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Fundraising Over the Phone

Fundraising Over the Phone






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    Fundraising Over the Phone Fundraising Over the Phone Document Transcript

    • Page 1 of2 Effective telephone Online Edition Note: This online version fundraising methods may contain additionalSeptember material or otherwise differ1998 from what By Mark Tuniewicz appeared in the LP National Treasurer printed edition. Sometimes, funding an important campaign or ballot access drive can seem daunting -- especially if you dont know where to start. "If only we had the money," is an oft-heard refrain.~ Wouldnt it be nice for your state, county, or local party organization to have all the money it needed for a specificlil project? Or if your campaign for local office had more money than the incumbent? Im here to tell you: You can raise all the money you need for that campaign or project. Heres how: First, you need a cause! Campaigns, ballot access, hiring . a paid staffer, any of these will work, so long as there is a clear and easily understood perceived value associated with the cause. Second, youll need a plan: Variables here include number of volunteers, number of members to be contacted, and number of calls per day. Assuming an all-volunteer effort with 500 statewide members and 10 volunteers making five calls per night, the time needed to call everyone would be about ten days ... plus a few extra for follow-up calls to folks missed the first time around. (Calls should be made Sunday-Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm, or during the day on Saturday). Only have six volunteers? Fine! It will take a bit longer to finish, but will be well worth your effort. Have more? Great! Chances are, you have more members to call, too! Youll want to create a quick script for the volunteers to use on the phone so that your message to donors will be consistent. The script should talk about the important reasons why their contribution is needed now, and focus on the benefits of the project being completed. Then, the caller asks for a donation which is large enough to make a difference -- say, $250 or so, depending on the area you are in. Heres one nice touch Ive seen recently reported in Campaigns & Elections magazine: Involve your dozen or more largest contributors ("major donors") by approaching them first and in-person. Your State Chair -- or someone with similar credibility, like a well-known candidate -- should explain the cause at hand, share your written plan with them, tell how the money will be used, and what has been raised thus far. These donors will be asked for "matching funds," and its important to assure them that their check wont be used until the telephone fundraising effort matches them 100%, dollar for dollar. /""" 1:/Iv., dW .lp.org/lpn/9809- fundraising.html 2/21/L ------
    • LP News September 1998 - Effective telephone fundraising methods Page 2 of2 - This type of matching arrangement is a great motivator: Major donors are more comfortable since they are not being asked to go it alone with only their own contribution. These up-front donations of $500 or more help /"-;, motivate rank-and-file donors, since callers will tell them that each dollar they give will actually be worth two because of the matching effect! A certain amount of discipline is useful during the calling effort. Example: Elias Israel, the Executive Director for the LP affiliate in Massachusetts, ran a telephone fund raising drive based on a design by Michael Cloud in June of 1998. Eli arranged for volunteers working from home to telephone him each evening to report their specific results: How many calls attempted, who was reached, who got messages left, and who pledged money to the cause. Eli, in turn, kicked out electronic mail updates to the team each day summarizing the amount of major donor matching pledges remaining, total raised from each source, and remaining goal amount. Over a two week period, nine volunteers called about 450 members, with the State Chair calling about a dozen major donors. The result of Massachusetts first effort at telephone fundraising: Almost $14,000 raised in 15 days -- more than enough to fund the paid portion of the Massachusetts statewide ballot drive. Think about what that amount (or more, depending on your participation level) could do for you in this important, pre-election time. To be successful, you must raise money regularly and efficiently. This method is far superior to direct mail in many ways: Its personal, fast, project-specific, and tends to involve a good number of activists working together. Not only does telephone fundraising build teamwork, a successful fundraising drive reinforces the values which cause our supporters to donate in the first place -- and this success breeds future successes. You can do this. It will work for you. Start now for the November elections, and youll have the biggest campaign war chest in your states history. Period. * Contact Mark Tuniewicz (nhliberty@aol.com) or Elias Israel (eisrael@la~ma.org) for an e-mailed copy of the LPMA fundraising plan. Thanks to all the LPMA volunteers and donors for the inspiration for this column. E-mail Mark with your ideas for future "How-To" topics. LP HOME I PREVIOUS ARTICLE I NEXT ARTICLE I TABLE OF CONTENTShttp;llwww.lp.org/lpnl9809-fundraising.html 2/2112002
