Why telephone fundraising works so well for environmental charities

Here at QTS we work with a broad range of charities, but we do seem to attract a large number of environmental charities! Currently we are working on campaigns for Surfers Against Sewage, Friends of the Earth, Plantlife, Marine Conservation Society, Woodland Trust and 16 different Wildlife Trusts, to name but a few – and many of these clients have been with us for a long time, so there is a wealth of evidence to show that telephone fundraising works incredibly well for environmental charities.

So why is that?
We find that supporters of environmental charities are particularly passionate about the cause they are supporting and because of this, they are very open to engaging further. They are usually very well informed, interested in having a meaningful conversation about the relevant issues, and really embrace opportunities where they can make a difference. These supporters are highly aware that every action makes a lasting difference – and keeping them on board is absolutely critical to a charity, with the aim of developing their ongoing and longer term commitment. It is not at all unusual to track a supporter of an environmental charity from initial welcome call all the way to a legacy pledge.

And for what type of campaigns?
We see environmental charities embracing every type of campaign – from thank you to upgrade, and from lead gen to valex. Many membership charities decide to run campaigns on a regular monthly basis – particularly if they want to welcome new members, or manage lapses in memberships with a reactivation call. We are also seeing more and more clients use the fundraising call as an opportunity to promote gift aid, event participation or volunteering – it doesn’t always have to include a financial ask.

What is crucial to the success of all these campaigns, is that we provide the client with callers who match the passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the people they will be speaking to, and who can confidently represent the charity with heart and soul.

And why is it such an important fundraising tool from the charity’s point of view?
Quite frequently, environmental charities will have a small supporter services team, so don’t have the resources or expertise, so outsourcing is an obvious option. And many clients will have initiated their fundraising campaign with social media activity – knowing that the best way to generate conversion is by the telephone – it’s personal, fast, and it’s direct.

Others will choose telephone fundraising because they know it’s one of the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective fundraising methods. But all of our clients recognise that a two way conversation gives supporters the opportunity to find out more about the charity they are supporting, to ask questions, and discuss the different ways they can support it, while the call also provides valuable insights to the client helping to shape future campaigns.

Ultimately for the charity, a telephone fundraising campaign enables positive conversations with supporters, promotes increased knowledge about key issues and encourages more people to support their cause.

But don’t take our word for it:
Here’s feedback from Anna Mynott, Legacy Manager for Friends, regarding the first legacy telephone fundraising campaign we ran for her some years ago now:

“QTS delivered Friends of the Earth’s first legacy telemarketing campaign, which was a slightly nerve-wracking but very exciting project.

Having worked with QTS before, I knew the team would have genuine, sensitive conversations with our supporters about leaving a gift in their will. Being able to lean on their expertise and experience, as well as being able to change and adapt the campaign as we went along, made for a very reassuring and collaborative experience.

The campaign did fantastically well, with almost 50% of the supporters we spoke with saying they would consider leaving a gift in their will to Friends of the Earth. There were also many learnings from our data and approach which will help shape our next campaigns with Ben and the team.”

And also some words from Franka Fuller, Head of Mass Giving at SAS, about their first telephone fundraising campaign with QTS:

“We were blown away by the results we achieved and the quality of the conversations with our supporters. Final results included over 44,000 petition signers and over 600 new members – a huge dent in our yearly target. We’ve also made some very interesting new relationships with individuals and organisations with whom we can work in partnership to achieve more of our vision.

Plus of course, the really important outcome is that we have the support to get this bill read in Parliament – and hopefully we will see an end to water companies routinely discharging untreated sewage into English sea and rivers, threatening the health of water users and the natural environment.”

And finally a few words from our MD Ben Suffell:

Thanks for reading – if you are an environmental charity and you would like to find out more about telephone fundraising, please do get in touch.

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