Telephone fundraising is an easy, inexpensive way to raise money for a charity or non-profit group. For the price of a few local phone calls, you can make a real difference to your fundraising cause.
How to Get Started with Telephone Fundraising
It can be daunting to call up someone and ask them to donate money; luckily, this is the biggest obstacle you will encounter when you start fundraising by telephone.
The rest of the telephone fundraising set-up is easy:
- Pick a time, preferably an evening or weekend, when you’ll make your calls. Make sure you choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Create a spreadsheet of all the people you’ll call. Don’t forget to leave room to write down their donation amount!
- Plan how people will donate so there is no confusion. If you’re doing telephone fundraising for a sponsored event, you can get pledges by phone and collect the money at a later date. However, if you’re doing a more typical fundraising venture, you will need to decide how the people will pay. Cheques, JustGiving and cash collections are all popular options for smaller fundraising causes.
- Pick up the phone and get started! If you’re nervous, practice your donation pitch on a spouse, family member or friend.
Telephone Fundraising Ideas
While it’s true you can call anybody about your fundraising cause, there are a few ways you can make your pitch really stand out.
First, consider creating a call list that relates to your planned event. For example, you could network with a local restaurant to plan a charity dinner. Get permission from the restaurant to call guests from their reservations book and invite them to the dinner, or fundraise directly over the telephone. This is not only great for your charity but also great for the company’s repeat business.
It is best to use a pre-arranged telephone fundraising call list rather than cold calling. You will find that people who know you, your charity or someone with which you are affiliated will be more receptive to your call.
Also, consider offering something in return. While you can use telephone fundraising to solicit flat donations, selling raffle tickets, sponsored items or other fundraising ideas can be more rewarding for both the person donating and your charitable cause.
Telephone Fundraising Legalities
Telephone fundraising is easy but it’s important to get it right so you don’t upset the people you’re calling.
When you call people and ask them to donate money, it’s important to present yourself as professionally as possible. You should give them clear, concise information about your charity.
Also, offer them the opportunity to find out more – they may wish to call the charity themselves and verify that your telephone fundraising effort is legit before they donate money.
Above all, respect the wishes of the people you’re calling. Do not call too late or too early, and do not call repeatedly. For larger charities, ensure you are following the rules of the Direct Marketing Association and Advertising Standards Authority, and adhering to the Data Protection Act and following the wishes of people who have signed up for the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
It sounds daunting, but the results are well worth it. For the price of a few phone calls and a couple of hours on the phone, you can raise a lot of money for a very worthy cause!