'Best Ideas' for Fund Raising by Phone (1,368 words)
Inbound programs are very useful, suggests Max Hart, director of fund raising for Disabled American Veterans, an organization that doesn't use outbound calling for donations. "It's a win-win situation. The donor gets information, and the non-profit builds a relationship," he says.
Cadigan agrees, noting, "It is an access tool for member relationship building. You should have an 800 number 24-seven. Tie it into direct mail pieces so people can ask questions and make donations when they want."
SOLICIT THE SECOND GIFT
One of the most effective ways to begin the process of resoliciting small donors is to instill the habit of giving early on by soliciting the second gift by phone, according to Mal Warwick. This is best done after a thank you note has mailed; however, the call could also thank the donor for the previous gift.
Here's an example from Warwick's book, "You Don't Always Get What You Ask For" of how that scenario worked for one national membership organization.
A target group of nearly 10,000 new members was selected whose first gift had been given three to five months previously. None had given gifts as large as $50; none less than $15. The average was around $17. Over a six-week period, 3,258 were contacted by phone by professional fund raisers. (Phone numbers were unavailable for many, and others simply could not be reached.) Of the contacted group, 43 percent, or 1,387 members, pledged to give again, with the average pledge rate being nearly $26—50 percent more than the average first gift!
More important than the second gifts generated through the pledge drive was the longer-term impact of the calls, Warwick writes. The project manager reported that the 3,258 persons reached by phone were significantly more responsive to future efforts both by mail and phone—whether they pledged or not.