Four Ways to Maximize Fundraising Efforts Via the Telephone
In his session on telemarketing at the DMA Nonprofit Federation 2006 New York Nonprofit Conference, Nate Drushell, vice president of marketing at InfoCision Management Corp., sought to disprove common misconceptions regarding telefundraising — among them that the phone is an effective fundraising medium only for certain organizations or only for small sub-segments of a donor file, and that using the phone will cannibalize other fundraising programs.
The phone can work as a fundraising medium for any type of organization, be it national or chapter based; can work across all segments of an organization’s donor file — high dollar and low dollar; and will only enhance other fundraising programs, not take away from them, Drushell said. That’s not to say that organizations should stop using direct mail and use the phone instead. It’s cheaper to mail than to use the phone to net donations, and so organizations should continue doing so. But, Drushell said, the more channels prospects have to give through, the more they’ll give. And the more they give, the better their lifetime value. A good thing indeed.
Drushell talked about four types of telefundraising programs: current-donor cultivation, lapsed-donor reactivation, new-donor acquisition, and family and friends/neighborhood recruitment. For each program he analyzed what an organization’s objective should be, the audience it should target, the timing and frequency of contacts, the type of appeal, and what kinds of results it can expect. Drushell noted that many people aren’t willing to give up their credit card numbers to fulfill their contribution over the phone. Those who make a commitment over the phone (front-end responders) are sent a letter that references the phone call and the amount of their commitment, and includes a return envelope for them to send in their contribution (making them back-end responders).
1. Current Donor Cultivation. When discussing this program, the three main opportunities Drushell focused on were new-donor conversion, monthly donor conversion and net-income generation.