If your organization employs a telemarketing or similar team to raise funds, how do you do this?
Most organization who do this simply have a team of telemarketers, commonly referred to as tele-fundraisers, who are responsible for engaging with supporters, current and potential, in order to gain funds.
The general public, those who receive these calls, find them a nuisance especially when the come at dinner time; however for an organization they can be extremely cost effective and help raise funds in a quick manner.
However, for organizations doing this type of fundraising there can be a drawback – that being that there is often no long term rapport building opportunity between fundraiser and donor.
Having rapport with your donors can make a big difference, donors may know your organization, they may know what you do and the impact you’re making – but often it’s the person they have familiarity with, those they have a rapport with who can make or break ongoing support.
How can this be managed?
If you’re involved in tele-fundraising, and your staff are “served” numbers, not know who they are going to be talk to until the phone line is live, there’s little chance for staff to gather information to be able to ensure any relationship is maintained.
Donor nurturing can suffer, and it’s this area where another way of managing calls perhaps should be looked at.
If a call management system is being used, there is usually a way that calls can be directed to specific ‘agents’ – in doing this the possibility is there for the same agent to be the one who speaks with specific donors. The outcome, rapport is developed, relationships are nurtured and donors have more sense of trust with the organization.
Sure, there will be resistance, but this can be managed, what is more important having engaged donors or having ‘agents’ (and management) who are reluctant to change?
It’s now time to stop thinking in simplistic terms of getting funding – now, today, this week, and instead to look at the lifetime value of donors.
Change your thinking for “this call” to “account (donor) management” and you could find yourself with a happy donor, and a happier fundraiser.
What have you got to loose – when will you start looking at making the change, today, tomorrow – no time is too soon. As Nike says “Just do it.”
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