By Jeff Kubler
Fundraising: it's a necessary evil in the world of campaigns and organizations. Few enjoy it, yet it has to be done, and with that being the case, you might as well get the most out of it. You've invested a lot of time and energy into developing the messaging and delivery of your fundraising content, and doing everything possible to ensure that it is as powerful and impactful as possible is of paramount importance. One method that is available to complement your existing fundraising efforts is with an automated call from a leader, prominent supporter, or endorser of your organization.
Such a message sent before and/or after your campaign hits their mailbox could remind them to expect your material in the coming days, or encourage them to seek it out if it got lost in the shuffle. It also provides the side benefit of providing another means to inform your supporters about what your organization is working towards and how they can help. Getting the most out of the valuable resources put into creating, publishing, and mailing your campaign is critical, and complementing it with an automated call is one method that can improve the effectiveness of your effort.
Another method to improve the effectiveness of your fundraising appeals could be the utilization of a telephone townhall. A townhall hosted by a leader within your organization and perhaps a prominent endorser would serve as a direct, live, and personal reminder of the efforts of your organization over the past few months, along with your plans and goals for the rest of 2013. Donations could be collected during the event as well as participants would have the option to be sent directly to a staffer or volunteer who could take down their information or accept payment. It could also be used as an avenue for you to receive feedback from your grassroots supporters (as anyone could join for free and without travel complications) regarding what has worked and what could be improved upon in the coming year. This can done in a controlled manner as well as calls from supporters requesting to ask questions or interact live are screened and the responses can be monitored and adjusted to ensure the townhall stays on message or to deal with an unexpected distraction.
A unique option that could be utilized on the automated call is to use a patch-through fundraising option. Patch-through calls, where the listener is invited to press a key and go to a legislative office is a very common way to generate calls to offices hoping to influence a vote. These are highly used by liberals, but are gaining interest among conservatives as a way to engage the base and can also be used to solicit support. In this option, the patch-through automated call goes to a supporter with a message asking for support and the key pressed takes them to your office where they can make a donation to a waiting office staff, saving you the expense of having to pay for live callers.
In the end, by utilizing multiple modes of communication, you engage your donors on several levels and improve the odds that they’ll take time out of their day to contribute a portion of their valuable resources to your organization. Your message and mission need to be clear, and it needs to be heard. Do what you can to finish the quarter off strong and don't let your messaging get lost in the shuffle.