Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Fundraisers Using Outbound Technologies Need To Know Millennials

June 23, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

While the makers of telemarketing solutions are accustomed to furnishing for-profit companies with software that helps inside sales teams and contact center workers engage in outbound selling, there are a number of non-profit uses for outbound telemarketing software. One of the most prominent is fundraising. Spring and summer are generally the times when non-profits engage most vigorously in fundraising. (The fall, of course, belongs to some of the most skillful outbound telemarketers: politicians.) For companies selling outbound solutions to non-profit organizations, it’s important to examine any trends that are changing the fundraising industry.

While technology has been one of the largest changes recently – social media and digital communications have allowed charities to share their stories with a wider audience – one of the greatest changes as of late is the age of the target audience. Young people today (the so-called “Millennial generation”) are eager to get involved. While some of them limit their involvement to social media “awareness raising,” sometimes call “hashtag activism,” many of them are giving their time and their money to the causes they believe in. This means the makers of outbound solutions need to understand their pattern of giving, according to Kevin Thornton of telemarketing software solutions provider VanillaSoft in a recent blog post.

“Millennial donors don’t follow the same engagement patterns of previous generations,” wrote Thornton. “It’s more like a courtship. It’s more likely than not that a Millennial will check out your Web site. If he or she is still interested, that probably takes them to your Facebook (News - Alert) page. From there, he or she will probably get involved as a volunteer. Finally, after a positive volunteering experience, a Millennial will donate.”

Engaging with a Millennial donor earlier means providing compelling content that the potential donor will want to unlock: newsletters, stories of those helped by the nonprofit’s services, sponsorships, message boards and more. Thornton recommends creating this gated content in a way that will induce Millennials to provide contact information to access, such as mission-specific badges for their social profiles or even emojis. (The World Wildlife Fund’s “endangered emoji” is a great example of this.)

The goal, say many fundraising experts, is to stop thinking of donors and potential donors as sources of cash, and instead to view them as partners who can help your nonprofit further your mission.

“This means a change in focus from just securing money to helping donors solve problems,” said Thornton. “This type of program will involve much more personal, one-on-one relationship cultivation and solicitation between fundraising professionals and mid- and major-donor program participants.”

Edited by Rory J. Thompson