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August 11, 2023


How to master fundraising scripts: Engage, persuade and succeed

Jono Kupferberg

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Fundraising scripts play a crucial role in helping campaigns raise money more effectively. They guide conversations with potential donors, ensuring that the message is clear, concise and persuasive. 

A well-crafted fundraising script can distinguish between a successful fundraising campaign and one that falls. When understanding the importance of fundraising scripts and how to create and use them effectively, campaigns can significantly improve their chances of success in raising funds for various causes.

So in this guide, we want to share with you everything you need to know about creating, implementing and succeeding with fundraising scripts..

What is a fundraising script?

A fundraising script is a pre-written guide used by individuals or organizations to communicate effectively with potential donors during fundraising campaigns. These scripts ensure the message is clear, concise, and persuasive, eventually making it easier to connect with donors and raise funds for various causes. 

Fundraising scripts are used in different scenarios, such as phone calls, in-person asks, or written communications like emails. They often include storytelling, personalization, and empathy to create a compelling narrative encouraging donors to contribute to the cause.

People performing fundraising calls

What are the key elements of effective fundraising scripts?

Creating an effective fundraising script involves incorporating key elements that resonate with potential donors and motivate them to contribute to the cause. Some essential components of a successful fundraising script include empathy, storytelling, and personalization.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the emotions of others. It plays a significant role in fundraising scripts, as it helps connect the fundraiser and the potential donor.

If you can demonstrate empathy in your script, you will show that you genuinely care about the cause and the people it affects. As a result, you will encourage donors to feel more connected to the cause and more likely to contribute.


Storytelling is a powerful tool in fundraising scripts. It helps to create a compelling narrative that captures the attention and emotions of potential donors.

Real-life stories of individuals or communities impacted by the cause make the issue more relatable and tangible for donors. A well-told story also evokes emotions and inspires donors to take action, which leads to increased donations and support for the cause.


Personalization is another essential element of effective fundraising scripts. When tailoring your script to your audience’s specific interests and preferences, you create a more engaging and persuasive message. 

For example, your volunteers will need to understand how they can personalize scripts for different purposes, such as political campaigns.

Some examples involve addressing potential donors by name, acknowledging their past contributions, or highlighting aspects of the cause that are particularly relevant to them. Personalization makes donors feel valued and appreciated, which can encourage them to contribute more generously to the cause.

Empathy is important for fundraising success

How do phone fundraising scripts work?

Phone fundraising scripts are essential tools for political campaign fundraising, nonprofits, and other organizations seeking to raise funds through phone calls. These scripts help fundraisers communicate effectively with potential donors and ensure the message is clear, concise, and persuasive. 

Using well-crafted phone fundraising scripts means campaigns can significantly improve their chances of success in raising funds for various causes.

Significance of phone fundraising scripts in campaigns

Phone fundraising scripts play a crucial role in campaigns for several reasons:

  1. They provide a clear and consistent message so that all fundraisers convey the same information to potential donors.
  2. They help fundraisers stay on track during calls, reducing the chances of getting sidetracked or losing focus.
  3. They serve as a guide for addressing common objections or concerns from potential donors, increasing the likelihood of securing a donation.
  4. They help build confidence in fundraisers since they know they have a well-prepared script to rely on during calls.

Basic tips for political fundraising calls

When making political fundraising calls, consider the following tips to increase your chances of success:

  1. Be prepared: Familiarize yourself with the script and practice it before making calls.
  2. Personalize the call: Address the potential donor by name and, if possible, mention any previous interactions or donations.
  3. Be concise and clear: Stick to the main points of the script and avoid going off on tangents.
  4. Be polite and respectful: Listen to the potential donor’s concerns and address them professionally.
  5. Be persistent but not pushy: If the potential donor is hesitant, address their concerns without being overly aggressive.
  6. End the call on a positive note: Thank the potential donor for their time, regardless of the outcome of the call.
Reading fundraising script during a call

Examples of phone fundraising scripts for different scenarios

Here are three examples of phone fundraising scripts for different scenarios:

Scenario 1: Initial call to a potential donor

Introduction: “Hello [Donor’s Name], my name is [Your Name], and I’m calling on behalf of [Candidate’s Name] for [Office]. Our campaign is focused on [key issues], and we believe that [Candidate’s Name] is the best choice to represent our community.”

