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Scripts to Use when Asking for Donations for Nonprofits

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Published: Jan 6, 2023

A good donation request script is conversational. 

Your potential donor should not feel like they are hearing a speech. Instead, it should engage them with you. Your script should guide your conversation in a positive and productive direction and prepare you for how your potential donor might react. 

In this guide, you’ll see a few scripts for different donor types to request donations for your nonprofit. The scripts cover every possible objection and how to tackle them. You will also find the standard format of a donation request script nonprofits use.

Donation request scripts for nonprofits: Asking a first-time donor

Remember that every contact you call to request donations should have had some level of interaction with your nonprofit in the past. You need multiple levels of nurturing before you make the ask for a donation from someone.

Q1: Hi! I’m {agent_name}, the {job_title} at {nonprofit_name}. Am I speaking with {contact_name}?

*Depending on their availability, tag them as not home, moved, or unreachable*

*If it is {contact_name}, go to Q2*

Q2: Hi, {contact_name}! I hope you are doing well. First off, thank you for your support towards {nonprofit_name}. 

Today, I’m calling you to ask for a contribution in getting us to [explain your campaign’s goal and the problem it solves].

We estimate that [explain the campaign details such as the duration, required donation amount, and the expected impact]. So far, we have raised {raised_amount} with an average of [mention the average amount donated per person].

Can we count on you to make a donation of {ask}?

*If they think the ask is too big, go to Q3*

*If they think the new campaign is not aligned with their beliefs, go to Q5*

*If they say they do not want to donate, go to Q6*

*If they say YES, go to P2*

Q3: I completely understand. Do you think you can break this into a monthly recurring donation of {monthly_ask}? 

*If they say YES, go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to Q4*

Q4: No worries, I understand. Most donors go for a smaller one-time donation such as {one_time_ask}. Are you interested in contributing in the same way?

*If they say YES, go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to Q6*

Q5: I appreciate your honesty. Please allow me to explain how this initiative is aligned with our cause.

*Explain and ask them for their thoughts. Note down their response and add them to a nurturing list. Go to P3*

Q6: I completely understand. There are other ways to make a contribution to this cause without giving money. Would you like to hear about those?

*If they say YES, give them the options and note their response. Go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to P1*

P1: No worries. Thank you for your time, {contact_name}. We will be in touch with updates on our initiatives.

P2: That’s wonderful! Thank you, {contact_name}. I’ll send you the details right away.

P3: Thank you for letting me know, {contact_name}. We will try our best to address your concerns. Have a great day ahead.

<Branching Scripts CTA>

Donation request scripts for nonprofits: Asking a repeat donor

A repeat donor is someone who has donated a few times in the recent past. 

Q1: Hi! I’m {agent_name}, the {job_title} at {nonprofit_name}. Am I speaking with {contact_name}?

*Depending on their availability, tag them as not home, moved, or unreachable*

*If it is {contact_name}, go to Q2*

Q2: Hi, {contact_name}! I hope you are doing well. First off, thank you for your generous contribution towards {nonprofit_name}. It helped us tremendously in [explain the impact]. We’re all so grateful to you. 

Today, I’m calling you to ask for your contribution in getting us to [explain your campaign’s goal and the problem it solves].

We estimate that [explain the campaign details such as the duration, required donation amount, and the expected impact]. So far, we have raised {raised_amount} with an average of [mention the average amount donated per person].

Can we count on you to make a donation of {ask}?

*If they think the ask is too big, go to Q3*

*If they think the new campaign is not aligned with their beliefs, go to Q5*

*If they say YES, go to P2*

Q3: I completely understand. Do you think you can break this into a monthly recurring donation of {monthly_ask}? 

*If they say YES, go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to Q4*

Q4: No worries, I understand. You have made a few one-time donations. Are you interested in contributing in the same way?

*If they say YES, go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to P1*

Q5: I appreciate your honesty. Please allow me to explain how this initiative is aligned with our cause.

*Explain and ask them for their thoughts. Note down their response and add them to a nurturing list. Go to P3*

P1: Thank you, {contact_name}. We will be in touch with updates on our initiatives.

P2: That’s wonderful! Thank you, {contact_name}. I’ll send you the details right away.

P3: Thank you for letting me know, {contact_name}. We will try our best to address your concerns. Have a great day ahead.

<Branching Scripts CTA>

Donation request scripts for nonprofits: Asking a lapsed donor

When it comes to a lapsed donor, you need to understand their reason for discontinuing before adding them to the donation request list. Once you understand their concerns, work towards solving them and only then add them to your fundraising list.

Q1: Hi! I’m {agent_name}, the {job_title} at {nonprofit_name}. Am I speaking with {contact_name}?

*Depending on their availability, tag them as not home, moved, or unreachable*

*If it is {contact_name}, go to Q2*

Q2: Hi, {contact_name}! I hope you are doing well. First off, thank you for your generous contribution towards {nonprofit_name} for [mention the number of years or months they were your donor for]. It helped us tremendously in [explain the impact]. We’re all so grateful to you. 

My teammate had spoken to you [mention the timeline – a few days/weeks ago]. You had told us the reason you discontinued your donations towards {nonprofit_name}. On that note, I’d like to inform you that [explain how you have addressed their concern]. 

Now that [their concern] is not an issue anymore, would you please make a contribution in getting us to [explain your campaign’s outcome and the problem it solves]?

*If they agree, go to Q3*

*If they refuse, move them to the nurturing list and go to Q7*

Q3: We estimate that [explain the campaign details such as the duration, required donation amount, and the expected impact]. So far, we have raised {raised_amount} with an average of [mention the average amount donated per person].

Can we count on you to make a donation of {major_ask}?

*If they think the ask is too big, go to Q4*

*If they think the new campaign is not aligned with their beliefs, go to Q6*

*If they say they do not want to donate, go to Q7*

*If they say YES, go to P2*

Q4: I completely understand. Do you think you can break this into a monthly recurring donation of {monthly_ask}? 

*If they say YES, go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to Q5*

Q5: No worries, I understand. Most donors go for a smaller one-time donation such as {one_time_ask}. Are you interested in contributing in the same way?

*If they say YES, go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to Q7*

Q6: I appreciate your honesty. Please allow me to explain how this initiative is aligned with our cause.

*Explain and ask them for their thoughts. Note down their response and add them to a nurturing list. Go to P3*

Q7: I completely understand. There are other ways to make a contribution to this cause without giving money. Would you like to hear about those?

*If they say YES, give them the options and note their response. Go to P2*

*If they say NO, go to P1*

P1: Thank you, {contact_name}. We will keep in touch with you with updates on our initiatives.

P2: That’s wonderful! Thank you, {contact_name}. I’ll send you the details right away.

P3: Thank you for letting me know, {contact_name}. We will try our best to address your concerns. Have a great day ahead.

<Branching Scripts CTA>

Donation request scripts for nonprofits: Asking a major donor

Ideally, you need to have a strong relationship with your major donors. Before you make the donation request call, send them all the information about your campaign via email. 

Q1: Hi! I’m {agent_name}, the {job_title} at {nonprofit_name}. Am I speaking with {contact_name}?

*Depending on their availability, tag them as not home, moved, or unreachable*

*If it is {contact_name}, go to Q2*

Q2: Hi, {contact_name}! I hope you are doing well. First off, thank you for your generous contribution towards {nonprofit_name} for [mention the number of years or months they have supported you]. It has helped us tremendously in [explain the impact]. 

We’re all so grateful to you. 

I hope you received our email with the details of {campaign_name}. 

*If they say YES, go to Q3* 

*If they say NO, go to Q7*

Q3: Do you have any questions for me? I’d be happy to answer them. 

