You’ve sent letters, created a fundraising page and now you’ve raised exactly $5. Don’t fret. It can be painfully discouraging to see how few people give to helping the world’s poor. However, there is hope. In the words of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”  More likely than not, your friends are willing and happy to do the right thing, but they’ll probably need you to lead/nudge them into the world of global do-gooding.

Think like a donor… In your stack of mail today is a fundraising letter from one of your friends. You’ve been thinking about donating to something but you haven’t gotten around to it. You want to help, you like the person who sent the letter, but three weeks from now you still haven’t donated. Why? Most likely it’s because you haven’t prioritized taking time to write a check or go to the website. This is where follow-up makes all the difference. You the potential donor will likely prioritize making a donation if you know it’s important to the friend who sent you the letter. The minute that person mentions it, calls you or sends an email follow-up, is the minute you write a check.


Step 1. Know how to answer potential questions. Revisit the fundraising talking points page.


Step 2. Watch this Again. Because it’s Packed With Good Info!


Step 3. Watch Matt Damon do a Fundraising Follow-Up… Entourage Style!


Step 4. Go follow-up! Remember WWMDD… What Would Matt Damon Do.


  • Follow-up is key. Without follow-up you will be lucky to receive 1-2 donors. However, if you do follow-up phone calls or emails your results will drastically improve.
  • Be passionate. If it matters to you, it will matter to them. Caring is contagious and if your friends see that this is something you care strongly about, they’ll get engaged.
  • Mention, mention, mention. Bring it up in conversation (Oh, hey did you get my email? Can I count you in for $100?).
  • Send more letters. Ask more people. We’ve noticed that most volunteers who raise over $1,000 usually have sent 40 or more letters.


Example of a Follow-Up Email:

Hi Sis, I just wanted to see if you received my fundraising letter. Here’s a link to The Borgen Project if you want to learn more about the nonprofit. I’m really enjoying being part of the cause and would love to have you involved with it. You can also donate online if that’s easier.

Thank you,


Fundraising Follow Up