In order to have a productive phonathon program, it is necessary to begin by answering the question: “Why is phonathon an important vehicle for fundraising?” Answering this question will provide clearly articulated goals that will help guide and drive fundraising philosophy.
Phonathon is an important vehicle for annual fundraising because it uniquely provides:
The five pillars listed above provide a framework for decision-making about all annual giving vehicles and thinking about how your phonathon accomplishing each of these goals will help phonathon managers and annual giving directors to lobby for the phone program, advocating for its many strategic uses throughout the year.
When you are talking with decision makers around campus, make sure you don't just focus on the dollars that you phonathon raises. Make sure you show how many new major gifts that year began as annual fund gifts. Make sure you note how many addresses you updated and emails you acquired. Make you tell how many new donors and alumni you got to make their first gift. And make sure you cite how many conversations happened (whether or not they resulted in a gift). It is almost always true that phonathon talks directly to more constituents of a university than any other single entity on campus. Make you also mention how many student jobs your call center provides. Give a holistic picture of all that a phonathon program adds to the life of your institution.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.