Freshen up your 2013 fundraising with free campaigns from Pell & Bales

Developing your supporter database your New Year’s resolution?

Offering you the chance to freshen-up your fundraising, Pell & Bales might have the answers to make your 2013 wishes come true! We’re now giving away more free campaigns to round-off our 21st Birthday celebrations, promising a prosperous start to the year for a host of lucky causes.

With six spaces left to fill, we’ve spent the last year working in close-partnership with charities such as AVERT, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Tommy’s, RLSB and British Forces Foundation, raising over £123,000 in testing new fundraising techniques. This includes Monthly Giving through Mobile Phones, Donor get Donor & Advocate fundraising, Online Prospecting and Event fundraising.

Looking to be inspired by all your fundraising objectives, we can’t wait to hear what fundraising issues you want to address. We hope too that by removing the cost we are removing the risk of testing new fundraising initiatives – perhaps to you, ‘new’ is doing tele-fundraising full stop, or perhaps you might be inspired by some of the things that we would love to get our teeth into next year:

Connected – Why not be the latest client to test the game-changing monthly mobile giving platform. This new system allows supporters to take control of their monthly SMS gift direct from their mobile phone and delivers engaging content to that very same hand set. This regular giving platform is particularly attractive to small charities as the transactions, reporting and communication program are managed for you, from a hosted database.

•Donor Stewardship & Loyalty- We’re already leading the sector in using the phone to drive loyalty with our unique welcome and thank you calls, but we’re keen to take this further: Customer Services and Customer Satisfaction calls account for 38% of outbound phone calls in the commercial sector, yet account for just 1% in our sector! Why not choose 2013 to work with us and steward your donors with satisfaction surveys, SMS thank you’s, ‘wow’ moments, loyalty incentives and more shared, meaningful moments?

•Donor Led – Listening to the supporter, asking the right thing at the right time and presenting them with a choice in how they want to help your charity could yield huge rewards. And the phone can work extremely well as a channel for presenting those choices and guiding the donor through the decision making process towards supporting the charity in the way that they will have most impact.

•Integrating Channels & Multi Stage Campaigns – Maybe you already use the phone and would like to explore how integrating email or SMS can uplift results? Or perhaps you would like to use the phone to boost response rates to your mail pack? Why not take advantage of Pell & Bales multi-channel, integrated, CRM platform?

•2 Stage Recruitment – Acquisition of regular givers is tough, but acquisition becomes much easier when you break the process down into two stages however: 1. Attract the prospects or ‘hand raisers’, perhaps via SMS, Face to Face or from your website, and 2. Use the phone to convert them to Direct Debit. (This approach to acquisition deserves a whole other blog in itself – a blog we are sure to write up in the New Year!)

With the current batch of campaigns coming to an end and project reviews and case studies being pulled together, we are now looking forward to the exciting fundraising opportunities that lie ahead from the next set of lucky winners. So hurry and apply now to be in with a chance of winning!

Email for an application form. Application forms need to be completed by January 31st.

How to Reduce Donor Attrition by a Third in 3 Minutes

As we discussed in last week’s blog a 10% increase in donor loyalty today would enhance the lifetime value of your fundraising database by up to 200%!

At Pell & Bales we’re doing exactly that – helping our charity clients increase loyalty by at least 10% in one 3 minute conversation.

In the last 18 months we have developed a solid approach to loyalty calls that’s reducing attrition savings by a 3rd in the immediate few months after the call, delivering a year 1 ROI of 3:1 and breaking even by month 3.

In fact, for every £100 spent c. £1,000 is generated in year one income!

And that’s just measuring the savings in attrition. Beyond that there are other rewards to reap from enhanced loyalty & engagement. One client has reported a 50% increase in response to a subsequent event ask and another reports a 30% increase in response to an upgrade ask.

How it works

  • Design a call that is about the donor – not about the charity and definitely not about fundraising or the charity needs. The aim is to make giving feel good, rewarding, involving and impactful
  • Allow yourself a budget, time and resource to have a real conversation with supporters
  • It’s not so much about what you say, more about how you make donors feel: listen to what they have to say, let them visualize and contextualize the impact of their gift, inspire them. Make them feel part of the bigger picture, the solution, and reinforce that their vision is your vision; that you will deliver on your promises, on your joint mission
  • Create a check list of known drivers in loyalty and commitment and address them through conversation (we use Sargeant and Woodliffe research, gathered supporter insight and our own research here)
  • Weave anti-attrition messaging into the conversation: be flexible and accommodating – offer payment holidays or even downgrades where appropriate
  • Encourage multiple relationships and a greater involvement and increased interaction in the cause (but don’t ask them for more support)

Why it works

No other channel offers the personal human interaction of the telephone. Loyalty is about relationship building, but how are you going to do that if you can’t hear what the other person’s saying? The phone allows a supporter to tell you what’s important to them, to ask you questions and to build rapport in the way they just can’t do with a piece of paper or video.

Third Sector’s latest ‘Giving Trends’ research says that the telephone is the most effective way to solicit donations. Now we know it’s also the best way to retain and nurture donors.

A conversation like this sets the tone for the relationship between you and your supporter.  Calls work particularly well when placed early on in the donor relationship. With the most significant attrition happening within months 0-4 it is advisable to place a loyalty call before their first Direct Debit payment has been made.

