Telephone / Telethon Fundraising What is Telephone Fundraising? Telephone fundraising (or ‘telethons’ as they are more commonly known), normally involves contacting alumni and/or parents by phone to tell them about a fundraising campaign and to ask for their support.  This is not (or at least, should not be) done as cold calling - every person to be called is sent a pre-call letter, informing them that they will be contacted, and giving them a chance to opt out.  Development offices should also spend time checking any notes available on potential targets to ensure that they have not reacted negatively to telephone fundraising in the past. The people doing the calling will typically be either current or recent students.  Depending on the number of people you hope to call, you may hire between 8 to 14 callers on a rate of about £7.50/hr.  Some institutions also run parent telethons, using parent volunteers to call other parents to invite their support. Why do telephone fundraising? Quite simply, telethons are one of only a few sure-fire ways of establishing lots of small donations that can add up to a big amount.  Send out a direct mail letter and you can expect a 3-8% response.  Do them well, and a telethon should get a response of 40%+.  How do I organise a telethon? You can run a telethon in-house, as long as you have enough telephone lines and a database of contacts and their telephone numbers.  However, unless you are very confident at what you’re doing, it is strongly recommended that you start by using a specialist consultancy firm who can help you with everything from planning the campaign to letter writing, and from caller training to processing payments.  What companies offer Telethon Fundraising support? There several companies offering telephone fundraising in the education sector.  Three of the most well-known consultancies are: Buffalo Fundraising Consultants, Rux Burton Associates and MacGregor Jones. Want to learn more about Telephone fundraising?   Read: Effective Telephone Fundraising See it on Amazon. Fundraising Telethons for schools and universities © Orier Digital Limited 2012