Open Enrollment | Subscribe to NonProfit PRO HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Editor-in-chief

Outrageous Hope

By Margaret Battistelli

About Margaret

Margaret's life in six words: Bountiful blessings, glorious chaos ... glitter included. 

Margaret has been with FundRaising Success since its inception in 2003. Before joining the magazine as its founding editor, she was an editor and writer for America Online; published PhillyFeast, a monthly magazine about food in and around Philadelphia; and held chief editor positions at a variety of newspapers and magazines in the Philadelphia area. She is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. Contact her at mbattistelli@napco.com.

 

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Understanding Why People Give
Mar 27, 2015

Statistically, more than one-third of all charitable dollars given annually in the United States is directed to religion, and research...



Peeling the Onion

Katrina VanHuss
Vas Madness: What Nonprofits Can Learn From a March Madness Trend
Mar 27, 2015

Urologists noticed a bump in vasectomies at the start of March Madness, and they took action. Vas Madness was born....



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
Everything That Is Wrong With Our Retention Programs and How to Put Them Right
Mar 27, 2015

I know several fundraising directors who know for sure retention got worse after they introduced their loyalty programs. But they...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Celebrating Your Volunteers
Mar 26, 2015

Kudos to those dedicated nonprofit development professionals who celebrate their volunteers. Those who know — and believe — that it's...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
4 Fundraising Questions I Can't Answer
Mar 26, 2015

Here are four fundraising questions I can't answer that have been haunting me lately....



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
How Is Your Fundraising Ground Game?
Mar 25, 2015

Never forget the ground game. At the end of the day, our biggest success lies in the personal connection —...



Get What You Give

Joe Boland
NonProfit PRO Leadership Conference: Navigating a Difficult Nonprofit Environment
Mar 24, 2015

At the inaugural NonProfit PRO Leadership Conference May 5 in Washington, D.C., Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of Promotional Products...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
8 Nonprofit Website Analytics to Find All the Gems From Your Web Engagement Data
Mar 24, 2015

There’s an enormous amount of information you can learn from your constituent engagement online. Are you mining those gems and...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
Nonprofit Copywriting: What Writers Say About Writer's Block
Mar 23, 2015

Do fundraising writers get writer's block? Does every writer? All writers talk about it. Some play complicated psychological tricks on...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
Beyond Donor-Centered: Change Your Mission!
Mar 23, 2015

Is there anything about your donors in your nonprofit's mission statement? Probably not. It's a pretty rare occurrence if there...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
5 Keys to Get in the Door With a Mega-Capacity Donor
Mar 18, 2015

So you've identified your big kahuna potential prospect, your mega-capacity donor. What next? How do you get in the door?...



Digging Deeper

Matt Hugg
Go for the Green: Prepare for Year-End Fundraising Today
Mar 17, 2015

If you're on a June/July fiscal year, you need to make plans now for a strong year's end. That means...



Hump Day Hullabaloo

Jo Sullivan
Hump Day Hullaballoo: Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway
May 22, 2013

This week, as I transition into my new position as interim executive director at Save the Chimps, we're talking about...



Donor Trippin'

Nick Allen
Is There an App for Us?
Jul 1, 2014

Got an idea for an app that could connect a charity or nonprofit with its supporters and beneficiaries in an...



Raising the Possibilities

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Recurring Themes: The Case for Integrated Marketing Communications, Part 2
Dec 27, 2013

Recent discussions focus on a myriad of topics, but in the past two months, the recurring targeted topics seem to...



Say My Name

2
 

Over the past two days I've received two similar calls on my landline. They came from different numbers. Here's how they went:

Phone rings, I answer.

Me: Hello.

Silence. Then some clicking.

Me: Hello?

More silence and some background noise, then the caller responds.

First call, a man says, "Oh, hello, Arianna."

Me: I'm sorry, you must have a wrong number.

Caller: Well, wrong name but right number. Who am I speaking to?

Me: Who am I speaking to?

Caller: This is Joe from [name of nonprofit organization] …

Me: I'm sorry, Joe. I don't make donations on the phone. Could you please remove me from your list?

Joe: Could you let me talk to you about …

Me: I don't make donations on the phone. Thank you. (Click)

Second call, there's the same silence, clicking, background noise. I say hello twice, then a woman says, "Hi, is this Enid?"

Me: No, I'm sorry. You have the wrong number.

Caller: Oh, I'm so sorry for the mistaken name. Who am I speaking to?

Me: Who am I speaking to?

Caller: This is Ann from [name of same nonprofit organization] …

Me: I'm sorry, Ann. I don't make donations over the phone. I asked to be removed from your list yesterday.

Ann: I see. Can I talk to you about …

Me: I don't make donations over the phone. Thank you. (Click)

And it's true. I don't ... with apologies to all the legit telefundraisers out there. But I don't normally hang up so abruptly either. Usually I'll listen and engage long enough to find out what the organization or mission or program is, explain that I don't make donations or pledges on the phone, and ask for the organization's URL. More than likely, I'll check out the website, and if it's something that I want to support, I'll make an online donation.

But the "wrong name" tactic seemed just too cheesy to me (obviously, you got my phone number somewhere but my name wasn't attached to it) — and so shady that I was actually surprised to find out that the organization in question seems legitimate and its mission quite worthy and noble.

The first guy was just rude, and his tone smacked distinctly of, "How dare you question me." The second caller was sweet as can be, but I was still turned off.

I'm wondering what our readers think about this telemarketing icebreaker? If it had been one call, I'd think it was a matter of the caller reading the name wrong or reading a name from further down on the list, or maybe it was the name of a person who had had this number five years ago.

But two calls from the same organization within days of each other, claiming to be calling for people named Arianna and Enid? I just felt manipulated, which made me question the ethics of the organization the callers said they represented. Or if not the ethics, then at least the way that organization views its donors and the relationship it has with them. And I'm very close to the fundraising sector and have the utmost respect for the people who have devoted their careers to it. Imagine how someone who already distrusts fundraisers and fundraising might feel — and unfortunately, that's a large part of the public.

Tell me — did I overreact? Is this a standard practice in the telefundraising toolkit that I didn't know about? I kind of don't think so. Or was it just a poor choice of technique on the part of the organization, call center or both? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

2

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: