Monday, March 19, 2007

Tips On Soliciting Mike
HRC called me a few nights ago. I knew right off the bat they weren't calling me for an opinion though. No, it was your basic fundraising phone call. I usually don't give money via the phone, and tonight was no exception. I still feel sorry for the guy on the other end, and I can see him, rapidly going down the list of things to say when the potential donor on the other end tries to cut the call short. He got to "you do realize the important work HRC is doing on the Hill and across the country to gain rights for gay and lesbian citizens..." or something to that effect. But I just cut him off: "I'm not able to contribute anything at this time. Sorry." And I hung up.

According to Donor Power Blog, the main reason fundraising efforts fail is because the organization talks about itself, and not the potential donor (in this case, me.) I've been thinking about how the conversation could have gone differently, and why exactly I don't donate to HRC. And I've come up with some possible ways for HRC to approach me in the future.

1. Tell me up front on the phone call that you're not looking for money, but you want to know how I feel on a particular subject, like maybe General Pace's recent comments on Gays in America.

2. Verify my address and say you'll be sending along a card in case I would like to donate.

3. Ask me if there are any reasons why I wouldn't want to donate to HRC.

4. Tell me you know I live four blocks from HRC's headquarters, and find out if I A) have ever been in the building, B) talked to anyone from HRC, and C) would like to attend a function in the near future.

5. Find out how I relate to the issues HRC advocates for, such as "Protecting Gay and Lesbian Families," "Gay Marriage," or "the Military's Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy."

6. Let me know you're sponsoring speed dating in the neighborhood.

Truth be told, there's probably no good way to solicit me over the phone. I'm not even sure #6 would work. But I did go to the HRC site after I hung up, as I was curious about how the organization could involve me. I clicked on "Events," and was taken to a page giving "Events in Your Area." I clicked on Washington, DC. Here's what I found.

I think I did mention how close I live to HRC's national headquarters...

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