Over the last few weeks, I've been posting about a wide variety of best practices to improve contact rates in phonathon. This post will serve to consolidate this information and recap the recommendations.
It is not possible to raise money from someone that you can't get in touch with, so contact rate is crucial to a healthy phonathon. When your contact rate improves, you will raise more money even if call quality doens't improve at all. It is not optional. You must have a plan to get your data clean and valid and keep it that way.
First Steps to Improve Phonathon Contact Rates: This post outlines the importance of contact rates and details the basic research processes that every phonathon should be doing prior to loading data for the year.
Next Steps to Improve Your Phonathon Contact Rate (Wireless ID and Wireless Append): This post lays out the trends with respect to households transitioning to wireless only. Your database must manage phone types properly to accommodate this shift. There are also new data research tools that you need to make use of to acquire cell phone numbers.
Continuing to Improve Phonathon Contact Rates (Most Best Practices): In this installment, I recommend that you manage your data so that you do not load known invalid phone numbers for calling again. Once you remove those invalids, you'll need to find more groups to call and I show you how to lobby to call new colleges, schools or units.
Improving Contact Rates in Phonathon with Where-Are-You-Now Emails: Besides making good use of data research services, you should also go to your constituents and ask them to update their information. In this post, I give an overview of sending next day "where-are-you" emails and "where-are-you" email blasts.
Young Alumni, Contact Rates and the History of Cell Phones: This post shows why young alumni are a strong group for contact rate and gives a comprehensive argument for why you should not remove young alumni from phonathon.
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you implement these strategies, your contact rate will improve. Improved contact rate in your phonathon will mean more money for your institution. Please comment below and let me know your results.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.