The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prevents companies from disturbing people by doing things like:
- Calling residential phone lines with prerecorded voices (robocalling).
- Calling wireless numbers with automatic phone dialing systems.
- Avoiding numbers placed on the Do-Not-Call Registry.
Luckily, nonprofits and charities do not have to follow TCPA regulations. The government assumes that nonprofit and charity organizations perform essential work that certain individuals require. Exempting the organizations from TCPA regulations, therefore, makes it easier for them to raise funds and connect with the people who need their services.
The legal exemption doesn’t mean that your nonprofit shouldn’t follow best practices, though. Even though the government says you don’t have to follow TCPA, your nonprofit telemarketing campaigns will become more effective when you follow ethical guidelines.
If your nonprofit telemarketing campaign annoys people, then your numbers will get flagged as spam by service providers or third-party smartphone apps.
Before you start your next campaign, make sure you have the right resources, follow ethical guidelines, and take precautions that will help prevent your numbers from getting listed as spam. The following advice will improve the results of most nonprofit telemarketing campaigns.
Decide Whether You Will Outsource Your Nonprofit Telemarketing Campaign
First, you need to decide whether you will conduct your nonprofit telemarketing campaign in house or outsource it to a call center. Both options have pros and cons.
If you outsource, you’ll have to pay a company to run the campaign for you. Then again, you won’t have to invest in any hardware or software. Plus, professional telemarketers might generate more donations than volunteers.
If you do everything in house, you will need to spend money on dialing hardware and software. It’s probably worth the investment if you plan to conduct ongoing campaigns. You might even find that you can save money by using volunteers instead of paid professionals.
Write Call Scripts That Focus on Your Organization’s Work and Results
Writing a persuasive script is essential to the success of your nonprofit telemarketing campaign. Most people don’t like getting unsolicited calls, so they’re already put off when an unknown number shows up on their phones.
A good script can help you overcome their wariness.
Make sure your script focuses on the impact that your organization’s work has on specific causes. Once you explain the good work that your group does, you can ask for donations or other forms of help. People are more likely to give when they know how their money will benefit others and their communities.
Give Your Agents the Equipment They Need to Succeed
Whether you use volunteers or a paid staff, your agents need equipment that will help them succeed. The right tools could dramatically increase the amount of money you raise during your campaign.
Some essential software for your agents include:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software that lets agents see information about their contacts.
- Analytics/management software that lets you measure key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can fine-tune your approach for better results.
- Dialing software that performs tasks automatically so your agents become more productive.
The dialing method that you choose will influence the success of your nonprofit telemarketing campaign. Nonprofits and charities cannot use robocalling to contact mobile phones (unless the phone’s owner has given consent). When it comes to calling mobile devices, manual dialing will make it easier for you to reach a wider audience.
Don’t forget about keeping your agents motivated and incentivized. When morale breaks down, efficiency soon follows.
Manage Your Organization’s Nonprofit Telemarketing Campaign Reputation
Few things are more important than your nonprofit’s reputation. A good reputation will encourage people to support your efforts. If you develop a negative reputation, then you will lose financial and social support.
Your nonprofit telemarketing campaign has the risk of tarnishing your reputation. Taking the right precautions, however, gives you an opportunity to improve your reputation and help people become more acquainted with your work.
Register Your Phone Numbers and Caller ID
Registering your caller name delivery (CNAM) and outgoing phone numbers can help you improve your organization’s reputation. Even if someone decides not to contribute, a pleasant exchange with your call agent will create a positive association in the person’s mind.
Registering your numbers can also increase the number of people who answer their phones.
Think about it from a consumer’s perspective. Are you more likely to answer a call from “555-555-5555” or “Popular Charity That Does Important Work”?
Even if people don’t know your organization’s name, they’re still more likely to answer calls that display names instead of just numbers. Your name will make them feel more confident that they can accept your call without getting scammed.
Monitor Your Outbound Numbers for Flags
No matter how well you run your nonprofit telemarketing campaign, there is a chance that some of your organization’s outgoing numbers will get flagged as “spam” or “scam likely.”
If you’re making thousands of calls a day, a handful of the people you reach out to will flag your number.
When enough people report your number of spam, service providers or robocall-blocking apps will flag the number. Suddenly, one of the numbers that you use to raise money prompts smartphones to warn people that you’re likely to scam them. The slightest hint that you’re conducting a scam will prevent most people from donating to your campaign.
Mitigating Caller ID Spoofing
To make matters worse, real criminals could spoof your phone numbers to trick people into giving them money. Caller ID spoofing has become a serious concern for consumers, nonprofits, charitable organizations, and for-profit companies. Unfortunately, scammers have relatively easy access to the technology they need to spoof your phone number. Since people are more likely to accept incoming calls from nonprofits they trust, criminals abuse your good deeds to steal money.
When someone starts spoofing your numbers, they will get flagged and reported as scams.
Eventually, SHAKEN/STIR call authentication will help stop spoofing. Some companies, including AT&T and T-Mobile, have already enacted SHAKEN/STIR authentication. Unfortunately, the technology only works when the entire telecommunications industry gets involved. Until that happens, all businesses and organizations are at risk of call spoofing.
What can you do to protect yourself from these scenarios? Monitor your outbound numbers to make sure they haven’t been flagged.
Caller ID Reputation Management
Caller ID Reputation makes it easy for you to monitor your numbers so you can learn when they get flagged or when someone spoofs them. The software monitors across all major carriers and call-blocking apps. Even if one app starts listing a number as “scam likely,” you will get alerted.
As soon as you receive an alert, you can stop using the flagged number. That way, you don’t scare off potential donors during your nonprofit telemarketing campaign.
Losing one or two of your outbound phone numbers might not hurt your campaign much. It depends on how many numbers you use. Since you know that the numbers don’t work for you, you can stop paying for them. Eventually, you will want to buy new outbound phone numbers to replace the ones you lose.
An effective nonprofit telemarketing campaign can help your organization raise the money it needs to fund projects. A phone campaign could also help educate the public about issues your organization wants to solve.
Before you can get the results that you want from your campaign, you need to:
- Decide whether to outsource the campaign or build an in-house team.
- Understand which federal telecommunication laws do and do not apply to nonprofits and charities.
- Write call scripts that start by explaining who your organization is and what you plan to do with donations.
- Purchase the hardware and software that your agents need to work efficiently and make the most out of every call.
- Manage your organization’s reputation.
- Register your phone numbers so your organization’s name appears on caller ID.
- Monitor all of your outbound numbers to make sure call spoofing and flagging apps don’t make it more difficult for you to reach potential donors.
Monitoring your numbers’ reputation frequently to check for flags can help your business excel. With the right technology, you can reach more donors and raise more money for your programs.