    • How To Raise Money For The Petition Drive By Phone Calling A Manual For Cook Campaign VolunteersThe fundraising plan described in this manual was designed by Michael Cloud. Mr. Cloudis arguably the best fund raiser in the history of the Libertarian Party and has held keystrategic roles in some of the top campaigns in party history, including Harry Browne1996, Harry Browne 2000, and Carla Howell 2000.This manual was compiled by Elias Israel. At the time of its writing, Mr. Israel was theLibertarian candidate for Lt. Governor of Massachusetts and the Executive Director forthe Libertarian Association of Massachusetts (now the Libertarian Party of Massachu-setts). Page 1 of 8
    • 1. How To Raise Money For The Petition Drive By Phone Call- ing This document is a manual for volunteers in the Cook for Governor campaign who are going to be calling the Libertarian Party membership in Massachu- setts for funds. Using the information in this manual, you should be able to learn how to make fundraising phone calls for the Cook campaigns petition drive, what to do with the pledges and other information you collect, and how to be an instant success at all of it.1.1. Background To get our statewide slate of candidates on the ballot, we need to submit 17,000 signatures to the Elections Commission or Registrar of Voters in the 351 town in Massachusetts. Our deadline for the completion of petitioning is June 25, 1998. Only by targeting this date can we be assured that well have the numbers that we need in time to have the registrars certify them and re- turn them. Then we have to turn them in to the Secretary of the Common- wealth for final counting and certification. At present, we have approximately 6,000 signatures in hand. In order to reach our goal, well need about 11,000 m.ore signatures before the dead- line. Although there will be some volunteer petitioning going on, the bulk of our signatures will be collected by paid petitioners. Paid petitioners are more reliable and more manageable than volunteer petitioners. However, each sig- nature that they bring in will cost us about one dollar. Therefore, we need $11,000 to complete the petitioning and we need it within the next 10 days in order to have sufficient cash flow available to pay our petitioners. In order to raise the needed funds, we will be calling the Libertarian Party membership here in Massachusetts to solicit the support that we need. This manual will provide you with the information that you need to perform those fundraising phone calls consistently and easily. If you follow the instructions in this manual, you should be able to raise $400.00 per hour of effort. If we fail to get our candidates on the ballot, we have virtually zero chance of collecting enough ballots in the general election to return our party to major status. Without major party status, our presidential candidate in 2000 will have to petitipn to be on the ballot all over again and it will cost up to twice as much per signature. Also, because the nominating convention for the presidential candidate will be in July, well have a much shorter amount of time than before to collect the needed signatures. Page 2 of 8
    • Failure to get on the ballot will also have dire consequences for the growth of the party here in Massachusetts. We must keep and maintain ballot status in order to be considered a viable party by the voters and the press.1.2. Phone Calling Process The calling process has three parts: 1. Preparation 2. The Calls Themselves 3. Reporting Your Results You must do each of these things every night that you do your calling. Every evening, youll start out by making sure that you have the materials, the knowledge, and the mindset to do your calling. Every night, youll make ex- actly the number of calls scheduled for that evening. And every night you must follow up by phoning in your results to the fundraising coordinator. Each of these items is explained in detail below. Please be sure to read each of the following sections carefully before you start calling every evening.1.2.1. Preparation To be prepared to do telephone fundraising, you must first collect the materi- als that youll need. You will need: 1. This instruction manual 2. A list of 15 names to call, provided to you by the fundraising coordinator 3. A telephone 4. A comfortable chair and your favorite non-alcoholic beverage 5. A total of 90 minutes without interruption Gather these things together and get comfortable. Once you have the materi- als that you need, sit down and read this manual. Read it over every time you get ready to make calls and dont skip over things. By reading these instruc- tions again every time, youll reinforce the messages that we want to convey and youll improve your chances of success.1.2.2. Making the Calls Once you have prepared the materials, selected a comfortable place to work, and gone over these instructions, begin making calls. Begin by simply dialing the numbers. Dont agonize over them. Dont think about them. Dont play Page 3 of 8
