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Getting Appointments - Interview with Joe Hendrickx and Frank Cummings

In this episode, Andrew visits with Joe Hendrickx, Major Gifts Officer at St. Paul's Newman Center at NDSU and Frank Cummings, Director of Development at School of Faith. They discuss how to make calls and get appointments with donors and potential donors. They talk about the anatomy of a phone call and walk through different troubleshooting ideas when the donor says no. And how to deal with motivation versus action. Frank and Joe presented this talk at the Petrus Virtual Conference 2020.

Show Notes:

Frank: You need to love your cause. When you get on a call, you have to lean into why you love your organization. And when you are having a bad day at work, you lean into how to help those find joy in giving. 

Cold calling is a formation of virtue. It's building mental toughness. 

Set an activity call. Frank sets 2 visits per week and keeps calling until he fills his calendar for the month. You need accountability set up for you in your organization and separate from your organization. 

Frank considers it a form of spiritual motivation that has power in sacrifice. At the end of the day, you're living for the Lord. He has given you a spirit of power and love, not of fear and doubt. 


Joe: Accountability is key. He is inspired by John Flynn - Winner keeps the score. And everyday is a new day. He sticks to a routine and since routine is hard for him, he says he'll make 9 calls before 9am everyday. It helps hold him accountable to himself to get the most important thing done first. Motivation wears off, just like bathing, so you have to do it everyday - Zig Ziglar. 

A script is helpful when you're first getting started. Then you learn and know your story so well that you can simply converse. Have an interest in people, we remember how we are made to feel not necessarily what is talked about. 


Anatomy of a Call

Greeting, Introduction, Connection and Objective 

Tips: pause for a response, keep your wording so that they're response is positive, do you have your calendar handy, connection, get to the objective quickly

Ask them to meet with you and have your why ready. Because they will ask you why, why to meet, why you're calling, why they should consider your request. 

Your goal is to get the appointment. So keep the call brief. Set the appointment and get off the call. Setting a tentative date is better than no date at all. Ask to attend Mass with them and then get coffee or lunch after. Do they have sacred time devoted for out of office appointments. 

When you're meeting and taking additional staff, it's helpful to be able to have access to their calendars but it's even more helpful for everyone to know that a donor meeting is a priority. 


How to deal with rejections

Is this just about the money? I don't think I'm interested in giving at a higher level. I don't think we need to meet. 

When these are the rejections, just be genuine. And remember that one no is one phone call closer to a yes. 

Eat your Frogs and make the hard phone calls early on. 


Lightning Round with Joe

  1. If you could fund-raise for any organization at any time, what would it be?
    • St. Paul's Newman Center 2020. Right now!
  2. If you could get a donor meeting with anybody dead or alive, who would it be
    • Mark Wahlberg, he has an amazing come to faith story in the Catholic Church and it would be great to connect on that ministry.
  3. Is there enough money out there for everybody doing good work?
    • Yes, but the qualifier is GOOD work.
  4. Who are three people who have influenced you the most in the fundraising world?
    • Kyle Yeager and Brian Wilburn, Development Directors at the Newman Center and Mike Perkins, CEO of Heroic Media.
  5. If you could go back in time, would you do it all over again?
    • Yes, absolutely. 
  6. One piece of advice you'd give to your past self?
    • Make more phone calls. Start making phone calls and meeting more people starting the first day on the job. 

If you'd like to connect with Joe or Frank they can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected] 


Andrew's Take-Aways:

  1. Know your why and come back to it often. 
  2. Create a schedule that makes donor calls and visits the highest priority.
  3. Make the calls first. Eat your Frogs. 

Action Item:

Take an hour to sit down and look at your daily schedule or daily calendar and decide when you are going to make your donor calls and protect that time fiercely. Will it be first thing in the morning like Joe's 9 before 9. Or maybe the hour right before lunch and you can't leave for lunch until it's done? Whenever it is, great the routine and rhythm of an hour. 

What if you don't have enough names on your list for an hour everyday? Now is the time to get creative on who to add to your list and how to grow your ministry.


If you have questions, or want to share a success story, email me at [email protected] or send us a Facebook message. We’re always happy to help. God bless.


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