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Guide to effective telephone fundraising published by IoF

Guide to effective telephone fundraising published by IoF

The Institute of Fundraising has published a guide to help charities use the telephone effectively for fundraising.

A Good Call: Using the Telephone for Successful Fundraising aims to help fundraisers and charities develop stronger relationships with supporters, and has been developed with the help of telephone fundraising agency Ethicall.

The guide is free to all charities and fundraisers, and provides information and advice on a range of ways the telephone can be used to talk to supporters, such as to gather feedback, say thank you, talk about legacies and diversify support. It also explains the regulatory and legislative requirements.

The information is split into two parts; advice on conversations fundraisers can have with supporters, and clear guidance on how fundraisers can plan and prepare for these conversations, including guidance on handling of personal data.

Research carried out by the Institute of Fundraising alongside the guide found that three quarters (74%) of 100 respondents currently use the telephone as part of their fundraising strategies, with the most common use, by 85% of respondents, being for welcome calls and relationship building/stewardship (excluding specific financial asks).

The survey also showed that while 68% of respondents felt confident in their understanding of the regulatory environment, a significant number indicated a lack of confidence regarding GDPR and PECR.

Tamsin Mitchell, Business Improvement Lead at the Institute of Fundraising, said:

“Using the telephone has been, and continues to be, a great way to communicate with and engage supporters. We are delighted to have worked with experts in this area to produce this resource, which will support fundraisers by equipping them with the confidence and knowledge to use the telephone as an integral part of their fundraising strategies.

“Feedback from fundraisers shows that the telephone can be crucial to building and strengthening relationships with supporters – it allows for an individual conversation, which can truly enhance a supporter’s experience and is a really important way to say ‘thank you’. We hope that ‘A Good Call’ can help fundraisers reach out to supporters, deliver excellent conversations and nurture long-lasting relationships.”

Alex Weeks-Smyth, Client Services Director, from Ethicall, added:

“There are few tools as powerful as the telephone to achieve long-lasting connections with donors. The results of the IoF survey show that a third of respondents said they did not feel confident of the regulatory environment for using the phone. We hope this guide will help give charities some clarity on how the telephone can continue to be an important part of the fundraising mix.”



Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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