publication date: Feb 16, 2012
author/source: Janet Gadeski
Canadian charities have
a great choice of suppliers, coaches, project managers and consultants to help
with special initiatives. If you've worked successfully with an outside
contractor, please consider sharing your experience. You'll help your peers ask
the right questions and make good decisions when they look for outside help. To
discuss an article, email Janet Gadeski.
There's a world of difference between strangers who
interrupt your supper, mangle your name, then try to sell you new windows -
for your apartment - and an effective, properly targeted telephone campaign. Do
it right and you can raise more money, says Lynne Dulaney
, director of communications at Calgary's Operation Eyesight Universal
"Doing it right" means working with people who've already
shown some interest in your organization. Operation Eyesight contacted lapsed
and annual donors to renew awareness and giving from the first group and offer
a monthly giving plan to the second group. Later they used callers to follow up
on a holiday mailing to lapsed and inactive supporters.
Are you a candidate?
Telephone fundraising works best for charities with a long
track record, Dulaney comments. Operation Eyesight, for example, draws upon 50
years of carefully-maintained donor data. While she wondered whether its pool
of 8,000 names was too small for a phone campaign, her contractor, Michael Blakely
of HCB Canada
, runs a boutique firm that often handles clients with
much smaller lists. That highlights another of Dulaney's tips - consider the
scale of your project and match it to the scale of suppliers you approach.
Blakely encourages charities to take a hard look at what
they've already achieved with direct mail acquisition and reactivation
campaigns. They should only move into telemarketing, he cautions, if they're
confident it will do better than channels they've already used.
people you know
You can't underestimate the importance of a long-standing
and deep database, Dulaney emphasizes - a point we've often stressed in Hilborn eNEWS
Examine your donors' demographic profile and know what events, economic issues and
concerns are important to them. You'll decrease the hang-ups and complaints if
you tailor the campaign and the script carefully for donors you know.
Speaking of hang-ups and complaints, Dulaney says there were
very few during the two campaigns. She credits the combination of Operation
Eyesight's extensive donor knowledge and HCB's careful caller training. Blakely
positions the calls as "two-way conversations" rather than "scripts," preparing
his tele-fundraisers to go in any direction the caller initiates.
Be sure to ask about the work force if you're considering
hiring a tele-fundraising contractor. Ideally, employees should work full-time
with a low turnover rate, be located in Canada, speak well and demonstrate interest
in the nonprofit sector through volunteering and personal fundraising. And Blakely
emphasizes the Association of
' stipulation in its Code of Ethical Principles and Standards
that they must be paid a
salary rather than a commission.
Once they're under way, tele-fundraising campaigns move
fast. For example, HCB's 23 telephone fundraisers can make 8,000 calls in just
three weeks. Your contractor should give you daily progress reports so that you
can roll out any necessary fixes right away. Be ready to give speedy feedback
and approval in return for the contractor's flexibility.
For more information, Lynne Dulaney, Operation
Eyesight; Michael Blakely, HCB Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org