time giver.

You May Also Like: 6 ways to convince supporters to donate through a phone conversation

Enforcing need

Section 2: Your gift would change {Organization Name} to assist <Sample Demographics> in a big way. It is especially important this year. If you change your mind, do reach out to me at {contact}”

The second ask is meant to be a bit more aggressive and without the praise that the first ask had.


Section 3: Thank you for your time/donation, today. It means a lot to many people. {Organization Name} will benefit from your kindness.”

The example is if the donor has agreed to donate. However, it is not always the case. But, be kind and courteous and empathize with their inability to gift.

See how you can accommodate this script on CallHub using Branching Scripts:

Text to fundraise

Have you considered texting to raise money? You might be missing an important demographic that doesn’t like to talk to strangers but is more amiable over texts. Check out our guide to fundraising using P2P texting.


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