If you are not already using telefundraising in your direct-response program, now is a good time to get started. If you are, but have yet to utilize the untapped potential of sustainer invite calling and lapsed reactivation campaigns, dive in right away. Add a test campaign into the next budget. It's well worth the investment.
The cold call is one of the scariest yet most unavoidable tasks we face as fundraisers. Few professions require telephoning of a total stranger — a person we have neither seen, nor spoken to, nor perhaps even heard of. And worse, imagine the reaction by the person on the other end of the phone when he or she suddenly realizes what you do for a living! This is a scenario for disaster.
What do Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, a library and an effective fundraising ask have in common? They all require silence in order to be effective. If candidates are especially new at the fundraising process, they’ll often rush through each step of their fundraising calls to get to the critical “ask” portion. They’re in such a hurry that they scarcely give their donors a moment to get a word in edgewise. Whatever the reasoning, don’t allow your candidate’s questions to crowd the donor out of his or her answer.
At this point in the year, you’ve already sent your direct-mail fundraising letter. So this can be an awful time, marked by nail biting and incessantly looking at database reports to see if anyone has given. It can feel like fundraising is totally out of your control. But fundraising is not totally out of your control. This isn’t a time to coast!
You don’t have to wait on the whims of the postal service and donors giving habits. The phone can be your friend at this time of the year.
I've been raising funds for a long time, and I agonize more about making the phone call for the visit than I do the actual presentation to the prospect. As you pick up the phone, don't be concerned if you feel pangs of anxiety. I've found that without challenge, there's no achievement. To ease those palpitations and help ensure that you get to see the person, follow these 11 suggestions …
I hear it all over the industry and from a few of my clients: Why can’t we do that by e-mail? The drums have been beating for nearly a decade about the new frontier. What I say to them is yes, you should have a healthy digital-marketing campaign, but you need to keep your toes in every channel if you want to raise money … and that includes telemarketing.
If you’ve been following my work for a while or, really, if you’ve ever heard me say anything about fundraising, you know how important it is to thank your donors. And don’t just take it from me. There is research to prove it: One study showed close to a 40 percent increase in giving from donors who received a “thank you” call from a board member within 48 hours of gift receipt.
Announcing the 2012 Telemarketing Campaign of the Year: The Wilderness Society, along with the Kennedy Center.