Custom Phone-a-thon Services

Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” - William Butler Yeats

Welcome back to school!

This new school year represents new opportunities to “light the fire”.

“Light the fire” . . .

in your students – inspire emotional and spiritual growth.
in your staff and faculty – encourage mentoring and sharing of their wisdom and knowledge.
in your school community – highlight the positive impact on your students.
in your friends and donors – compel their hearts and souls to give.

Your families, friends and donors want you to ask them for a gift of support.

They need to give. They want to give.

You just have to ask them. You have to “light the fire” within them.

So, how can YOU “light the fire”?

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou

You ask your donors for money to pay for “X” – the new addition, a soccer field, technology, the “gap” between what it costs to educate and the tuition you collect.

Your donors give you money to pay for “X”. But to them, it is NOT about money. It is about helping, about changing the world, about making a difference.

Your donors, like all people need to give. It’s about something outside of ourselves, and not about money.” Donors know it is good to give. They give with joy. Giving blesses the giver. When donors give, they confirm their deepest and truest feelings; their hearts guide their behavior. Giving transforms the donors’ lives and the lives of others. (R Perry & J. Schreifels)

To your donors, it is about educating students. It’s about creating future leaders. It’s about creating good Christian leaders and citizens.

As you plan your next fundraising appeal, ask the following questions:

    • What sets your school/project/need apart from all the others?
    • What important benefits do the students receive?
    • What important benefit will the donor receive?
    • What will happen if the donor takes action? What will happen if they don’t take action?
    • What compelling stories can you share that will “light the fire” in your donors?

The best fundraising is simple and focused. It tells a fast, vivid, real-life story. It promises results and offers proof that those results will happen. It gives donors a ton of credit for making the results possible. It is a pleasurable, empowering, spirit-renewing experience for the donor.” (T. Ahern)

Let your fundraising tell your school’s story . . . where you have been; where you are; where you are going.

If you can “light the fire” in your donors; if you can elicit that emotional response, your friends and donors will give your school a gift of support.

Then you can say to your donor . . . . “Because of your gifts, we can teach tomorrow’s leaders. Because of you, great things happen. Thank you.

Let J. Milito & Associates help you “light the fire” and transform the lives of your donors thereby blessing the lives of the children we serve.

Contact us today.

November 4th is an important date. It is Mid-Term Election Day across this great country of ours. It is the time when we can exercise our Constitutional right to vote.

The two months leading up to November 4th are even more important. During this time the campaigns will be in full swing with mailboxes and phones inundated with requests to support candidates and ballot proposals.

During this same time many of you will be kicking off or cleaning up your "Friends of Scouting" campaigns.

While these candidates and proposals may not be in direct competition with you for your donors, they will directly affect your ability to connect with your donors -- whether they open your mail, attend your events, or answer your calls.

This year, it is important that your fundraising “asks” occur before October 15th. October is the busiest fundraising month of the election cycle. Additionally, many United Ways have their black-out time during this period as well. You can begin fundraising again after the elections.

To be successful in your Fall 2014 fundraising efforts, there are a few things to keep you from getting lost in the election season shuffle:

  • Get ready to fundraise now! Do you have a plan for Acquisition, Retention and Upgrading your donors (acquiring new donors, retaining the donors that already support your BSA Council, and upgrading giving amounts of your donors)
  • Stay focused on your mission. Your work is important, so make sure you shout this loud and clear. 
  • Spend your fundraising time wisely. With more groups raising money for election-related work, use your plan to identify the donor segments to reach out to. This is a good time to reach out to lapsed donors and major donors. 
  • Reach out to your donors anyway. Don’t assume they won’t give or they will give less. US donors give on average to 6-10 groups and won’t typically move their donations from one organization to another, unless, the organization is no longer meeting their needs. Some of your donors may give you less. Some may give you more. This is a perfect time to upgrade your other donors.

By starting your Friends of Scouting campaigns in August and early September you can beat the crowds and keep your Council from getting lost in the election cycle shuffle.

J. Milito & Associates can help you reach out to your current and lapsed donors now! Our successful telephone fundraising services are being used by Boy Scout Councils from coast to coast.

The positive results that we received from our campaign with J. Milito and Associates has helped us expand our efforts to help our organization with its mission.” – Dan Busby, Boy Scouts of America, Michigan Crossroads Council, Southern Shores Field Service Council

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. now. You’ll be glad you did. The Scouts will be glad too!

