'Best Ideas' for Fund Raising by Phone (1,368 words)
REACTIVATION BY PHONE
Say you have a group of donors who gave several times in the past, or on a regular basis, but have not responded to recent direct mail campaigns. Lapsed donor telemarketing programs are an effective way to re-connect with those donors. You can go as far back in the file as you deem cost effective, Twardowski says, recalling a non-profit he worked with that was able to go back 20 years into a lapsed donor file.
PBS is one non-profit that has reactivation "down to a science," Cadigan says. "They take advantage of on-air drives to call lapsed donors, who oftentimes are watching PBS when the call comes in," he notes.
Most telemarketing for fund raising is only to $10 or $15 donors and higher. But you may be able to call lower-gift amount donors with the intention of upgrading them to the next giving level. Twardowski terms these "move up" programs, and says, for instance, you may ask a $5 to $10 donor for $15 or $20.
Cadigan says he had worked with the USO in a telephone renewals program whereby they looked at past givers with low-gift amounts—in the $5 to $14.99 range—and asked for $25 at a time when we had troops stationed overseas—a fact that helped justify the higher gift request.
This leads us into the whole concept of "needs-based appeals," or fund-raising efforts spurred by news events or crises. Cadigan says the Red Cross is one non-profit group that does this kind of campaign whenever a crisis situation arises that it must respond to.
To make this approach work, Twardowski points out that it's important to thank people for what they've given in support of the organization in the past. For example:
"Thank you for your help last year in feeding people in the Sudan. But the crisis continues and there are still children starving..."