Scripting and Training for Effective Fundraising Calls

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Too often, training of phonathon callers is a one-time investment. After an initial session, callers go to their work, and do not later have the opportunity to debrief, share tips and practices, and thus improve on their work.

In this paper, Albert Melfo, director of annual giving at Kent State University, offers a structured approach to training callers to respond on the fly to the ebb and flow of a conversation with a prospect. What is unique about Melfo’s approach is his focus on call center scripting not just as a template but as a training tool.

In this report, you’ll read about:

  • Tips for training and scripting the five stages of an effective call (Introduction, Engagement, Case for Giving, Negotiation, and Formal Close)
  • Tips for coaching callers to respond to concerns that prospects voice

The paper will offer you not only these practical tips, but also examples of effective dialogue and excerpts from sample scripts. We hope that this paper will aid you in training and coaching more effective callers, writing more effective scripts, and taking your annual giving phonathon to the next level.


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