Fundraising Tip: Hold Off on That Email

Sometimes we want to be more personable.

Dan Hanley
2 min readFeb 3, 2024


Author walking to a donor meeting. Photo credit: Author

I’m not suggesting you not respond to a donor or client by saying you hold off on that email, I’m suggesting there may be a way you can respond that also helps you build relationship with that person.

Every week I take a day or two to spend a little more time (and effort) in responding to people. The action that has taken the lead in not only expressing importance to a client or donor but also surprising them is to simply pick up the phone and call them.

I did this last week and my client told me that they seldom get calls anymore, and that mine was refreshing and appreciated!

If you know the person you’re responding to is swamped at the moment, and perhaps a call may get in their way, then make a quick video that includes your response and send that off to them. That way they can have a look in between busy moments.

This really does make a difference. I’ve been doing this for several years with both donors and clients and have always gotten a positive, even grateful response. It only takes a moment, and may even take less time than creating an email response.

If you end up sending an email, remember that you are taking someone’s time, and to…



Dan Hanley

I write about nonprofits, fundraising, recruiting, self-care. Human rights, domestic violence, borders and refugee focused. Sober. Vegan.