Using first responders in a fundraising campaign can get a heartfelt response from donors, but just putting an untrained person on the phone and saying “Let ‘er rip” will have about the same effect on fundraising that sending them on an emergency without training will have on lifesaving.
Randall Anderson, chief operating officer of Listen Up Espanol in Portland, Maine, said not only that first responders need training before taking part in telefundraising campaigns but also that the training must be planned and specific. The nonprofit’s rules and goals should be clear. Managers should see that all of the following action steps are included in the training of the responder.
Anderson maintains that once nonprofit managers and telefundraisers come to an understanding of what the training is and how it will work, it becomes the foundation of the relationship between the organization and the responder who goes to the phone. The action steps are:
- Testing for knowledge of the nonprofit campaign.
- Testing for the right agent profile.
- Interview questions and personality and characteristic profiling.
- Re-verification of skills and proven process understanding (at least annually).
- Usage of Web-based platforms that screen for skills.
- Constant monitoring, test calls and updating as required.
- Use of a certified trainer to sign off on skill sets, test calls and nonprofit orientation.