NGOs and IVR

Raising funds and ensuring a sustainable fund flow are critical for NGOs to continue to operate for the good of the society. There are tons of useful insights out there on internet that can help you raise funds. Here, I intend to discuss how NGOs are utilizing cloud telephony starting from the stage of lead generation to donor conversion to the stages of entire donor engagement cycle especially with an IVR campaign.

Lead Generation:

When I explored the lead generation aspect, I observed three reasons why NGOs were using cloud telephony service.

1. Cost-effective: It is a cost effective way to reach-out to potential donors or activists. Other channels require spend on advertisements that is normally higher than that what it would be in the case of cloud telephony.

benefits of cloud telephony 2. Maximum reach: Cloud telephony helps if the target donors/activists are in cities where adoption of internet and social media is low. Because of high adoption of mobile phones, the number of target individuals that can be reached via the telephony channel will be greater than the number that can be reached via other channels.

3. Instant call-to-action: Cloud telephony offers instant response mechanism that allows NGOs to ask their potential donors to respond instantly if they are interested in donating, followed by immediate action by the NGOs on those responses. This helps increase conversion.


Conversion to a Donor

Ultimately, the objective is to convert ‘potential donors’ into ‘donors.’ So, below is what cloud telephony has to offer when it comes to conversion percentage.

conversion rate using ivr campaigns for NGO's

The conversion pipeline presented above depicts the results of IVR campaigns run by NGOs using Exotel. Cloud telephony offers three methods to approach potential donors – IVR, Call, and SMS. The IVR campaign result in better conversion than Call and SMS campaigns because IVR mechanism offers multi-level options to potential donors without being intrusive. In addition, IVR route allows NGOs to automatically send an SMS if a potential donor could not listen to the IVR because of any reason – means, another opportunity of getting donor’s attention.

An average 3% conversion is a good conversion percentage, considering it is not a typical sale and donors are not getting anything tangible that they can consume against their spend. Of course, the conversion percentage depends upon the type of contact inventory an NGO has and the type of campaign the NGO is running.

Managing Complete Engagement Cycle

Managing the entire engagement cycle of a donor is important for NGOs for the same reasons as those of SaaS companies – increasing life-cycle of clients and making sure that clients get the most out of the SaaS product.
Engagement is important to NGOs so that they can convey the appropriate message to their potential donors, that they can retain their existing donors for longer period, and that they can make their donors feel that they are adding value to the society with the donations. Let’s look at the customer life-cycle below.

customer lifecycle in an ngo

Since donation is equal to money spend on something good, we want to make sure that our donation is reaching to the authentic organization and that it is being utilized for the reason it was intended to be. Therefore, we seek some proof of the entire process, especially in the current times of frequent internet frauds. Normally, it is the second stage when we seek authentication, and therefore, human interaction becomes important. Here, cloud telephony plays an important role. In addition to normal communication with potential donors, it allows NGOs to listen to the call recordings and improvise on their processes of communication. It also allows NGOs to categories different leads into different category so that customized communication can be facilitated, without being burdened by having different telephone connections.

The stages after we become donors work differently for different people, because our preferences for communication or such engagements are different. Some prefer human-to-human and some prefer email/SMS forms of engagements. NGOs can let their donors opt for their preferred means of engagement methods and continue to enjoy higher lifetime of a donor.

I look forward to hear your thoughts on this.

AUTHOR: Amarjeet Yadav
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