Phonathon: From Preparation through Follow-Up

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This webinar is designed for organizations conducting phonathons using volunteers or paid in-house staff, Board or students. We will cover the steps to take for a successful phonathon before, during …

This webinar is designed for organizations conducting phonathons using volunteers or paid in-house staff, Board or students. We will cover the steps to take for a successful phonathon before, during and after the event. In addition to data-related issues, we will define ways to make the calling location comfortable, offer tips on how to get callers interested and motivated, best times to call, and much more.

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  • 1. Phonathon: From Preparation through Follow-Up Kelly Sheetz November 15, 2011A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 2. Protecting and Preserving the Institutional Memories of Nonprofits Since 1993 (866) 598-0430 info@cjwconsulting.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 4. Today’s Speaker Kelly Sheetz Director of Development Services and Operations North Park UniversityAssisting with chat questions: Hosting:April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars Cheryl J Weissman, CJW Consulting & Services, Inc.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 5. Phonathon Preparation/FollowupGetting data and human resources ready forwhat happens before, during and after the calling Presented by 8331 Central Avenue Morton Grove, IL 60053 800/977-6377
  • 6. Steps for a Successful Phonathon Who do we call  Create calling pools  Groups of prospective donors matched with callers Prepare needed materials  Training materials  Scripts (do not steal/reuse)  Pledge Cards
  • 7. Steps for a Successful Phonathon Prepare for Training/Warmup  Explain training materials  Plan exercises/role play The right location  Parking available?  Directions to location  Good space for serving food
  • 8. Before Data Management  Develop pre-call list  Compile good prospect list(s)  Organize into calling pools  Eliminate duplication  Develop a pledge card  Design call sheets  Demographics  Giving history  Class year, etc
  • 9. Before Send a pre-call letter  Include response device/envelope  Let constituents know when calls will begin  Ask for gift now to have their name removed from call list for this phonathon
  • 10. Before Location, location, location  Lots of phones  Good food, beverages, snacks  Confirm site 1-2 days prior  Arrange for cleanup each night When to call  Best evenings said to be Tuesday through Thursday, best times 6:30 to 9:30 PM  9:30 might be too late for some donors – know your constituents!
  • 11. Before Volunteers  Allow 4-6 weeks to recruit  Get 1/3 more than needed, twice as many workers as phones  Callers can pair up with one calling, one doing paperwork; then switch  Volunteers uncomfortable on phones can do clerical tasks  REMIND Volunteers a week prior Make it enjoyable  Get a photographer
  • 12. Before Volunteers  Educate your callers  Communicate value  Be passionate  Say thank you first to those who are already donors  Don’t give up at “No”  INFORM your callers  What do we know about the people they are calling  Call Sheets  Ask Amounts  Provide packets  Letterhead, note cards, forms, stamps, etc.
  • 13. During Don’t focus on the money  Don’t sacrifice participation in the quest for a larger gift. You will need those donors in your pool Don’t use the same ask amounts every year  Tweak based on donor capacity to give and needs of the institution
  • 14. During Give each caller a packet Train volunteers  Mission  Goals for callers/phonathon  Explain all materials  Discuss confidentiality  Use of phones and script  Call length
  • 15. During Train volunteers  Recordkeeping requirements  Thank yous  TEAMWORK  ENCOURAGEMENT  Use demonstrations or role Ask volunteers to commit  Volunteers who have pledged/given will do better
  • 16. During Assign Rovers  Check on callers  Pick up paperwork  Bring water, snacks Watch the time  No one should be on the phone for more than 3 hours  If possible, have callers switch between calling/clerical work
  • 17. After Ask volunteers to fill out questionnaire Mail thank you letters Review/record lessons learned Compute statistics Send summary to all volunteers Update your database!!  Do Not Calls, updated demographic info, etc.
  • 18. Using Data Compute Statistics  #/$ of pledges  Average pledge  # Unspecified pledges  # Reached  # Refusals  # Unreachable
  • 19. After Remember: Statistics have shown that 5% of people who say no are truly unable to give, up to 50% will not be at home when you call, and pledges of unspecified amounts can increase the bottom line by up to 50%
  • 20. Using Data Update your database!  Do Not Call  Demographic information updates  Email  New Phone number  Death/divorce  Etc.  Enter pledges  Indicate unspecified pledges
  • 21. A few more thoughts Supervisors/Managers  Don’t gloss over the warmup  Do manage callers during phone hours  Don’t use the time for paperwork, etc. Telemarketing  More effective with cold calls/non-donors  Will not get discouraged by repeated refusals  Try to pair callers with prospects they know
  • 22. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: