Check whether people still don't want to be contacted, charity fundraisers urged

They may have changed their minds, Karl Holweger of Pell & Bales tells International Fundraising Congress

Phoning people who have told a charity not to do so and asking them to change their minds can be an effective fundraising technique, delegates to the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands have been told.

Karl Holweger, chief executive of telephone fundraising agency Pell & Bales, said about two-thirds of such calls resulted in people changing their minds. He said 8 per cent of the people contacted in this way objected to it.

"If three or four years ago someone asked you not to contact them by phone, they might feel differently about it now," he said. "It's worth putting a call in just to see whether they do."

At the workshop on telephone fundraising, Holweger also said that asking fundraisers not to accept one-off donations over the phone was an effective strategy.

"Obviously it can be difficult to turn money down, but we have found that fundraisers bring in more monthly direct debits if they are told to refuse one-off gifts," he said.

He added that charities should link up their separate databases of volunteers, donors, campaigners and customers of the charity's trading arm. "Some charities have more than 40 databases," he said. "You could be contacting the same person 20 times in a month without realising it."



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