I was on the phone with the Executive Director of one of our clients last week. He’s leading a rescue mission in the thick of the COVID crisis.

Our call was just a quick check-in. I wanted to see how he was doing and to make sure things were on track.

Toward the end of our conversation, he mentioned something that got my attention after I hung up. I can’t quote him exactly because the implications of what he said didn’t hit me until later.

He said something like: “When I talk to the donors on my list this week, I’ll mention…”

After I hung up I thought: Whoa. Wait. What?

He’s leading a ministry working to keep several hundred people experiencing homelessness healthy and safe. They’re feeding even more people with really challenging new hygiene rules to follow. While keeping his staff on track as they’re doing the heroic work of serving people in need. Plus, he has a family.

And he’s phoning his “list” of donors?

Of course. He’s so right. Brilliant.

Take a lesson from my friend. Talk to some donors this week. It’s so easy to during times like this to miss the basics. In unsettled times, the fundamentals will see you through.

Don’t wait. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that says you don’t know what to say or that they won’t want to hear from you or you’re too busy or it will take too much time.

Pick up the phone. I promise it’ll be good. If they’re quarantined they might really enjoy hearing a different voice. Ask how they’re doing. Talk about how you’re doing personally. Tell them what’s happening with your work. You don’t have to ask for a gift. Just connect.

Just 15 minutes. I think you’ll find it refreshing. I know they will. This is all about relationships, right?

Like all good leaders, my client inspired me to do something I’ve never done before.

OK, I’ve called Sweden before (funny story) but I doubt you and I have talked on the phone. Let’s fix that, if you want. Let’s set up a 30-minute call.

We could talk about fundraising in this time. Maybe you’d like to bounce an idea around. Or maybe it would be helpful to chat about what strategies are performing well for our clients. Of course, no obligations or sales pitches. If I can help you, I will. Think about it as a webinar with a very, very, very small audience. Just you and me. Email me to set it up at sthomas AT Oneicity DOT com.

Be well. I’m grateful for this connection and your feedback.

You can always reach me at sthomas AT Oneicity DOT com. Thank you for letting me know what’s up with you.

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Picture of Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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