    • The types of fundraising that will work for a given state party have to do with the types ofexpertise you have available to you and -- most importantly -- the number of donors youhave to work with.To a first approximation, the number of donors in a state is roughly equal to the numberof unique national LP members plus state LP members. Then add to that anyone who hasgiven you any kind of money in the last year or two, even things like registration fees atconventions. This is your "house list."After UMP, the easiest source of funds is EVENT FUNDRAISING. A good convention,which has as its aim from start to finish to energize and enliven those who attend, and toshow them worthy projects that the state party can engage in, is a reliable fundraisingopportunity. A reasonable estimate is that a fundraising pitch made properly at the end ofa dinner banquet should bring in $80 - $100 per person sitting at the banquet (above andbeyond event registration fees). A skilled pitch delivery at the end of a very goodconvention can do as much as $120 per person.MONTHLY PLEDGES are probably the next most accessible method, and possibly evenmore valuable than event fundraising because they provide recurring income. Our friendsin Indiana have practically made a science out of this. Most of it involves relentlesslyasking people to join the pledge program, often in addition to or instead of their annualconvention donations.TELEMARKETING is surprisingly accessible for most state parties. All it really requiresis a handful of dedicated folks to call the house list, explain a current project, and ask forfunds.To do this most effectively, you should develop a calling plan and a script that tells eachvolunteer what to say, what to ask for, and how to collect the contact and paymentinformation youll need to process each donation.DIRECT MAIL -- and direct response techniques in general-- are the beginning ofthe"mass" methods for fundraising. As such, theyre much harder for small state parties touse effectively. With a house list of approximately 1,200 people, which would be typicalfor a mid-sized affiliate, direct mail is usually too hit-or-miss. What makes direct mailwork is numbers: large lists reduce your per-piece printing and mailing costs, and theygive you more chances to make a hit. Whats more, once your list gets into sizeablethousands (above 5,000, say), then you can subset your list to test your mailings beforeyou commit all your money. With a small list, its nearly impossible to do that right.There is ONE FUNDRAISING LETTER THAT ALL STATE PARTIES SHOULD BEDOING RIGHT NOW. This is a trick we learned from our friends in Colorado: 30f4
    • Right after your annual convention, total up the dollars donated by the attendees and themoney they spent on registrations, gifts, etc. (basically, any money they gave the stateparty that day) and divide it by the number of attendees. This gives you your averagedonation for the day.Then write a direct mail piece talking about the convention, what happened, what yourplans and projects are for the year ahead, and tell the reader what the average donationwas. Ask them to match what their fellow Libertarians gave. Send this letter to all thoseon your house list who did not attend the convention. Works like a charm, because manypeople want to help but might not have been able to attend.The last method listed above is INTERNET APPEALS, both email and web. For emailappeals, the same issue of list size as with direct mail comes up here.For web fundraising, the ability to join on the web is definitely beneficial and will bringin members and donations you would not otherwise have gotten. A technically astutevolunteer can set the whole thing up in a few weeks, but it is definitely worthwhile to payfor graphics design and proper layout to make joining seem appealing and easy tounderstand.These are some basic skills and ideas that all of our affiliates can use to strengthen theirfundraising. 40f4
