IoF publishes guide on effective use of telephone fundraising

IoF publishes guide on effective use of telephone fundraising

13 February 2019

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), has today published ‘A Good Call: Using the Telephone for Successful Fundraising’ to help fundraisers and charities develop stronger relationships with supporters.

‘A Good Call’, supported by Ethicall, a specialist telephone fundraising agency, was developed alongside research carried out by the Institute of Fundraising, which revealed that telephone fundraising remains a staple in charities’ fundraising strategies and is a crucial channel to develop relationships with supporters.

In response to a survey, which had over 100 responses, it was found that:

  • Three quarters of respondents do currently use the telephone as part of their fundraising strategies - 74%.

  • The most common use of the telephone in fundraising, used by 85% of respondents, is for welcome calls and relationship building/stewardship (excluding specific financial asks).
  • 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.


‘A Good Call’, freely available to all charities and fundraisers, provides information and advice on how the telephone can be used in a range of ways to have great conversations with supporters and aims to give organisations the confidence to make the most of the telephone as a way of connecting with supporters. It also debunks some common myths about telephone fundraising and helps charities to navigate the regulatory and legislative requirements and overcome any barriers they might have to use the telephone effectively.

The information is split into two parts; advice on great 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.

Read ‘A Good Call: Using the Telephone for Successful Fundraising’

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, said:

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.



For further information please contact Felicity at the IoF on  

Note to editors:

Read the full results of the telephone fundraising survey here.

About the Institute of Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. We support fundraisers through leadership and representation; best practice and compliance; education and networking; and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice. We have over 560 organisational members who raise more than £9 billion in income for good causes every year, and over 6,000 individual members.

About Ethicall

Based in Bristol, Ethicall is a specialist telephone fundraising agency, delivering telephone fundraising campaigns for national and local charities, large and small. Here at Ethicall, we don’t always shout about what we do, but we are “proper passionate” about our work and pride ourselves on keeping each of our charity clients and their supporters really happy. As our name suggests, we believe in embracing ethical and green principles across every aspect of our business, from how we treat our staff and suppliers, to our recycled stationery. Since starting the company eleven years ago, we are proud to have raised over £60 million for our clients and donated over £1.3m to a range of UK charities.