Preparing for Your TeleFundraising Volunteers

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It is almost time for your big Fall Phonathon.  Last month, I shared with you a checklist to help you plan your phonathon campaign.  This month, I want to touch on ten important tips for preparing your telefundraising volunteers.

Before Your Phonathon Campaign;

  1. Recruit volunteers. Volunteers are a major piece of the phonathon puzzle.  You should begin your volunteer recruitment efforts at least six weeks before the tele-fundraising event. Additionally, you should recruit about a third more volunteers than you will actually need. Why? Because not all volunteers will show up; and of those who don’t show, very few will give you notice that they can’t make it. If you have extra callers on a given night, you can let people partner or tag team.
  2. Train volunteers.  Ensure that your volunteers are trained on three critical components:  your organization’s mission and values, the phonathon script, and how to use the telefundraising software.
  3. Remind volunteers when to show up. In a perfect world, everyone would put a note on their calendars and show up when and where they are supposed to be.  Since that’s not likely to happen, it’s up to you to remind your volunteers about training meetings and their assigned calling schedules. Send a reminder one week before and one day before the event.


During Your Phonathon Campaign;

  1. Focus on the mission.  It’s vitally important that your volunteers understand your organization’s mission, goals, and how the donations raised will be used. Donors will be more receptive to informed and enthusiastic volunteers.  Monitor calls to ensure that the mission is the focus of the calls and that volunteers are staying on task.
  2. Assign rovers. In addition to using call monitor features that come with the right phonathon software, you can assign rovers to walk the room to provide encouragement, answer questions, and give support to your volunteers.
  3. Set weekly individual goals. Work with your volunteers to help them set individual fundraising goals. Provide rewards or recognition for those individuals who hit their goals.  This gives your people incentive to work even harder.
  4. Provide food & drink. Don’t let the team lose steam due to hunger or thirst. Provide pizza or snacks and drinks. It’s a great way to show them you recognize and appreciate that they are taking time out of their regular schedules to volunteer.
  5. Take pictures and video.  Photos and video of your volunteers in action add a personal touch to your fundraising elements. Create a volunteer appreciation Pinterest board. Share your video on Vine or YouTube. Get volunteers to post their own photos to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  6. Ask for matching gifts. Be sure that your volunteers are remembering to ask donors about matching gifts. Many employers will match their employees’ gifts to charitable organizations.


After Your Phonathon Campaign;

  1. Thank your volunteers. After you have compiled the data and analyzed the success of your event, be sure to send a brief overview of highlights and successes and a thank-you note to each volunteer.  Let them see how their efforts paid off and underscore that their continued support is appreciated.

Remember, great volunteers and great systems will improve your tele-fundraising productivity. Start a VanillaSoft free trial now and be ready to train your volunteers for your Phonathon this Fall!