Ask: “Would you consider contributing [suggested donation amount] to support our campaign and help us reach our fundraising goal?”

Scenario 2: Follow-up call to a previous donor

Introduction: “Hello [Donor’s Name], my name is [Your Name], and I’m calling on behalf of [Candidate’s Name] for [Office]. I wanted to thank you for your previous donation of [donation amount] and update you on our campaign’s progress.” 

Update: “Thanks to your support, we have been able to [describe the impact of their donation]. We are now entering the campaign’s final stretch, and we need your help to keep the momentum going.” 

Ask: “Would you consider making another contribution of [suggested donation amount] to help us continue our efforts and reach our goal?”

Scenario 3: Responding to a concern or objection

Donor’s Concern: “I’m not sure I can afford to make a donation right now.” 

Response: “I completely understand, and we appreciate any support you can provide. Even a small contribution of [lower donation amount] can make a difference in our campaign. Alternatively, you can also support us by volunteering your time or spreading the word about our campaign to your friends and family.”

How do Thank you scripts work for fundraising?

Expressing gratitude to donors and maintaining relationships with them is crucial for the long-term success of any fundraising campaign. Thank you scripts play an essential role in this process, as they convey appreciation for donors’ contributions and demonstrate the impact of their support.

Importance of thanking donors and maintaining relationships

Thanking donors and maintaining relationships with them is crucial for a couple of reasons:

  1. It shows appreciation for their support, making them feel valued and recognized for their contributions.
  2. It helps build trust and rapport with donors, increasing the likelihood of future donations and ongoing support.
  3. It demonstrates the impact of their donations, reinforcing the importance of their contributions to the cause.
  4. It encourages donors to share their positive experiences with others, potentially attracting new supporters to the campaign.

Tips for writing a great Thank You script

When crafting a thank-you script, consider the following tips to make it more effective and engaging:

  1. Personalize the message: Address the donor by name and, if possible, mention specific details about their donation or involvement with the campaign.
  2. Be genuine and heartfelt: Express sincere gratitude for the donor’s support and emphasize the impact of their contribution.
  3. Provide updates on the campaign’s progress: Share information about how the donor’s support has helped advance the cause or achieve specific milestones.
  4. Invite further engagement: Encourage the donor to stay involved with the campaign, whether through additional donations, volunteering, or sharing the campaign with others.
  5. Keep it concise and focused: Stick to the main points of gratitude and impact, avoiding lengthy or unrelated tangents.
Thank you script is often used during fundraising

Example of a Thank You script

Here’s an example of a thank-you script that can be adapted to your specific campaign or organization:

Introduction: “Hello [Donor’s Name], my name is [Your Name], and I’m calling on behalf of [Organization or Campaign Name].” 

Gratitude: “I just wanted to personally thank you for your generous donation of [donation amount]. Your support means a lot to us and will help [describe the impact of their donation, such as providing resources, funding a specific project, or supporting a particular cause].” 

Update: “Thanks to your contribution, we have been able to [share a specific milestone or achievement related to the donor’s support]. We are excited about our progress and look forward to continuing our work.” 

Closing: “We truly appreciate your support and will keep you updated on our ongoing efforts. If you have any questions or would like to get more involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thank you once again, and have a great day!”

What are fundraising gala scripts?

Fundraising gala scripts are essential tools for organizing and hosting successful fundraising events. These scripts help guide the flow of the event, ensuring that all key messages are communicated effectively and that the audience remains engaged throughout the event. 

Crafting an engaging and effective fundraising gala script requires careful consideration of the dos and don’ts and incorporating best practices to maximize the event’s impact.

Dos and don’ts of writing a fundraising gala script

When writing a fundraising gala script, keep the following dos and don’ts in mind:


  1. Do create a clear and concise script outlining the event’s agenda, including speeches, presentations, and entertainment segments.
  2. Do incorporate storytelling elements to engage the audience and convey the importance of the cause.
  3. Do personalize the script by acknowledging key supporters, sponsors, and attendees, making them feel valued and appreciated.
  4. Do include a compelling call-to-action that encourages attendees to donate or support the cause in other ways.
  5. Do rehearse the script with all speakers and presenters to ensure a smooth and polished delivery during the event.