 

 

Is your data dirty?

The US Postal Service reports that approximately 48 million Americans move each year. This is about 17% of the adult population. So, if your database contains 15,000 records, potentially 2,500 constituents may have different addresses.

Data is the lifeblood of organizations. Yet it is something that all organizations seem to have a challenge updating and maintaining.

To maintain high data quality it is important to clean your data regularly. Regular cleaning will benefit your organization by lower marketing costs, increasing response rates, and improving donor engagement.

In other words, if you can no longer communicate with your donors because their contact data is no longer valid, then they will likely not be your donors anymore.

Ok, so how do I clean my data?

If you have a nonprofit bulk permit or claim other preferred mailing rates, the USPS requires that your mailing list be run through the National Change of Address (NCOA) processing within 90 days of the mailing.

In other words if you mail at least one time each year, you should run your list through NCOA. If you mail more frequently, then your data should be cleaned more frequently.

Even if your organization is moving away from mailing, you should still clean your data annually.

A CASS Summary Report is provided with the cleaned addresses. CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) means your addresses have been checked for accuracy against the Postal Service’s database using an approved system.

And remember, update your database every time you receive a CASS.

And what about my phone numbers? Can I clean them too?

It is very likely that if your addresses are not regularly run through NCOA as required, your phone numbers will not be accurate either.

Running a phone append will not only clean out bad numbers, but can also help you find phone numbers that were missing from your donor records.

It is important to note that NCOA can only go back 48 months, so the longer you wait to clean your data, the less likely you are to have good addresses or phone numbers.

Let J. Milito & Associates help you clean your data, communicate with your donors, and increase donations to your organization.

Send your data to the cleaners today!

Hi folks, Judy Milito, J. MIlito and Associates. This morning I want to talk to you about the value of a thank you call. You know why a personal thank you call is important to your donors? It's because they don't receive a lot of them. I'm going to tell you a story. My alma mater, Grand Valley State University here in Allendale, Michigan, during the summer time will call me because I am a graduate, and just say thank you. It happens usually during the spring or summer. When that telephone call happens it really warms my heart. I love it because I receive so few thank you calls from all the organizations that I support. So let this be a lesson. I think thank you calls are a valuable and very important. Your donors love them. I'll give you a couple tips. I think thank you calls should be made to every single donor no matter the size of their gift.

Let me tell you a little story before I end. One of my clients has our call center do his personal thank you calls to all of his donors. He tells us year after year those donors that are called increase their gifts year after year. So the value of a thank you call is very important. Do it!

Thank you. Talk to you soon.

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

Hi. Juddee Milito with J. Milito and Associates. Our company does telephone fundraising for a number of organizations in the U.S., mostly in the Midwest.

I want to talk to you about the importance of an outbound telephone fundraising phone-a-thon. It's so important to follow up on your "lybunts" and your "sybunts" and your NON donors. Lybunt is an industry term that relates to donors that gave 'last year but not yet this year.' They are your most prized donors. You do not want them to lapse away year after year. It's too hard to bring them back and too expensive to bring them back.

Okay, what's a sybunt? This term refers to someone who gives 'some years but not yet this year;' and everybody knows what a NON donor is. Now, the importance of a phone-a-thon using an outbound telephone fundraising company like ours is that we can call those lybunt and those sybunt donors, ask and renew and upgrade their gift of support, and take you UP over your fundraising goal.

Sometimes it's hard for your volunteers or students or friends, who have every good intention, to come into your organization and make those phone calls. They just can't make the ask. And you can't really afford to let these special donors lapse away.

During your phone-a-thon you have to make sure you plan the calls to follow the direct mail solicitation that you'll be doing. If you're sending out a full blown direct mail solicitation package with a brochure and a pledge card and a remit envelope then we suggest that calls begin four weeks after that solicitation lands in the household. If you are just doing a little e-blast, postcard or website notification, then those phone calls can happen right away...even the day after the postcard hits the mailbox.

So, plan your strategy, including your phone-a-thons and give us a call. We're happy to do the telephone fundraising for you, contacting your lybunts and sybunts and NONdonors this year. Thanks for reading!

