Making the Call – Tele-fundraising


Making the Call

Call Preparation

Being mentally prepared and focused before you begin any call can make a huge difference to your results.

You need to know what you are aiming to achieve during the call – what is your target?

Before you begin dialing, always check your road map (script). It’s your guide and pathway to a successful call.

Then, just as you’ve got it all going on… just before you pick up the phone … consider these quick call preparation thoughts:

What would it be like to get a call from me?

I’m going to make this presentation sound as though it’s just for them. I’m going to keep it fresh, enthusiastic and original.

Remember … the prospect has feelings too! Make time to listen during the call!

It’s about winning them over. Would I buy from me? How do I sound to them?

When I pick up the phone … out there … is a whole group of people who will welcome my call … they’ll listen, get interested and when I make a good presentation and then close the call. This group of people I’m calling always will say “yes” to me! They’re out there all right, I just gotta find them … that’s all!



Tele-fundraising Tips

Tele-fundraising can be an effective way to gain support and of course donations for an organization, handled right your tele-fundraisers can gain considerable support.

Here’s some tips that will help your team ensure every call made is effective and result in support for your organization:

Set yourself a target – have your own target for how many calls you will make, and what your volume of donations you’re aiming for

Personalise your script – if there’s words in the script you’re given that you wouldn’t normally use they will come across in your voice, personalise and you will have more success

Don’t post mortem calls – the call has gone, get over it and move onto the next one

Know what you want from the call – if you don’t know what you want don’t bother picking up the phone

Smile before you dial – smiles do come across on the phone

Ask for the donation – you won’t get anything unless you ask with confidence, and commitment 

Pitch it and zip – ask for the donation, then zip your lips – don’t talk yourself out of the donation 

Have the answers to common questions at the ready – if you hesitate in answering questions you could miss out on gaining the donation

Celebrate every NO you get – every no is getting you closer to a YES

Don’t prejudge the call – you have no idea who is at the other end of the phone and what they maybe able to give

It’s not you they’re saying no to – don’t take rejection personally, they’re saying no to the cause or the donation request NOT YOU

Don’t ask people how they are unless you have a relationship with them – people know you don’t rally care.

Outbound Telephone Campaigns

Do you manage your calling cycles around events taking place in your community?

Do you collate a calendar of “usual” events taking place? 

Anyone doing outbound calls, membership drives, fundraising or sales calls should be monitoring what else is taking pace that could have an impact on the “call outcome”. 

If there’s a major event on TV this will impact on how your call is received, it’s hard enough to get a good reception, don’t make it harder by calling when people are at their most distracted. 

By collecting, or sourcing a calendar of events, outbound telephone campaigns can be scheduled at a time most likely to have a better, more positive impact. 

You could programme your calling around a TV documentary scheduled that covers something aligned to the work you do in the community. This would give you a “lead in” to the call, or give something as a reference point when talking to people. 

Remember too to alert people that you’re going to do a telephone campaign. Talk about it in your updates to your supporters. 

Don’t forget to update your website to let people know you are doing a campaign, update your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online social channels. 

Spread the word, people will then have a heads up and will likely have recall of your updates when you call. 

Build a calendar of events, keep it updated your campaign is likely to benefit from doing this. 

Is what you’re doing news worthy -tell the media. The more people know about what you’re doing, they better all round. 

Do you have tips on managing a fundraising telephone campaign that you can share, post them in the comments below.


Prepare before Telemarketing

After some recent discussion around telemarketing and now having just had a telemarketing call, I thought I’d share these thoughts. 

Yes, I’ve done telemarketing both B2C and B2B, I’ve trained telemarketers and seen some real success and also some spectacular failures. 

The call I just got was about telecommunications and how I could save on phone calls with the savings being used for other technology in the business. 

The caller started with – Hello how are you – to start with I know a telemarketer doesn’t want to know how I am, they just want to sell me something – so get to the point. 

Then she proceeded to tell me how the service could help me, she told me she “knew” it would be useful and beneficial to my business.  Ok, now for the fun. 

I stopped the caller in her tracks and asked her where the business was located – “in New Zealand” – ok – he strong accent still had me wondering. 

I was told how the “concept” would be beneficially good for my business – um, I asked ok, “what sort of business is that?” – she didn’t or couldn’t answer and continued with here spiel again brushing my question aside. 

Ok – she may have been nervous, didn’t know how to answer or just had no idea as to what to say so used the “let this question slide and I’ll keep going” tactic, spouting on more about something I had no interest in. 

I thought I’d see if I could pinpoint where she was calling from and asked for her phone number. She said she didn’t have a number I could call back on um – what? Surely there’s a number, she rang me after all – I’m sure it was from a landline, it sure wasn’t jungle drums. 

Since she didn’t know who I was, what I did or wasn’t able to give me a phone number, I suggested the end the call and hung-up. 

Where did this call go wrong? Firstly she asked me how I was – a waste of time. If anything she should have said something on the lines of “have you got a moment to talk?” or “I hope I haven’t got you at a bad time” – either of which gives an impression of understanding that I’m not here to take the call and have other things to be getting on with.   

Also, saying something on those lines can leave the door open for the caller to be able to call back at a later – pre arranged time.                 

My caller also indicated she had knowledge of what my business does when in fact she had no idea – if you can’t back it up, don’t say it – you will be caught out. 