  1. Don’t make the script overly long or complicated, as this can lead to confusion and disengagement from the audience.
  2. Don’t focus solely on fundraising – highlight the impact of the organization’s work and the importance of the cause.
  3. Don’t forget to include breaks and transitions between segments to maintain the event’s flow and keep the audience engaged.

Tips for crafting an engaging and effective fundraising gala script

To create a successful fundraising gala script, you can use the following tips:

  1. Start with a strong opening: Begin the event with a captivating introduction that sets the tone and grabs the audience’s attention.
  2. Use storytelling: Share real-life stories of individuals or communities impacted by the cause to make the issue more relatable and tangible for attendees.
  3. Highlight the organization’s achievements: Showcase the organization’s accomplishments and the impact of its work, demonstrating the value of attendees’ support.
  4. Include a clear call-to-action: Encourage attendees to donate, volunteer, or otherwise support the cause, making it easy for them to take action.
  5. Keep the script concise and focused: Avoid lengthy speeches or presentations that cause the audience to lose interest.

Example of a fundraising gala script

Let’s look at an example of a thank-you script that you can quickly adapt.

Welcome and Introduction: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is [Your Name], and I am honored to welcome you to [Organization Name] ‘s annual fundraising gala. We are thrilled to have you all here tonight to support our mission of [briefly describe the organization’s mission].” 

Acknowledgment of Key Supporters: “We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors, [List of Sponsor Names], whose generous support has made this event possible. We would also like to recognize [List of Key Attendees or Honorees] for their ongoing commitment to our cause.” 

Storytelling: “Tonight, we want to share the story of [Individual or Community impacted by the cause]. [Briefly describe the story, highlighting the challenges and positive impact of the organization’s work]. Thanks to your support, this is just one example of the many lives we have touched.” 

Organization’s Achievements: “Over the past year, we have achieved significant milestones, such as [List of Accomplishments]. These successes would not have been possible without the generosity of supporters like you.” 

Call-to-Action: “Now, we invite you to join us in making an even greater impact. Your contributions Tonight will help us [describe the specific goals or projects the funds will support]. To make a donation, please [explain the donation process, such as filling out a pledge card or using a mobile giving platform].” 

Closing: “Thank you once again for your support and being part of our mission. We hope you enjoy the rest of the evening, and together, let’s continue making a difference in the lives of those we serve.” 

What are cold call fundraising scripts?

Cold call fundraising scripts help with reaching out to potential donors who may not have a prior relationship with your organization or campaign. 

While this approach can be challenging, it offers unique benefits and opportunities for expanding your donor base. If you can adequately overcome obstacles, you will maximize the potential of this fundraising method.

Person doing a fundraising call

Challenges and benefits of cold call fundraising


  1. Lack of familiarity: Potential donors may not be familiar with your organization or cause, making it more challenging to establish trust and credibility.
  2. Resistance to unsolicited calls: Some people may resist unsolicited phone calls, making it challenging to engage them in conversation.
  3. Limited time: Cold calls often require a concise and compelling message to quickly capture the potential donor’s attention.


  1. Expanding your donor base: Cold call fundraising can help you reach new donors who may not know your organization or cause.
  2. Building relationships: Cold calls allow for establishing relationships with potential donors, which leads to ongoing support and engagement.
  3. Testing messaging: Cold call fundraising allows you to test different messaging strategies and refine your approach based on the responses.

Examples of cold call fundraising scripts for different situations

Let’s continue with more examples – here are the two cold call fundraising scripts for different situations:

Situation 1: Introducing your organization to a new potential donor

Introduction: “Hello, my name is [Your Name], and I’m calling on behalf of [Organization Name]. We are working towards [campaign’s goal], which will help [example of how the goal will serve your mission].” 

Engagement: “In the past, we have had many supporters contributing small amounts, allowing us to reach our targets with relatively few major donations. The [Organization Name] is lucky to have such generous supporters!” 

Ask: “Would you be interested in joining our community of supporters with a contribution of [donation amount] today?”

Situation 2: Cold call to a potential donor with a connection to the cause

Introduction: “Hello, my name is [Your Name], and I’m calling on behalf of [Organization Name]. I noticed that you recently attended [Event Name] or [have a connection to the cause, such as a shared interest or personal experience].” 

