For many frontline fundraisers, one of the biggest barriers to connecting with donors is not about getting the nerve to call and follow up with a donor; it’s getting the number or email in the first place!

In fact, it’s probably the #1 question we get when we urge fundraisers to connect with donors: “How can I find the email address or phone number for a donor when it’s not in the database?”

I wish I could give you a magic wand and boom, you’d miraculously have all the information you need to connect with your donors. But the truth is, it’s going to take some hard work. What else is new, right?

The good news is that we have put together a free resource for you that contains over a dozen different ways to obtain a phone number, address, and email address from a donor that is in your database. I think you’ll find this resource invaluable.

Now, if your organization has the resources and your database is large enough, there are services that can do an email and phone append on your donor information. This is not always 100% correct, but it’s helped quite a few frontline fundraisers focus on building the relationship with donors, rather than spending a ton of time just trying find the information so they can build it in the first place.

One of the many goals you have as a frontline fundraiser is to have solid data that’s as clean as possible in your database. Yeah, it’s not sexy, but think about the next person after you that is building relationships with your organization’s donors. Wouldn’t you want to come into a new position with all the information you need about your donors? Absolutely you would. So, not only is making sure you have up-to-date data on your donors valuable today, but you’ll also want to pass that on to future colleagues.

Of course, once you obtain the right information on a donor, you need to use it wisely. Remember, it’s not just about finding out the donor’s passions and interests. It’s also about learning the best way to communicate with the donor. This is another way of honoring your donor’s preferences.

In the end, if your portfolio is truly qualified, you will have all the information you need to communicate effectively and properly with a donor. That information may take time and energy to obtain, but it’s the only way you are going to be effective in building a solid, trusting relationship with a donor.


PS – Here is the link again to our free resource to help you with phone and email lookups.

This post originally appeared on the Passionate Giving Blog on August 25, 2021.