Watching Tiffany (Katz) navigate the computer system, managing both the queue, e-mail, chat rooms while talking to me at the same time was impressive until I witnessed her take a call and then I was without words. In my estimation, those who work in donor service reps are the heart of our organization in as much as every call they field makes a connection to the donor in a very tangible, emotional and often deeply moving way. 
There was barely time to go over the rules or what to expect when the first call came and we were off. She adeptly handled Donald with a browser issue regarding honor cards, immediately she was able to walk him through options, find a solution and thank him for his support.
There is supposed to be 20 seconds between calls but it felt more like five before the next one rolled in and so it was for the next hour. In total there were 8 calls in that sixty minutes, each very different but with a similar rhythm. One man, an older gentleman from Alaska, brought tears to my eyes when he said “I wish I could do more”, while another asked to be removed from our mailing list for his own reasons. One made a donation in the name of a celebrity supporter and another made a contribution in honor of her grandchildren. All were handled with kindness, respect and appreciation for the caller and each ended with “Thank you for your support.”
We are all touched by donors either directly or indirectly but this experience was more poignant because in that hour, on the first floor of our headquarters building there are men and women, some full time employees and others season temporary help, that are the “heart” our organization. They answer the phone not knowing what the call will be about or the callers tone but they know they will find an answer for them or at the very least be the link between that donor and the work we are privileged to do all over the globe.
Thank you donor services for letting me tag along if only for an hour … I will always be a big fan of the work you do everyday but especially during the holidays.

Author

Allison Stephens

Allison began working for Heifer International in 2011 in Public Relations and is also a Public Affairs Officer in the Air Force Reserve. She graduated from Penn State University with a degree in communications. She is married, mother to baby "E" and proud bonus mother to a 13 year-old daughter.