Donor Care Center, Inc. has had the privilege of partnering with some wonderful nonprofit organizations over the years! In fact, many of our team members have worked on hundreds of telefundraising campaigns over the past 20+ years. Some simple “tried-and-true” tips to help you maximize your telefundraising campaign:
TIP #1: Transmit A “Thank You” Voice Broadcast: If you’re not testing a brief, soft, thank you message to donors who made a pledge over the phone, you may be missing out! This strategy is inexpensive and can increase fulfillment rates by 7–20%! Voice Broadcasts are also a great strategy to test prior to sending out a direct mailer. P.S. Do not mention a donation in these messages.
TIP #2: Call Donors Who Have Given Over The Phone In The Past: While this probably sounds like common sense, it is one of the biggest misses we see from call centers & clients today. The negative stigma out there unfortunately makes some people feel like telemarketing is a bad thing. They’re leery of contacting their most responsive donors through this channel due to fear of upsetting them. The truth is, some donors actually like talking with a living, breathing person…especially if they’ve given over the phone in the past. Who would have thought, right!? When donor contributes over the phone, they’re considered ‘tele-responsive’ and have now shown a willingness and preference to give by phone. While they may respond to other channels during subsequent fundraising initiatives, the phone should almost always be incorporated. Tele-responsive donors produce conversion rates of 25-35% and easily produce a 2:1+ ROI when called on a subsequent telephone campaigns!
TIP #3: Call Lapsed Donors Before Prospects: Over the past 5 years or so, the rental list market has become, let’s say, saturated & exhausted. While there are still lists out there that work, it’s getting more difficult to acquire new donors through conventional prospecting these days. Before you embark on this route, make sure you’ve tested calling into your lapsed (13-48 mo.) and deep lapsed (49+ mo.) file. While these donors may not have contributed in a number of years, they’re more familiar with your mission than a prospect is. Donor Care Center, Inc. will even guarantee a 1:1 ROI on lapsed donor calling making this strategy virtually cost-free for you!
TIP #4: Vary Your Ask Amounts: Avoid using static ask amounts when you know the giving history of your donors. Use that intelligence to create an ask strategy that will maximize your conversion rates. For example, if a donor made a gift of $1,000 8 years ago, but their last 10 gifts were under $25, it’s probably futile to ask them for $1,000 again.
TIP #5: Ask For An Email Address: Some donors are simply ‘non-teleresponsive’ and will not commit over the phone. Ask for an email address and send them a secure url to donate online. You’d be surprised by how many donors contribute this way.
TIP #6: Credit Card Gifts Are Like Gold!: Flag donors who contribute by credit card. The next time they give over the phone, and you ask them for a credit card, remind them that they’ve provided it to you in the past. Sit back and watch your credit cards rates sky rocket!
TIP #7: Test, Test, Test & Retest! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “this is what has always worked.” Remember the definition of insanity…Test against your best practices and controls. And when you establish a new best practice, test against it! Have the mindset of, “there’s always a better way to communicate with donors!”