The diocesan capital campaign (for which I've been doing volunteer work) is drawing to a close, and our parish is moving from personal visits to prospective donors to phone work. Last night the volunteers set up a phone bank in the parish center to work our way through a portion of the 90% of the parish that hasn't yet been contacted.
Cold calling must be one of the most miserable jobs going, but fortunately this campaign has been mentioned from the pulpit every Sunday for the past two months. Everyone I got through to had heard of it and were even interested in giving, maybe. None of them were ready to make a decision on their pledge, despite months of prep work on the part of our pastor and the diocese. I see now why personal visits were so heavily emphasized in the earlier phases of the campaign.
I also learned that I don't have exceptional telemarketing skills. Others in my group were racking up the donations, but I just couldn't close a sale. I do think the campaign is a worthy cause, but I suppose I was too ready to accept excuses for why people who said they were planning to give couldn't make a decision right now. Time to sit at the feet of Darwin and imbibe his marketing expertise (and also reap the benefits of the several months he spent managing a fund-raising call center while we were in college).
I suppose that people in general have a tendency to put off making decisions until pressed. Many people I spoke to said that they hadn't even thought about what they wanted to give, despite the campaign (which, obviously, involves monetary donations) being highly publicized for weeks from the pulpit, in the bulletin, and through diocesan mailings. Make up your minds, people! The campaign is drawing to a close with or without you, and you know what they say about good intentions.
"And I am giving counsel in this matter, for it is appropriate for you who began not only to act but to act willing last year: complete it now, so that your eager willingness may be matched by your completion of it out of what you have." (2 Cor. 8:10-11)