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

Hi, again. Juddee Milito with J. Milito and Associates here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our company does telephone fundraising for nonprofit organizations throughout the Midwest.

Today's topic is about the mechanics of a good direct mail solicitation letter. I've talked about this before, but it's important that you understand and know what's good and what doesn't work.

Most important is to plan your strategy and mail your direct mail solicitation on time. Spell my name right when you are sending me a direct mail piece, asking for a gift, especially if I'm the person who writes the check! And if my nickname is different from my salutation, use that in the body of the letter to personalize your message. Tell me a story. Tug at my heartstrings. Thank me for my last gift of support and tell me what it was. Then...Ask for a gift – whether it's a percentage over last year's gift or a gift string, make the ask! And, don't forget the P.S. Be sure there's a call to action at the end of the letter.

Thanks so much!

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

Good morning! It's Juddee Milito with J. Milito and Associates. Today's topic is multi- year giving or, what we in the industry call, sustainer gifts. Some of you call them your monthly, quarterly or semi-annual donors. Whatever you call them, these are your donors, who give a regular gift via EFT. It's important to capture more donors who truly know and love you and ask them to give their gift of support on regular and on-going basis.

I'm talking about gifts of support that come to you electronically, through EFT. We capture sustainer donors in the call center all the time by asking for multi-year gifts that can be remitted on a regular basis electronically. It's easy to do via the telephone. It's easy to do via your direct mailings and on your website. It helps your donors become regular, sustaining donors who will help your organization succeed. And now you not only have sustaining donors, you have on-going cash flow.

Call me about some of our strategies and how we do this with other nonprofit organizations. I'd be happy to build a plan for you using telephone fundraising.

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

Hi. It's Juddee Milito with J. Milito and Associates in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our company does telephone fundraising for a number of non-profit organizations throughout the Midwest.

I want to talk to you today about not wearing down your volunteers making phone calls to your donors for gifts of support. I think the value of a volunteer is very important but why not use them to make your personal donor thank you calls? Or to help you build and encourage participation with your events? Or even help you put on a successful event! Use your volunteers to advocate for your organization. They can be some of your best 'sales people.'

I have a really tough time with volunteers on the phone because they really don't know how to answer a donor objection and they can crumble when someone says, "no." So if you have a direct mail effort that needs phone call follow-up, we're happy to do your outbound telephone fundraising, secure gifts of support and help you go over your goal this year!

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

Hi, again! Juddee Milito, J. Milito and Associates. Our company does telephone fundraising for lots of nonprofit organizations around the United States. Fall is a great time to really ramp up your major donor work. When I was sitting in your chair many years ago, I really liked the months of October, November, and December to make appointments with my major donors. I would go see them with a little gift – something small, but very personal – to ask for their gift of support face-to-face. How did I do it? I sat on the phone for an hour every day. Closed my door, did not open or send email messages and just made phone calls, scheduling appointments to see my major donors.

Really, you need to plan who you want to call and when you are going to call them. Then get on the phone and ask for their undivided attention and make those appointments. And you need to make those appointments now! November and December are great times to be visiting your major donors. They're in the mood to be philanthropic to your organization. So, don't forget to go after your major donors this time of year.

Thanks again! Talk to you soon.

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

Good morning. It's Juddee Milito again, with J. Milito & Associates. Our company does telephone fundraising for a number of nonprofit organizations in the Midwest. I want to talk to you about preparing your e-blasts for the weeks of December 17 and December 27. It's very important that you prepare some wonderful stories about your organization, and then go ahead and ask for a gift of support. Make those stories short and sweet. And try to get in three e-blasts in each of those two weeks. And, please, make it very easy for your donors to find the "Donate Now" button on your web site.

Here is why I ask you to do these e-blasts...let me tell you a story. One of my most favorite customers did her e-blasts two years ago for two years in a row, just before year-end, and increased her gifts of support by $50,000 every year. All she did was some heartfelt e-blasts asking for gifts of support to the organization. She told stories, tugged at heartstrings, and made it simple for donors to give. They work! And, as you and I know, the fundraising that is being done via the website and via emails is very important. It is increasing every year. So, again, what I can tell you is: prepare now and just do it!!!

Thanks. Talk to you soon!

 

JM6_2012Juddee Milito, CFRE, President
J. Milito & Associates, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(616) 453-8711

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