Charities are largely reliant on donations to continue operating, so it is important to have effective fundraising campaigns in place. Organisations need to take advantage of whatever channels they can, whether it is engaging people face to face, via the telephone or even online. Each channel brings different challenges that need to be overcome, particularly when you want donors to become long term supporters.
Telephone fundraising allows personalisation of the message and the connection between the charity and the donor. When looking to raise money over the phone there are several things you need to avoid if you want to be successful.
Firstly, it is important to always be courteous and ask permission to speak with the recipient before you launch into a pitch. This is all about making the right first impression, something that is very difficult with a telephone call because you are unable to tell what you are intruding upon. By asking permission you give people the chance to opt out or rearrange the call for a more appropriate time.
Next, you need to avoid being vague with the amount you want people to donate. There is no harm in asking for a specific amount. It is also not a problem to enter into negotiations, but remember not to be too forceful with your pitch or you’ll risk being rude or even insulting.
One of the most essential parts of a telephone call is the conversation. You want to keep the recipient interested and involved, get them asking questions and provide the information they want. Having a pitch is a good idea but you shouldn’t stick to it rigidly; every call should be unique and the opportunity to have a personal conversation.
If you are successful in getting a pledge you need to ensure you get a commitment to it. Try to confirm a date for the donation to be made by and make sure you get some personal information so you can send a thank you note once it is received. If you don’t get the confirmation you could find all of your hard work hasn’t paid off.
Finally, and most importantly, you must make the recipient feel special and valued. Telephone operators can make hundreds of calls every day but each one should be unique. Turning donors into regular supporters is much more likely if you engage with each call recipient and make them feel appreciated. Tell them about the good work that donations do and how they can be part of it. Building a rapport and a relationship are both essential in this regard.
As we specialise in telephone fundraising, we always follow these steps to optimise success for the organisations we work for. If you would like us to raise money on behalf of your organisation, get in touch and find out how we can provide a professional service that will represent you in the best possible way.