Open Enrollment | Subscribe to FundRaising Success 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
Is Leadership Transition a Problem for You?
Jul 25, 2014

You cannot control leadership transition, but you can control how you deal with it and you can be prepared for...



Get What You Give

Joe Boland
Fundraising Special Events Report: Raising Money and Awareness
Jul 25, 2014

The goal of any fundraising event is to raise money for a worthy cause. However, according to the recently released...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
Never Stop Asking Why
Jul 24, 2014

What if, instead of simply going with the flow, we started asking why? Here are some fundraising things worth asking...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
The Secret to a Smart Annual Fundraising Plan
Jul 23, 2014

When you make smart choices and set thoughtful priorities about where you are going to spend your time and resources,...



Navigating Off the Napkin

Angie Moore
Picking Apart the 2014 Giving USA Stats
Jul 22, 2014

Are we back to pre-recession giving yet? Look to the 2014 Giving USA stats.
...



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...



Connections

Jeff Schreifels
6 Ways to Influence Your CEO to Love Fundraising
Jul 21, 2014

This is crucial. Your organization will never grow if your top leader cannot embrace fundraising and understand it's a large...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
6 Ways to Strengthen the Heart of a Fundraising Letter
Jul 21, 2014

A great fundraising appeal or email can have many different variables. But a clear call to action must be a...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
5 Ways Nonprofits Can Gain Exposure Through Social Media
Jul 18, 2014

Learn how you can engage your supporters and keep them invested in your cause with five simple social-media tips....



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
What Is Your Strategy to Make and Keep Connections?
Jul 16, 2014

Relationships can be magical when nurtured. Be sure that you are focused on the right professional relationships to ensure success...



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...



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...



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: