RUX BURTON ASSOCIATES
Affinity Fundraising Consultants




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FAQs

Who makes the phone calls?

The callers are not full-time professionals working off-site but the best ambassadors your institution could ever have – your own potential constituency: current pupils or recent levers calling alumni and parents of a school, students calling university and college alumni and parents, parents calling their peers.  It is our skill at engaging these people for your cause that allows them to change hearts and minds.

Who can be called in a campaign?

Every constituency that you choose to include in the campaign will be approached differently.  We will train the callers to approach people of all age groups, varied donor history, different levels of affinity and involvement, wealth levels, and from different countries.  You could call recent leavers, alumni, parents, former staff, friends and other supporters from your database.  Part of our service is to help you select who can be called in a campaign.  Please contact us for advice on your circumstances.

Where will the phoning take place?

In most cases we will run the campaign for you on-site.   A Campaign Manager will be there to supervise the campaign while it is taking place.  This is beneficial as the proximity will allow you to see what is happening, give internal support to the callers and view the progress.  The callers will be calling from the place for which they are seeking support and to which they are building affinity relationships.

How much does it cost?

Every campaign is different in its circumstances and the total cost of a campaign varies with factors like length of campaign, number of callers and size of constituency.  Our commission-free fees consist of the planning fee and the operations fee.  We do not wish to withhold this information from you but simply cannot generalise this matter.  Please contact us to discuss how much a campaign that suits your needs would cost.

Do you take a proportion of the income raised?

No.  We do not work on any sort of commission or bonus basis and neither do the callers.  Our fees are fixed prior to the start of the campaign, independent of success.

Do we have to employ extra staff to run the campaign?

No. On the contrary, although the planning process is relatively work intensive, the telephone campaign itself is a great way to free up time that is usually spent by the development office in contacting people for donations, which can now be more efficiently spent on visiting the most important prospects in person. We also help with starting up development offices and can carry out data research and affinity campaigns for you before you even hire a development director to put everything in place for them when they start.

Do we have to install phone lines for all callers?

No. Although you can, of course, use landlines, we offer the option of making calls through VOIP (voice over the internet), for which we bring the software installed on our laptops and headsets for all callers.  Using VOIP is hugely cost-efficient calling anywhere in the world.  All you need is a fast internet connection.

How will the planning process take place?

We are happy to provide you with all necessary information you need in order to decide what kind of campaign would be most beneficial for your institution.  Once a campaign has been agreed our team of experts will have a meeting with you to discuss the details of planning and organising the campaign.  With our international clients we organise the planning meeting as a conference call.  Thereafter we will stay in touch with you by phone and email.

Where have you run campaigns?

We have served the needs of more than 100 institutions and run more than 300 campaigns. In the UK, we have worked with over half the undergraduate colleges in Oxbridge, more than 60 HMC and GSA schools and many universities including Imperial, Aberystwyth and St Andrews. We also have offices in Melbourne and in Hong Kong. Half of the Group of Eight in Australia, half of the universities in Hong Kong and over 10% of the world's top 100 universities have worked with RBA.

Can I see a campaign in action?

Yes.  Given prior agreement from the relevant client you are welcome to view one of our campaigns running.  This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the atmosphere in the call room, listen to some of the conversations, briefly speak to callers on the campaign and see our software live.  The RBA Campaign Manager will also be able to answer your questions relating to the execution of the campaign on-site.  Please contact us if you would like to view a campaign in action.  We will be happy to advise you on a location that is suitable for you.

What is so special about the software?

Our software telewizard™ has been specially designed to complement all other aspects of our campaigns.  We believe it is the most sophisticated but most intuitive software of its kind in the field.  Not only does it display all the relevant personal data in an easily accessible fashion, but it is also dynamically driven and so displays the most relevant information to be promoted or discussed during the call, guiding callers to specific topics of conversation.  telewizard™ also matches callers with your prospects by interests, profession, country, and other information from your database, allows the Campaign Manager to allocate specific prospect groups to specific callers depending on skill and performance, has comprehensive call back and bad number handling and allows the processing of bank account and credit card details in a systematic and secure way.  Furthermore, all outcomes are logged and categorised instantly, with a variety of statistics on current progress being shown live and corresponding personalised follow-up letters being generated automatically. Our client interface module allows real-time campaign performance monitoring at the touch of a button.

If you wish to see a demonstration of the software online or live in use when viewing a campaign please do not hesitate to contact us.  We would be glad to arrange for a suitable time.

Is the telewizard™ software available as a stand-alone product?

Yes. By popular demand our most recent version of telewizard™ has been developed as a stand-alone product. If you are interested in using our renowned calling software get in touch and we can arrange a demonstration.

Can you only provide the training for our callers? We do not want the campaign package.

Yes. Please contact us about special requirements you have in assisting your in-house operation. Although the training of callers is crucial for great results, other aspects of the campaign such as the recruitment itself, planning the campaign and professional supervision with an outstanding call management software are vital, too. This is why we usually offer our service as a comprehensive package. However, we are always happy to discuss individual requirements.

What projects can we raise money for?

All of your core activities are suitable areas to raise money for, but there are issues when asking a large number of people to support on an annual basis.  That's why your case for support needs to be carefully thought out.  Part of our service is to advise you on projects that will inspire your constituents and make a real difference at your institution and help you produce relevant marketing documents.

Will people not be offended by the call? What is the general reaction to campaigns?

We realize that phoning can be a sensitive issue and therefore have adapted our approach to make people welcome the call.  First of all, we write to your constituents in advance of being called introducing the campaign, but most of all we train the callers to deal with concerns about phone campaigns and prepare them to engage in conversations that make the prospects feel at ease, enjoy the chat, exchange valuable information, reminisce, give feedback and trust the caller.  As the relationship is taken seriously, the reactions are overwhelmingly positive.  Even if people do not choose to make a donation, they still enjoy being called and over time this will create the affinity and culture of giving you are looking to create.  Unfortunately, there will always be some people who criticise, whatever you do.  We follow up every call with a personalised letter that addresses concerns.

Do we have to give you our data?

Yes.  We will need access to your data in order to prepare it for the campaign, including data cleaning and putting it into the right format to display on our call software telewizard.  Of course, we work within data protection laws and will neither keep personalised data beyond your campaign nor pass it on to third parties without your explicit consent.  For the duration of the campaign the data is stored on an online server, accessible only through password.  Afterwards it is re-imported into your database.

What results can we expect for our first campaign?

We base our predicted results on achievements at similar institutions in the sector.  Our typical results are listed in the following table.  Please contact us if you would like to arrange for a meeting to discuss what we may be able to offer to you.

Institution Type Pledge Per Call
(average of all completed calls, Yes's and No's)
Average Pledge
(i.e. only those calls where a pledge is made)
Pledge Giving Rate Fulfilment
Oxbridge  £150-350  £300-600  50-70% 95-130%
University  £50-150  £150-250   30-55% 75-100%
Boarding School  £100-200  £250-400  35-55% 75-130%
Day School  £90-150  £200-350  35-55% 75-120%
Parents  £120-300  £250-400  40-66% 95-130%