Bring your phonathon into the 21st century

How to modernize a phonathon

Does your phonathon need a reinvigoration? Do you sense it has untapped potential?

We get it. Phonathons can feel stale and are becoming less efficient (and less effective). Luckily, there are tools and tricks to bring your phonathon into the 21st century. From responsive digital engagement to personalized video messaging, there’s a path to impactful phonathons that invigorate your community to give generously.

These steps will help you get more out of your campaign in less time. Even better, they seamlessly integrate into your donor stewardship strategy. Implementing the right tools is the first step to ensuring your phonathon helps foster a fully invested alumni community. 

End-to-end personalized videos

Whether your goal is to enhance your phonathon or transition to large-scale sends, personalized video provides the highest return and best experience for both the donor and the fundraisers. Pre-call emails with a video from the fundraiser who will be reaching out sets the table for a genuine and open conversation for both long-time donors and new prospects. It’s also a way for the caller to introduce themselves in a more casual and friendly environment without having to make an ask.

By starting your phonathon with video introductions through a personalized platform like Gratavid from Gravyty, you add intentional time and space for relationship building. A friendly face makes the phone call a reunion rather than a cold call, and your phonathon has momentum from the start.

Equipping student fundraisers

It’s only getting tougher for your student workers who are eager to connect with alums and grow their skill sets. If they are equipped with the tools and options to connect more efficiently, they’ll thrive.

Personalized videos to a large audience can get the ball rolling, but there’s plenty of room for connection with one-to-one videos as well. Instead of a letter, callers can follow with a link to fulfill their donoation. Or after the phonathon, students can reach out to the donor to recap the successes of the campaign and how it’s impacting campus in a positive way. Better yet, use personalized video to show the donor the art building they helped refurbish or a snippet from practice of the athletic program they support?

Adding video to your phonathon strategy and process gives students a world of options and opportunities for them to pursue. Hours of unanswered calls leads to burnout, but Gratavid from Gravyty provides more meaningful interactions and relationship building for both alumni and student callers. Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words, and according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.

Customized calls to action

Your phonathon is rolling and you’re seeing meaningful interactions in your donor community. How do you close the deal?

Catching the donor at a convenient time to give can be difficult. In fact, there’s only a 6 percent pick up rate for phonathons. They have to  pick up the phone when called, get to a computer, navigate to the giving web page and make a gift.

A customizable video email cuts those steps in half. Students can send a thank you for a pledge with instructions to click the link and fulfill the pledge. Pledge fulfillment rates with video messaging are between 70 and 80 percent, which also cuts down on time consuming reminder letters. If it is a new donor, the student can remind them about matching gifts. If there was not a gift made this time, a quick rundown of upcoming events on campus could get them involved again and continue to steward the relationship.

Simple and effective calls to action are ultimately the key to a fruitful phonathon. You could make another call and hope they remember later or a friendly face could remind the donor of the causes they care about and include a link to donate. It’s giving made easy. 

Personalized video: Next frontier for phonathons

Personalized video messaging provides a wealth of options and opportunities for engaging with your community. Enhancing your phonathon with Gratavid from Gravyty connects students and alumni through more interactive and personal conversation. 

Get a demo tailored to your institution to see how you can steward your donors more effectively and bring your phonathon into the 21st century.

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