|We are quickly approaching the Fall Annual Stewardship season to encourage members to renew their general giving pledges for 2021. I have found it helpful to incorporate a telephone calling effort. It is an easy way to involve volunteers, and it provides wonderful “touch points” whereby members are engaging one another in an easy, safe way.
Here are my 3 key tips for a successful Telephone Calling effort:
1. Make it easy for Volunteers to say “Yes” to being a Telephone Caller. Here’s what I say to someone I am hoping to recruit as a Telephone Caller.
· You are not asking for money.
· You are calling no more than 10 active members which will be randomly assigned.
· You do not need to leave your home. You only need to attend one virtual meeting to receive your training.
· You will be given a script to follow. During the call, you are simply asking how they are hanging in there during the pandemic, sharing one thing you like about being a member of your church, and encouraging them to continue supporting the church’s ministries by responding to the Fall Annual Stewardship pledge drive.
2. Make the training quick, clear, and safe. Provide a weekday training session via Zoom. The session should last no more than half an hour. Record the session to be shared with absent callers. After the session, email to all the Telephone Callers the information you reviewed during the training session, including:
· The script to guide their phone call conversation
· The list of 10 active household names & phone numbers. (Do not assign names of members who have no history of prior giving. They should receive an Evangelization call exploring their relationship with the church, which is a different type of call than the Annual Stewardship call.)
· The feedback sheet that the caller should fill out when done.
· The link to the recorded Zoom training session.
3. Provide an easy way to report back the results of the calls. The feedback sheet is a simple form whereby the telephone caller provides the names of who they attempted to call, as well any comments or questions that may have arisen during the phone call that may be helpful to church staff. The feedback sheet keeps everyone accountable in making their calls, and provides valuable feedback.
The biggest challenge when making phone calls is getting through to someone. Half the calls made end up being messages left on voice-mail. This is even more evident when phone calls are made during a political election season. Even with these challenges, I am convinced that creating opportunities for members to talk with members is the right thing to do!
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Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company