Engagement: “Our organization is dedicated to [describe the mission or goal], and we believe that with your support, we can make a significant impact on [describe the issue or cause].” 

Ask: “Would you consider making a donation of [suggested donation amount] to help us continue our important work?”

How to adapt fundraising scripts for different causes and audiences?

Tailoring fundraising scripts to specific causes and audiences is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness. And also for ensuring that your message resonates with potential donors. 

Adapting your scripts to suit the unique needs of various causes (such as political campaigns, educational organizations, and nonprofits) means that you can create a more engaging and persuasive message that encourages donors to contribute to your cause.

Importance of tailoring scripts to specific causes

Each cause has its unique characteristics, challenges, and goals; you should reflect them in your fundraising scripts. When you tailor your scripts to specific reasons, you can:

  1. Address the unique concerns and interests of potential donors related to the cause.
  2. Highlight the particular impact and benefits of supporting the cause.
  3. Demonstrate your organization’s expertise and commitment to the cause.

For example, a script for a political campaign might focus on the candidate’s stance on critical issues. In contrast, a script for an educational organization might emphasize the importance of providing quality education to underprivileged students.

Adapting scripts for different audiences and donor segments

Suppose you want to maximize the effectiveness of your fundraising scripts. In that case, adapting those scripts for different audiences and donor segments is essential. 

Some of these adaptations include:

  1. Demographic considerations: Consider the age, gender, income level, and other demographic factors of your target audience. For example, a script targeting younger donors might emphasize the long-term impact of their support. In comparison, a script for older donors might focus on the immediate benefits of their contributions.
  2. Previous interactions: If you have information about a potential donor’s past interactions with your organization, use this to personalize your script. For example, if a donor has previously attended an event, mention this in your script to create a sense of familiarity and connection.
  3. Donor motivations: Different donors may have different incentives for supporting your cause. Personal experiences may drive some, while others may be motivated by a desire to make a difference in their community. Tailor your script to address these motivations and demonstrate how supporting your cause aligns with their values and interests.

Remember: adapting your fundraising scripts for different causes and audiences will create a more engaging and persuasive message. And that encourages potential donors to support your organization and its mission.

What are the best practices for using fundraising scripts?

Using fundraising scripts effectively during phone calls and phone banking can significantly improve the success of your fundraising efforts. 

Practice and refine your scripts to create a more engaging and persuasive message that resonates with potential donors. 

Here are some best practices for using fundraising scripts during calls and conversations.

Importance of practicing and refining scripts for better results

Practicing and refining your fundraising scripts is essential for achieving better results in your fundraising efforts. By” rehearsing” your scripts, you will:

  1. Build confidence in your ability to deliver the message effectively.
  2. Identify any areas of the script that may need improvement or clarification.
  3. Develop a natural and conversational tone, making the call feel less scripted and more genuine.

Tips for using scripts effectively during calls and conversations

To use fundraising scripts effectively during phone calls and phone banking, consider the following tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the script: Before making calls, read through the script several times to understand the key points and can deliver the message smoothly.
  2. Practice out loud: Rehearse the script to get a feel for the pacing and tone of the conversation. Reading aloud can also help you identify any areas needing improvement or clarification.
  3. Be adaptable: While sticking to the script’s main points is essential, be prepared to adapt your approach based on the potential donor’s responses. The adaptations may involve addressing concerns, providing additional information, or adjusting your asking part based on their level of interest.
  4. Maintain a conversational tone: Although you’re using a script, make the conversation feel natural and genuine. An honest manner builds rapport with the potential donor and makes them more receptive to your message.
  5. Listen actively: Listen to the potential donor’s responses and adjust your approach accordingly. Active listening means you will better understand their concerns and motivations, allowing you to tailor your message more effectively.
  6. Take notes: During the call, take notes on any important information or feedback the potential donor provides. Notes help refine your script and improve your approach in future calls.

While these are only a tiny part of best practices, sticking to them helps create a more engaging and persuasive message, eventually encouraging potential donors to support your organization and its mission.

Final thoughts

As you can see, well-crafted fundraising scripts play a crucial role in achieving campaign goals and connecting with potential donors. 

Follow the guidelines from this article and incorporate the examples provided. You can create engaging and persuasive fundraising scripts that resonate with potential donors. And the result will be achieving your organization’s fundraising goals.

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