    • the numbers in your head. Just Dial Them! Rush in immediately and any ini- tial uneasiness that you feel will vanish right away.You Just Have To Dial 15 NumbersIts important to remember that your goal is simply to make 15 calls, not nec-essarily to talk to 15 people. If you get an answering machine, leave a mes-sage and move on. If you get a busy signal, put that number aside and call itagain in few minutes after youve tried some others. If you get no answer,again put the number aside for a little while and try it again later or on an-other night.When To CallThe evenings to call are Sunday through Thursday nights. Most people areout on Friday or Saturday evenings anyway. The best part of the evening tocall is between 7:00PM and 9:30PM. Never start your calling before 7:00PMand never make any calls after 9:30PM. If youre scheduling your 90-minuteslot, either start at 7PM and go until 8:30, or start at 8PM and go until 9:30,or some combination like that.What To SaySee section 1.3 for a complete description of the scripts that you should use.Dont vary them. Use them verbatim if possible. Dont embellish them. Cam-paign donors and party members are often friends and neighbors with oneanother. They talk to each other. Its vitally important that when they do talkto each other, theyll see that were all saying the same thing to everyone. Itwill help the credibility of the campaign for all of the campaign messages -especially fundraising messages - are consistent. Conversely, if people talkto one another and find out that the messages are inconsistent, they will losefaith in the campaign and they wont contribute.What To RecordFor each call that you make, record on your call sheet what date and time youmade the initial call, whether you spoke to the person directly or left a mes-sage, whether they called back, how much they pledged, and what the checknumber is (for those who pledge). See the script below for how to collect all ofthis information.When To Stop CallingYour goal is to make 15 calls or work for 90 minutes, whichever comes first. Ifyou finish with your 15 calls early, stop working. Dont punish yourself fordoing your job. Reward yourself by knocking off for the evening and gettingon with your life. This is volunteer work, not a prison sentence. Page 4 of 8
    • Give Yourself Permission To Fail You have to give yourself permission to faiL If some idea of a "perfect" eve- ning of calling keeps you from making the calls, well all be worse off than if you just make a few calls anyway and do the best that you can. Its OK if you arent Dale Carnegie reincarnated and ready to sweet-talk your way into peoples hearts. You dont have to be. All you need to be is a dedicated volun- teer honestly trying to help out the Cook For Governor Campaign in getting candidates on the ballot.1.2.3. Reporting Results After you complete your calling, you must call the fundraising coordinator to report your results. Report your results every night without exception. If you put it off, youre likely to forget some important piece of information or, worse yet, you may forget to report in entirely. This effort cant succeed without timely and complete information. The fundraising coordinator is: Elias Israel 105 Lexington Street Burlington, MA 01803 (781) 270-9441 Call him every night immediately after you finish your phone calling and tell him the following things: 1. The name of every person that you called. 2. Whether you spoke to them or left a message, etc. 3. Whether they pledged, and if so, what was the amount. 4. If they pledged, the check number on their check.1.3. Anatomy of A Successful Call This section outlines the information that you need in order to make the phone calls, ask people for help, and answer their questions. To understand the success strategies for these calls, please review section 1.3.1 below, enti- tled "The Three Keys." Section 1.3.2, "The Phone Calling Script," will provide you with the exact wording and pacing that you should use when speaking to donors on the phone, and will provide you with step-by-step instructions for collecting the information that we need to track our progress. Page 5 of 8
    • 1.3.1. The Three Keys There are three keys to a successful phone call. These are three things that you have to communicate to the person on the other end of the phone: 1. We have a real deadline. If we dont make it, the campaign is as good as over. 2. Theyre getting something real for their money. Theyre not giving their money for nothing. Were doing this to get our candidate on the bal- lot, to make our play to re-establish the Libertarian Party as a major party in Massachusetts, and entirely eliminate the need to do petitioning in 2000. 3. Theyre not going it alone. We are speaking to a number oflarger do- nors who will provide matching funds for every dollar that they donate. Every dollar that they give will be worth $2 to the campaign. Real Deadline We have a real, hard deadline: June 25. Thats just 21 days away. Right now, we have around 6,000 signatures in hand. To meet our goal of 17,000 signatures, well need to collect 11,000 more in the next 21 days. Each of those signatures costs us $1.00 because weve gone the professional route and hired paid petitioners to collect them. That means we need to raise $11,000 in the next 10 days. The folks at the national LP are helping us recruit even more petitioners to make sure that we have enough manpower to get the job done. But we have to have the funds in hand to pay these petitioners or we