Four Ways to Maximize Fundraising Efforts Via the Telephone
* For new-donor conversion, the objective is securing a second gift. Drushell advised targeting newly acquired donors that have given no less than $15 via any channel — he specified this amount because of the greater costs of converting donors via the phone. These donors should be contacted roughly four to six months after giving their first gift; the appeal should have a welcome message; and the case for support should present a timely and relevant need. Drushell said organizations can expect a 15 percent to 25 percent response on the front end. Of these responders, 70 percent to 75 percent are likely to follow through on the back end.
* With monthly donor conversion, the goal of which is to build a source of sustainable ongoing income, the primary audience is multi-donors. Organizations also can include new donors, giving them the option to sign on monthly; but the best place to start is with individuals who have given before. This appeal should focus on making those who join feel special, as though they’re joining an elite club or group. The response is a little lower, at 5 percent to 10 percent on the front end with 65 percent to 75 percent of those individuals following through.
* The phone also can be used as a way for the organization to generate net income. For this purpose, the targeted audience should be 0- to 12-month donors who have given no less than $15, and multi-donors. These appeals, which should be carried out three times a year, include year-end appeals, matching-gift appeals and emergency appeals. These phone appeals net better response rates, typically in the 20 percent to 30 percent range on the front end and 75 percent to 85 percent on the back end.
2. Lapsed Donor Reactivation. Rather than pouring money into donor acquisition, Drushell urged, organizations should focus their efforts on reactivating lapsed donors with the key objective being to build the house file. Organizations should target donors that are lapsed 13-plus months, phoning them two times a year to quarterly with matching-gift and year-end appeals, as well as a renewal ask. In this case the response organizations get might not result in generated income but, Drushell said, the main goal is to get individuals back involved with the organization.