Results by recruit source

Across multiple clients and various data sources we consistently see a reduction in attrition, post call of c.1/3rd

And while the effects of the call do start to taper off a little over time, there is still a lasting impact 16 months after the phone conversation!

Look out for further blogs where I will explore Sargeant and Woodliffe’s  ‘key drivers of commitment’ (Service Quality; Risk; Shared Beliefs; Learning; Personal Link; Multiple Engagements and Trust) and how they can be translated into your donor communications.


A Magic Moment


A couple of weeks ago Craig Linton [aka Fundraising Detective] came to our offices to talk to us about creating supporter ‘magic moments’

Magic Moments; Surprise & Delight; Wow Moments: these are the buzz words in the sector and on the lips of those in-the-know about great donor stewardship

We love the concept here at Pell & Bales, and I’ll be sure to write a blog about this subject and the telephone very soon. But in the mean time we would like to share our very own Magic Moment. It came less than 24 hours after Craig’s visit and quite literally had us ‘wowing’ in the office. Thank you team bibic….


Dear Pell & Bales,

We are totally and utterly over the moon!!! Thank you so much for choosing bibic to benefit from one of your free campaigns – we are so excited at the opportunity. It is bibic’s 40th birthday this year and you could not have given us a better gift!…

….The team here are really looking forward to working with Pell & Bales as you can see below… the photo is a bit blurry because it was taken by our Accounts Manager and he gets a bit excitable when we talk about regular giving! 

 I hope that you have a brilliant Bank Holiday weekend and, once again, thank you for your tremendous support of our work to transform the lives of disabled children.

With very best wishes

Jess Winchester, Fundraising & Communications Manager, bibic


The IFC: Old Stuff & New Stuff


On my return from the annual International Fundraising Congress in Amsterdam recently my mind is full to bursting.

As always I was exposed to debate, case studies, insight and trends. We covered channels, products, messaging, donor journeys and donor behaviours. There were also practical workshops on how to ‘innovate’, ‘develop a fundraising strategy’ and ‘manage change’.

But the real value for me and the reason that I love IFC is the luxury of time away from the day job; 72 hours to submerge myself in fundraising, learning, thinking and debating with some of the best fundraisers in the world.

I have learnt far too much to cover in one blog post. So instead I will report back on what the common themes were – the hot topics. It is a useful exercise to establish what the sector as a whole is currently thinking about and inspired by, and to pinpoint our greatest challenges and opportunities.

So here are the things that came up over and over. I have split my list into the Old Stuff (the tried and tested, keeping sight of what we already know and doing what we already do better) and the New Stuff (less traditional techniques, the unknown and the opportunities).

Old Stuff

Stewardship: Thanking, Loyalty, Engagement.

OK, the sector has been aware and inspired by the likes of Ken Burnett’s ‘Relationship Fundraising’ for over 20 years now. But it feels like we are now seeing a real gear change: We can no longer get away with simply weaving a few words of thanks into our appeals and sending out a newsletter. Real stewardship is more than that. It requires more thought, resources and budget. We are certainly observing this change at P&B also, in the way that charities are using the phone (more on that in future blogs).

Not convinced? Watch this amazing video from Charity: Water and ask yourself how you would feel on receiving this personal thanks. Or more importantly, how would you feel about the one charity that did NOT thank you properly? It seems there is a real danger in being the last to start doing this.


There were lots of sessions on storytelling. In summary we learnt that these days your brand matters less than your story. Tell the story right and people will give, regardless of their familiarity with you.

Tell an emotional, compelling and urgent story with a beginning middle and end: good old fashion fundraising!

New Stuff

Digital fundraising

Video was championed by many as the ultimate medium for inspiring and engaging donors and potential donors. Demand for video is big – YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine after Google and this is set to grow. Put simply, when people are online they want to watch not read.

Unsurprisingly social media was discussed a fair bit. Despite a few good examples the general consensus was that social media is still not a big player in fundraising. ‘Likes’ and ‘going viral’ are not translating into hard cash.

And something that surprised me was that online gaming cropped up a fair bit. On reflection this makes sense, and I look around me and see some charities doing this already (see National Trust’s MyFarm for example). Think about what makes the gaming industry so successful for a minute – the enjoyment, the incentives, the rewards, the fear of missing out and of course the addictiveness! We can learn so much from this world.

Overall the message on digital fundraising was clear. Don’t wait for others to test first – things are moving too fast and you will miss the boat.


Innovation is another buzz word in the sector right now. Looking at the common fundraising challenges it is easy to see why – to keep donors engaged we need to hold their attention. To acquire new donors in a competitive environment we need to stand out, offer choice and make giving fun. And with so many new channels to explore and the ever changing online and social media world we need to work harder and faster to stay in the game.


Next year, the IFC promises to help us push forward with innovation and new media, and answer our questions by introducing speakers and content from outside the NFP sector. I can’t wait. In the mean time I am left with many nuggets of insight and inspiration that will drive me to do new things, and do old things better.

I am certainly not the only person to be so enthused and inspired by the conference. Find more learning and thoughts from others here: 101 Fundraising, Fledgling Fundraiser, Mark Phillips, Paul de Gregorio