wont get the signa- tures that we need. What They Get For Their Money Completing the petitioning is crucial because without it our Libertarian ticket will not be on the ballot in 1998. Not only would that be hugely demor- alizing for our party membership here in Massachusetts (and completely counter to our recent exciting growth and professionalism), it would mean that we cant regain major party status in 1998. If we dont regain major party status, then our presidential candidate in 2000 will have to do the same petitioning all over again, at up to twice the cost and with just half of the time. By raising the money that we need now and win- ning the 3% we need to regain major party status, well save the LP and our presidential candidate up to $30,000 or $40,000 in 2000. If we get on the bal- lot, we have every expectation of being able to get the 3% of the vote that we need in at least one of the statewide races, but we need to get on the bal- lot if we even want to have a shot. Page 6 of 8
    • Bottom Line: Every dollar that they give now is 3 or 4 dollars that they wont need to give in 2000. Were saving them money. Thats the proposition. Matching Contributions Our contributors are not going it alone. No one likes to think that they are the only ones propping up the whole party. Thats why were using a "buddy" system. A small number of large donors are being approached at the same time to raise additional money. But none of the money that we raise from the large donors can be used until weve raised a matching amount from smaller donors. Because of this, each dollar that they give is really worth $2 to the petitioning effort and the campaign. Use this to your advantage when talking to people. Say to them: Ive got a checks for $500 each from several large donors, but I cant use them until Ive got a matching amount from other donors, too. Ive collected pledges worth $350 (e.g.) from other donors tonight, so if you can give just $150, well get to use one of those $500 checks right now.1.3.2. The Phone Calling Script OK, youre in your comfortable chair. Youve got your materials and your fa- vorite non-alcoholic beverage, and youve gone over the materials. Youre ready to make the calls. Heres the script that you should use: You: Hi, My name is your name and Im your title in the LP or the campaign. Im calling to talk to you about our peti- tioning effort to get on the ballot and to ask for your help. Notice that youre going to tell them what youre calling about right up front. About titles: If youre a candidate, say so. If youre a board member or other officer, mention that. If youre "just" an campaign volunteer, say "Im a cam- paign volunteer." Everybodys got a title of some kind. Them: OK. If they fight you at this point, move on. Some people wont want to hear about it. Some will ask you to call at another time, and some will want to engage you in some other topic of conversation. End the call politely if they dont want to give and move on. Schedule a time to talk to them if they dont have time now and write down the schedule time. Then end the call and move on. If they want to talk about some other thing, tell them youd be happy to have the Campaign Manager, or the Party Chair, or the Party Executive Director (whichever seems most appropriate) call them back at some other time to talk about it. Then go back to the topic you called for. Page 7 of 8
    • You: The Cook for Governor campaign is working hard to get all of our statewide candidates on the ballot in November. Right now, we have x,xxx signatures of the 17,000 that we need. That means we need yy,yyy more signatures before our deadline of June 25. Because were using professional, paid petitioners, each of those signatures will cost us $1 a piece. That means we have to raise $11,000 in the next 10 days. Its very important that we get our candidates on the bal- lot this year. Because if we dont, well lose our very good chance to regain Major Party status here in Massachu- setts. If we dont regain major party status, then our presidential candidate will have to go through this peti- tioning process allover again, at around twice the cost and with just half the time. If we do get our major party status back, our presidential candidate gets to be on the ballot for free in 2000. That means that every dollar that we collect tonight represents 3 or 4 dollars that we wont have to spend on petitioning in 2000. We could save the LP up to $30,000 or $40,000 in 2000 by raising just $11,000 today. Dean Cook and his campaign staff are meeting with some very influential donors here in Massachusetts. Those donors are going to set aside matching funds for this petitioning cam- paign. That means that every dollar that we collect tonight is actually worth $2 to the petitioning effort and to the campaign, but only if we can raise the money to match it. By Massachusetts Law, each person can donate up to $500. Can you help us today with $500?1.4. Tips and Techniques Page 8 of 8