*If they say YES, go to Q4* 

*If they say NO, go to Q5*

Q4: Please ask away.

*answer their questions and go to Q5*

Q5: Are you willing to make the donation, {contact_name}?

*If they say YES, go to Q8*

*If they think the new campaign is not aligned with their beliefs, go to Q6*

*If they say they need time, go to Q9*

Q6: I appreciate your honesty. Please allow me to explain how this initiative is aligned with our cause.

*Explain and ask them for their thoughts. Note down their response and add them to a nurturing list. Go to P2* 

Q7: No worries, I’ll share the details with you again. Please call me on this number once you have gone through them. Alternatively, I can call you at {time}. 

*Record their answer and go to P1*

Q8: I’m so glad you are interested and are willing to make a donation. I’ll send you the details right away.

Q9: I understand. I’ll give you a call on {date}. Is that okay?

*If they say YES, schedule a callback*

*If they say NO, ask them for their preferred date and time*

P1: Thank you, {contact_name}. I look forward to speaking with you.

P2: Thank you for letting me know, {contact_name}. We will try our best to address your concerns. Have a great day ahead.

Important reminder: Leave a voice message when your contact does not answer. Introduce yourself on the voice message and ask them to call you back. Ideally, the number they call back on should be the same number you called them from, so they don’t need to put in the extra effort of typing a new number.

Pro tips: 

  1. Have access to every donor’s donation history while on the call. Mention the exact donation they made and thank them for the same. 
  2. Take notes of the highlights of the conversation after each call. These details go a long way in helping bond with your supporters and donors. CallHub’s Call Center Software allows your volunteers to add notes after every call, which will get synced with your CRM.

Donation request scripts for nonprofits: Voicemail for ‘no answers’

Hi! I’m {agent_name}, the {job_title} at {nonprofit_name}. I hope you are doing well. I called to thank you for your generous contribution/support towards {nonprofit_name}. I also wanted to discuss our new initiative in helping [explain the campaign outcome]. 

Please give me a callback whenever you can. Have a great day ahead!

Steps to create the perfect donation request scripts for your nonprofit

Every donation request call follows a certain format. Let’s see what that is.

  1. Introduction: Introduce yourself and the organization you are calling on behalf of. Share the purpose of your call.
  2. Gratitude: Thank them for their support in the past. Remember, the contacts you are calling to request donations are those who are happy with your work. Ensure only likely donors from your previous touchpoints are added to your prospect list. 
  3. The problem: Share some facts and information about the problem you are solving with the campaign. Show them your approach to solving the problem, what impact it has created in the past, and how the donations will help. 
  4. The ask and objections: Ask for a specific amount. Make sure to have segmented lists depending on donor levels so your ask doesn’t come off too off-putting for anyone. You will hear objections. Your scripts should address them.
  5. Closing: Let them know of the different ways they can donate and tell them how to proceed. Thank them for their time, irrespective of how they respond to your ask.

How to use your donation request script correctly 

  • How do you get your volunteers to say exactly what they need to at any given point?
  • How do you ensure that everything your volunteer says is relevant at that point?
  • How do you ensure that the delivery is engaging?

Our solution: Branching Scripts.

nonprofit-donation-requests-scripts-branching-scripts

Branching Scripts lets you set up the logical flow for the call while creating your calling campaign. Every section of a script that is shown to your volunteer is triggered based on your contact’s response at each stage. This ensures that your volunteers see exactly what they need to say without scrolling through the scripts. 

Strategize this way to acquire donations

Not every first donation request call will result in a donation. Some of them require follow-up efforts, sometimes through multiple channels. Prepare your next touchpoints for when they refuse to donate and when they postpone the donation. 

For instance, a refusal will require more nurturing by showing how your campaign has helped the beneficiaries, by inviting them to events, etc. Meanwhile, someone who has promised to make a donation will need a few more nudges and reminders. 

Featured image: Photo by Antoni Shkraba

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