Guide to a Successful Phonathon Program
Establishing and maintaining relationships with constituents and encouraging new donors via phone has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. During these challenging years, Shift Fundraising has learned that people certainly respond better through communication channels they prefer and that they are definitely more inclined to designate support in correlation with their affinities. Shift has also found that, contrary to the notion that it is not worth the investment, phonathon is still a highly effective and productive way to cultivate engagement and garner support on an individual level, and there is no substitute for such personal contact.
Because high-performance phonathon programs require the right planning, people, training, incentives, communication methods, and reporting, the following outline is a guide to help you prepare and strategize for your next calling campaign.
I. Building the Call Team - As Benjamin Franklin professed, begin with the end in mind.
Hiring Strategy - Identify the sites and mediums through which you will be able to attract candidates with good communication skills.
Develop interview questions and a mock call screening process.
1. Outgoing Personality
2. Attentive to Questions
4. Motivated by Trackable Success
5. Positive Attitude
II. Call Team Training
1.Communication skills for telephone
2. Listening exercise
3. Scripting review and dissection
4. Mock calls - practice with multiple call scenarios
5. Software training
6. Objections and rebuttals
7. Negotiation techniques
8. Considering pledges and how to get a commitment
9. Customer Service
10. Process for handling complaints and difficult calls
III. Call Team Incentives
IV. Constituent Communication Methods & Capabilities
V. Pledge Fulfillment
VI. Performance Monitoring & Improvement
VII. Case for Support
Overall, Shift Fundraising has found that a properly planned, managed, and facilitated phonathon program generates a positive return on investment in the effort to achieve dollar and donor goals. Please accept Shift’s shared knowledge and experience as a resource that can help you overcome the challenges that may inhibit a successful calling campaign. If you would like to explore how the Shift team can assist with building or perfecting your phonathon, please don’t hesitate to reach out!