Last week, I received a call from a telemarketing agency. The agency was making acquisition calls on behalf of a charitable organisation. The agency called me as I was walking through a supermarket attempting to pick up a few items after a day onsite with a client. The telemarketer started the call with a pleasant hello. He identified himself and said what he was calling about. He then asked if I had ever heard of the charity he was representing. After I responded I had only heard of the organisation because of his agency’s calls to me on the charity’s behalf, the telemarketer proceeded to laugh and tell me he could not believe I have never heard of the organisation outside of their calls.
He then hung up on me.
I found this call odd for the following reasons:
- Whenever anyone hangs up on someone, it demonstrates anger and a complete dismissal of the person on the other end of the call.
- Had this man listened to my accent, it would have been clear I am not from Australia and, perhaps, I do not have a Rolodex of every charitable organisation in my brain.
- If this agency had done their homework, they would have seen they called me three times last year for this same charity. I blogged about the calls at that time.
- This telemarketer did not represent the charity in a good light.
- I have a soft spot for telemarketing and typically given whenever any charity contacts me by phone.
- This telemarketer has caused me to not give this particular charity ever in the future.
Any supplier hired by your charitable organisation represents you and your organisation. Suppliers are an extension of your non-profit organisation’s staff. They are representing your brand. Be sure to listen in on samplings of calls occurring on your organisation’s behalf to be sure these calls are the same tone and style you expect from any staff member of your non-profit.
Telemarketing is an important channel for non-profit fundraising. There is no doubt about. I am supportive of telemarketing professionally and personally (with my wallet). But, it is critical you manage your telemarketing and conduct oversight via checks and balances.