Telephone follow-up is the most effective method of reaching parishioners who have not responded to the appeal. This method offers the opportunity for personal contact. It provides nearly all the advantages of face-to-face communication and the response rate is usually very high. It is also an excellent way to keep in contact with parishioners. Since most phone calls are local, this can also be the most cost-effective way of follow-up. Contact the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal Office for more information on telephone follow-up or set up training with your parish volunteers. Telephone scripts and ideas are included below.
Reasons for using telephone follow-up:
- It builds relationships and community within the parish.
- It is easy to organize.
- It is an opportunity to evangelize with fellow parishioners.
- It costs less than mail follow-up.
Set up and Planning Procedures
- Recruit as many volunteers as possible early in the campaign. The more volunteers, the more successful your campaign will be.
- Have volunteers read the script as a guide to telephone calls. This can be altered by each person, as they feel comfortable.
- Have list of prior year’s donation.
- Arrange a centralized place to do the telephoning. This allows for a “team” approach as everyone is calling together.
- Whether you receive a pledge or not, thank the person for their time. Ask them to say a prayer for the success of the appeal. If they have an unfortunate circumstance, tell them you will notify the parish priest and ask if you can pray with them.
- Write any comments from callers. These are important; so please forward these to the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal Office. The Diocese tries to respond to each comment.
Basic Fund Raising Principles
- People give to people
- People give because they are asked
- To ask for yourself is “begging”, to ask for others is “inviting”
- People give to a “positive” cause
- Make your own gift first
- Previous donors are your best prospects (those that gave last year but not yet this year)
- Visit your best prospects first
- Enthusiasm is contagious and attractive
- Suggest a specific gift plan
- Keep your sights high
- Do not apologize about asking for a gift
Questions and Answers
What is the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal?
Catholic Family Sharing Appeal is the annual campaign to fund the ministries and services of the Diocese (see Page 2 for a list of ministries). These ministries include Catholic Communications, Catholic Family Services, Marriage Tribunal, Respect Life and Vocations. Each ministry helps the Diocese to continue the mission and ministry of Jesus by spreading the good news to the people of east river South Dakota.
The Catholic Family Sharing Appeal funds approximately 55% of the Diocesan budget.
What is telephone follow-up?
Telephone follow up is the best way to receive a response from parishioners who have not yet participated in Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. Past donors are asked to renew or increase their pledge and those who have not given in the past are given an opportunity to participate.
Why is telephone follow-up important to a parish?
Telephone follow-up is the most cost effective and timely way to reach parishioners. Since most calls are local, there is usually very little cost associated with telephone follow-up. Also, it is a great way to stay in contact with parishioners and keep updated on any personal news that may be important for the parish to know. It is an excellent way to reach people who are not fully aware of the many opportunities to become involved in the parish. It benefits the parish financially since any amount raised over the parish share stays in the parish.
What if I am asked a question I am unable to answer?
Let the person know you will forward their question to the appropriate person. That person will feel better knowing that the extra effort was given to have their question answered correctly. Do not debate, argue or apologize for Church policy. Inform the pastor or person in charge of any problems. Many people have become supporters after somebody cared enough to listen to them.
How to Organize Telephone Follow-up
Telephone follow-up is simple and fun. All that is needed are people to call, a place to call and a list of people to be called. The more successful events make it enjoyable by making an event out of the gathering. Provide refreshments and food for your volunteer group.
Recruit people who are active in the parish. They are usually most familiar with what is going on in the parish, and can answer any questions that may arise from less involved parishioners. Try to limit their time to two evenings.
Arrange for a Facility
Reserve the parish offices or a local business for a place to gather. A business with multiple telephone lines works the best. Provide food and refreshments to make the callers more comfortable. Calling together offers a “team” approach to the event. Always begin with parishioners who have given in the past; they are more likely to support the appeal again. This will also make your volunteers more comfortable during the rest of the calls.
Make your lists
Go through your parish Catholic Family Sharing Appeal roster and find out who has not participated. Divide the names out among your follow-up team. Again, begin by calling those who have given in the past.
Prepare your volunteers
Give each person a telephone follow-up booklet and review it together. Be sure to handle any questions regarding what Catholic Family Sharing Appeal is, the script or how the funds are distributed. Your follow-up will be more successful if your volunteers are well informed.
Invite the Holy Spirit into your gathering and work. Pray as a group at the beginning of your gathering.
Avoid calling at mealtime or late evening. The ideal times to call are between 6:30 and 9:00 PM Sunday through Thursday evenings. If a parishioner is busy, offer to call back at a better time.
The person you are calling is a fellow parishioner…not a stranger. He or she will listen more closely if you establish a friendly one-to one relationship. Thank your parishioner whether a gift is given or not.
Look over the information in this booklet. If there is a question you do not know the answer, tell the person you would be happy to find out the correct answer.
Do not apologize
Do not be embarrassed about the work you are undertaking. You are simply offering your fellow parishioner an opportunity to participate in the building of the kingdom of God.
Leave your name and purpose for the call. Mention that you will try back at another time. Do not ask them to return the call. If you cannot reach the person after several times, then leave your number and ask for a return call.
Giving to Catholic Family Sharing Appeal is practicing stewardship of the gifts that God has given you. When we give, what we give is gone. When we share we still have some, but we also get the satisfaction of knowing we have helped someone.
There is a partnership between the parish and Diocese. The ministries funded by Catholic Family Sharing Appeal reach into the everyday life of each parish. Also, any amount raised over goal stays in the parish.
Pledges can be paid throughout the year. The person can pledge now, and extend payments throughout the remainder of the year.
Hello is Mr. or Mrs. _________ available?
Hello, Mr. or Mrs. __________, this is _______ and I am calling on behalf of Monsignor/ Father _______ about the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. Do you have a few minutes?
Tonight we are calling parishioners asking for their support to the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. We want to give everyone an opportunity to participate. Our Catholic Family Sharing Appeal supports Diocesan and parish ministry needs throughout our Diocese. These include items such as…see enclosed Diocesan Priorities and Ministries found on Page 2.
For a previous donor
Last year you gave a very generous gift of $____ to Catholic Family Sharing Appeal and we realized we have not heard from you yet this year. Our call primarily is to touch base and see if you are okay, have questions or if there is anything we can help with.
I just have not gotten to completing the pledge card
It is good to hear you are still doing well. Thank you for your willingness to support our effort. It is helpful to explain what the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal donation is used for and discuss what the parish goal is and how you will use this additional money. Ask if the donor would you be able to match or even increase their gift for this year?
I am unable/unwilling to give
I am sorry you are not able to give at this time. I ask that you say a prayer for the success of Catholic Family Sharing Appeal and for our Diocesan Church. Is there anything that we can add to our prayer list for you? Thank you for your time and it was nice visiting with you this evening.
For a non-donor last year
We noticed you have not responded to Catholic Family Sharing Appeal this year and we are hoping we can count on your support. We want to hear from everyone in the parish and exceed our parish goal. Can we count on your support to this year’s Catholic Family Sharing Appeal?
If a gift is secured
Thank you so much for your generosity. I will record your gift and forward it to the parish office. (Or how your local parish processes pledge cards) Thank you again for your time and pledge and please pray for the success of the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal.