Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Charity Telemarketing I: The Problem

The use of professional fundraisers, or "telemarketers", by charities has expanded notably in recent years.  This can be attributed to both supply and demand of such services.  On the supply side, the imposition of the national do-not-call registry has left many telemarketing organizations with limited clientele; charities, however, are exempt from the registry, so are a natural place for these organizations to work.  On the demand side, the telemarketers can offer a compelling case to resource-strapped charities.  They can offer to raise funds on behalf of the charity, without the charity having to do anything.  Basically, a sales pitch that states "I will send you money each month, is that ok?" is somewhat hard to resist.  These forces have led to telemarketing being an integral part of charity fundraising.  Below, I will summarize the problems with this development.  Next week, I will discuss a few possible solutions.

The primary problem: Telemarketers keep a lot of the funds they raise.

Compounding the problem: Charities are rarely transparent about funds retained by telemarketers.
Clearly, something needs to be done to either improve the efficiency of these campaigns or to better inform donors of their effects.  Next week I will offer some suggestions...

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading this article, thanks for sharing. You've included some great fundraising tips and ideas. I have recently discovered Tony Charalambides fundraising blog, you should check it out!