Everyone hates telemarketing.  I spent three years leading telemarketing for a major national political organization, and I hate getting telemarketing calls! 

Those invasive calls at the dinner hour.  Solicitors not taking no for an answer and asking you twice more for a contribution after you say no.  Always trying to get you to give your credit card over the phone.  Those telemarketers are pushy. 

That’s all true. 

You’ll get a few more complaints from your board and your staff.  And you’ll see a slight increase in complaints from your donors (it averages less than 1% if managed appropriately, fyi).

But you know what?  Chances are your nonprofit can benefit from telemarketing.  Even though you hate it.

Consider this . . . mailing your lapsed donors (37+ months since last gift), you can expect to reactivate 3% of them, at most.  But telemarket that same audience, and you could see reactivation rates as high as 12% – 15%.

That’s 300% – 400% lift in reactivation compared to typical lapsed donor direct mail.

Telemarketing is also valuable for upgrading donors beyond their current giving levels.

Hate it or not, telemarketing is valuable, and can significantly improve your direct response fundraising efforts. 

You owe it to the people you serve to at least test it, regardless of your personal beliefs.

Check out these companies for additional information: Strategic Fundraising, RuffaloCODY, Infocision, and MDS.