First Impressions With The Peery Foundation

By: Jocelyn Rheem

FullSizeRender (2).jpg


Part of my job as Program Assistant at the Peery Foundation is to field calls and general emails that come into the office.  I love to talk to people that are passionate about their work and strive to make the world a better place. Here is an informal list of observations of what makes a successful first call with us at the PF, based on my 6 months here (WHAT?! How is time flying by so quickly?).


1. Relax.

I swear I’m friendly and WANT to talk to you! Really.

2. Take a look our website and our blog before you call.

I’m happy to provide a rundown of our portfolios but will always direct callers to our website to investigate our three different portfolios and the criteria we use when learning about new organizations. It helps the flow of the conversation when I know that the person on the other end of the phone is familiar with our target areas and geographic preferences for each portfolio.

3. Introduce Yourself and Your Work.

Have a concise pitch ready to go. The best way for me to know if we might be a good fit is to hear about your program, mission, and desired impact. A succinct description is the first step to building confidence in your ability to successfully represent your organization.

4. Send us materials you already have prepared.

We mean it when we say we prefer materials that are already prepared. Part of our grantee-centric approach is being cognizant of how much time we take up through our sourcing process and making sure that we don’t absorb any more time than is absolutely necessary. Internally created materials also tell us far more about you, how your team thinks and plans.

5. What sets you apart from the rest?

So, what makes your organization and your approach innovative and unique? How are you meeting the needs of the poorest populations? What is the targeted problem or need on which you are focused? All of these questions are on my mind when I’m learning about new organizations. 

6. Ask Questions.

I love when callers have questions about our portfolios or our priorities. I hope that my answers to these provide the clarification needed to determine if it makes sense for your team and mine to spend further time determining if there’s a strong potential fit. Questions also show me that the individual really took the time to consider if our goals are aligned. It keeps me on my toes too!