After last week’s focus on sexy social media, it is with some trepidation that I turn this week to — dare I say it?! — mundane telephone fundraising. So yesterday.

At first I wasn’t going to do this. We received an email from Rebecca Patterson at Pell & Bales, who offered a three-part series on telephone fundraising her agency had prepared for its blog.

Being a provincial American, I thought … Nah, who is Pell & Bales anyway, never heard of them?

But we hardly ever hear from advocates of telemarketing, so off I went to their website to check them out.

Whoa! Pell and Bales, founded in 1990, has raised over £1 billion for charity via the phone for its mostly UK clients, passing that milestone over a year ago. Very impressive. That convinced me they were worth listening to.

However, the release announcing that milestone included this even more remarkable notice — the company’s most successful individual fundraiser raised just under £3.5 million from 88,000 telephone calls over 17 years of employment. That’s an average of about £40 per call. What an accomplishment! That’s $5.5 million and $63 respectively for our US readers.

Imagine being a devoted, successful caller for 17 years! According to our latest survey, only 15% of Agitator readers — professional fundraisers — have been in their current job more than 10 years. This veteran phoner puts most of us to shame.

But I digress.

Here is a compilation of the 3-part telephone fundraising series offered by Rebecca.

The three parts are:

1. Why the phone is a great fundraising tool. Here’s one reason …

2. How to use the phone across different fundraising programs.

3. Designing and delivering a campaign.

This is pretty basic stuff. And I wish they talked more about the ROI of different campaigns, given that many fundraisers would have doubts, not about the efficacy of telephone contact, but its cost-effectiveness.

That aside, if your nonprofit has not considered telemarketing, the Pell & Bales series is well worth a read.

Rebecca Patterson and Pell & Bales … you get an Agitator raise!

Tom

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