This blog by Wild Woman Fundraising got me thinking about what goes into the day-to-day decision-making process that fundraisers go through when speaking to supporters.
The telephone (like face to face which Mazarine mentioned in her blog) is also a real-time channel. So we know first hand how important it is to make the right decisions when asking for support as the response from a supporter is instant and can have a long-lasting effect on a supporters perception of your charity, how much they give and how long they plan to support you.
So what decisions should you make before you make that call:
- When do I ask? When is the most appropriate time to make a phone call or send a text? Contacting a supporter several times in the same year will probably not go down well, is not best practice and won’t do anything for the reputation of your charity, but contacting them before they do a fundraising event for example may be a pleasant surprise for the supporter, will help drive loyalty and give them a boost to help them raise more money!
- What do I ask for? If you’ve asked your supporter to increase their gift to £5 a month and they’ve said no two or more times previously then why make the decision to go back and ask for the same amount again? Do your research. How has your supporter engaged with your charity in the past? Have they preferred doing an event rather than giving via monthly direct debit for example. Could this help you make an informed decision about how they could help you in the future and therefore what you ask them to do?
- How do I ask? Choosing an appropriate channel and delivering your message is really important. Has your supporter responded better to an SMS ask rather than a telephone call, were they quite responsive and perhaps more interested in a certain aspect of your charity’s work – would it be a better decision to give them an update on this rather than talk about something new?
All of these things should come into your decision-making process and of course all is underpinned by fundraiser expertise, knowledge and attitude (more on these at a later) which can be driven by engagement and training sessions.