She didn’t have a number for me to call back on, come on – even outsourced call centres will normally make sure there is a number for people to call back on. If there’s no number I don’t want to know about them. 

I’d suggest a call be ‘staged’ on these lines


“Good morning/afternoon it’s __________ from XYZ – have you got a moment to talk? 

If yes

Great thank you – I’m calling about …. blah blah blah 

There should be questions to make sure you understand who you’re speaking with – qualifying too that you have the right person. 

Also, and this is really important – if you have the persons name use it, and use it at least three times in the conversation. People like hearing their name, and it also helps to bring someone back to the conversation should they have become distracted by other things in the surrounds. 

If the caller got a No when they asked if it was a convenient time, or similar: 

“Ok – would you mind if I gave you a call back perhaps later today, or would tomorrow be more suitable?” Often this will make the “prospect” ask what it was about, or suggest that  a call later would be suitable. 

If the person says yes to being called back, offering a choice of times makes them feel as though they are now controlling the call and will be more receptive when they’re called back. 

These are basics, and if someone doesn’t know how to make a decent telemarketing call – they should be taken off the phone and offered further coaching. 

Not long after this call I received another, this time from an insurance agent – he started off perfectly, asked me if it was convenient to talk, summarised in maybe ten words what the call was about – then when I said I wasn’t interested he apologised for the ‘intrusion’ and the call was terminated. 

If you’re using telemarketers give them the tools to do the job – not just a headset, give them some background, give them contact details should someone want to call back, and let your agents be people, let them do their own script using their own words and personality. If you don’t do this then just get a bank of phones and a pre-recorded tape of what you’re pitching – it‘ll have the same results and also cost a lot less.

This originally appeared on adagebusiness

Can Social Media Lessen the Negative Impact of Telephone Appeals


Those damn telemarketers that call when you’re working on the final draft of an a business proposal, who call when you’re trying to settle the kids for the night, who call when you’re trying to enjoy a quiet night with the family. Love them or hate them, they all have a job to do, and no not it’s not to disturb you; it’s a bit more than that. 

Every telemarketer is doing their job, the same as you do everyday you head off to the office, but what is different is the telemarketer is seen to be intrusive. 

When it comes to charities using the telephone to raise money (and awareness) they’re using one of the most cost effective ways possible. Yes, using the phone can be more cost effective than envelope appeals and even bucket collections – but that’s something for another time; for now let’s focus on the use of the telephone. 

We all know that charities, whether we’re part of one or a supporter need to reach the most people in the shortest time, at the lowest cost, and the phone seems to win hands down on cost per hit. But, how can charities better make use of, and help reduce the angst, the negative impact it’s use can cause? 

Part of the role of telephone appeals is to raise awareness of the charity, the cause, and it’s beneficiaries. So why not use social media to help ease the path for those ‘pesky’ calls. 

If a charity is using social media, why not use it to let people know of there upcoming telephone appeal, as part of their online activity they could ask their connections, followers and fans to let their friends know that a telephone appeal will be starting in their area. 

It may work, it may not, unless charities start trying this approach we won’t know. It’s worth the effort – see it as part of the PR campaign. 

Wouldn’t it be nice for telephone canvassers to be met with a warmer reception? Imagine what it could do, even if it resulted in only a 1 or 2% growth in donations it’s worth it – isn’t it? 

Charities could be using social media to talk about their upcoming appeal, asking people what they’d like to see from the appeal – and ask questions about what causes people give to. 

Dialogue and engagement will get people talking, this talk can and will likely lead to people be more receptive to a call. Sure, some people who see messages on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other site will give, others will also help pass the word, sharing with their friends and family. 

Imagine if charities were to start using YouTube to talk about their appeal, maybe even including a “sample” or the telephone appeal – this would give an insight into what people could expect from a call. 

Will it work? In short, yes it will. How well the use of social media be in supporting telephone appeals we won’t know until someone gives it a real shot. 

Have you considered or used social media to support your telephone appeal? If so, how did it work out?


Pick up that phone

After reading Phone first! On 101Fundraising, I got to thinking about how many missed opportunities for funding/sponsorship I’ve witnessed – simply because someone was – too lazy – to pick up the phone.  

That phone call is like gardening, it allows you to plant the seed; to learn something about the person/organisation you’re calling, it also gives you the opportunity to get the ‘permission’ to send more information, or arrange a meeting to advance your cause.  

All too often we hear about organizations seeking support making their first contact via email or letter, this does nothing but add to the requests that the receiver has likely had already. 

By simply picking up the phone and talking about your organization, what you do and how the person you’re talking to can help will get you a lot further than any unsolicited mail. 

Even if you’ve been referred to the potential supporter, you are still better off picking up the phone and making a call. The ice has already been broken through the referral and you can use this as your ‘opener’. 

If you’re unsure about how you can and should use the phone, there’s some great advice in Phone first!, if you’re looking for support for your organisation, the tips and advice could make all the difference. 

A good way to also learn about good use of the telephone when seeking support is to take note of calls you may receive, there’s bound to be some callers who techniques catch your attention – use some of what you learn from these calls to improve your own. 

Share your thoughts, comments: 

Are you using the phone?

 How are you using the phone?

What’s working for you?