I wish I had recorded the conversation. It went something like this:
Caller: Hello, how are you today?
Me: Fine thank you.
Caller: Thank you for helping [a Heart Research charity]. You bought tickets a few months ago and your support is appreciated.
I’m calling today about another draw – you could buy the same number of tickets that you bought last time for $30. You’ll be helping to fight cancer and I hope that I can give you luck with the winning numbers.
Me: I’m sorry – which charity are you calling for?
Caller: It’s [a Heart Research charity].
Me: Oh – you said cancer just now.
Caller: Did I? Yes that’s right. They are all doing it. Heart Foundation [a Heart Research Charity], Cancer, [some others that I was too dumbfounded to hear].
I’m half questioning whether I’m making too much of this – “was the caller’s mistake really that bad?”.
YES! Agencies are targeting non-raffle donors and damaging your relationships, impacting their future giving and behaving like we (and you, the supporter) don’t care. I’m not against raffle fundraising – it’s great. But why are charities allowing their supporters to be treated like this?
Do you want your supporters to be shat on from a great height? Follow these 9 steps to make sure your raffle fundraising treats your donors like faecal matter:
- Make sure your Board directors don’t ask too many questions. Don’t let someone with legal expertise review your supplier agreements or practice due diligence.
- Sign-up to a campaign with a Raffle specialist agency without a clear strategy or objective. Stick to simple goals like ‘grow the database’ or ‘raise more money’.
- Listen to your agency’s advice when they suggest your active, frequent, recent and mid-value supporters be included in the calling volumes.
- Don’t do any caller training.
- Don’t listen to call recordings.
- Prioritise raffle income over other potential ways to engage lapsed supporters – regardless of demographics or giving behaviour.
- Make sure you don’t review the results of the non-raffle playing segments. Ignore key facts such as gift value, age and anecdotal complaints that might help you target potential raffle players more effectively.
- Tell your phone agency that you are very happy for them to call your data alongside the data of all the other charities on their roster.
- And most importantly – don’t worry about following steps to make sure your supporters and potential donors are treated with respect and common decency. It’s okay to contact donors and assume they only want to win a prize and that the cause is irrelevant.