In today’s fast-paced digital age, connecting with supporters and donors in a meaningful way is harder than ever for charities trying to make a lasting impact. Recognizing this, many are discovering the potential and power of telephone town halls (TTHs), leading to their growing integration into the communications plans of non-profits. This dynamic communication tool has revolutionized the way charities engage and mobilize their audience. While the effectiveness of direct-response television (DRTV) commercials has been waning with shifts in media consumption habits and the rise of digital platforms, TTHs offer an engaging alternative. They allow charities to reach a wider audience more efficiently than calling programs and more sustainably than direct mail; all with the added advantage of the ability to receive live feedback.
Through a telephone town hall, charities can engage supporters in real-time discussions, share updates and success stories, and gather valuable feedback. Telephone town halls are a game-changer for charities, providing a platform that combines technology, personalization, and genuine connection to drive change and make a difference. In this article, we will delve into the power of telephone town halls and discover how charities are harnessing their potential to create a brighter future for all.
The impact of connection in charity work
Charities rely on connection to build trust, engage supporters, and drive their mission forward. However, charities need to adapt and find new ways to connect with their audience in our technology-driven world. Telephone town halls offer a unique solution by providing a platform for interactive and inclusive discussions, where supporters can actively participate and engage in real-time conversations. This level of connection not only strengthens the bond between charities and their supporters but also creates a sense of community and belonging.
Telephone town halls provide an opportunity for charities to be more personal in their communication. By addressing supporters directly and allowing them to share their thoughts and experiences, charities can establish a deeper connection and show that they genuinely care about their supporters’ opinions. This personal touch creates a sense of trust and loyalty, making supporters more likely to continue their involvement and support the charity’s cause.
Advantages of telephone town halls for charities
Telephone town halls offer numerous advantages for charities looking to enhance their communication strategies. They provide a cost-effective way to engage a large audience. Unlike physical events, which may require venue rentals, catering, and travel expenses, telephone town halls eliminate these costs while still allowing charities to reach a wide range of supporters. This makes the tool more accessible for both small and large charities.
Another great advantage of telephone town halls for charities is their ability to reach an older demographic. According to research done by Charitable Impact, in 2020, 32% of Canadians aged 65 and older who filed their taxes reported charitable donations, compared to 11% of those aged 25 to 34 years old. While older demographics are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, the telephone continues to be one of the best ways to reach Canadians over 65.
Telephone town halls offer flexibility and convenience. Supporters can participate from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need for travel or time off work. This convenience increases the likelihood of participation and ensures a diverse audience, including supporters who may not have been able to attend physical events.
Example of a successful telephone town hall for a charity
Many charities have already embraced telephone town halls and witnessed their power firsthand. One notable example is the Canadian Red Cross, which organized a telephone town hall to boost awareness and engagement after the 2019 Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. While ADAD rules under CRTC regulations prohibit solicitation in telephone town halls, the CRC looked to reach out to donors to increase their participation and rally their supporters – hoping to inspire them to become involved and ultimately donate funds.
As any disaster relief charity knows, these types of unpredictable campaigns require large amounts of effort and funds on short notice. Increasing awareness and donations is a challenge, especially when the disaster isn’t widely publicized – as was the case with Cyclone Idai.
The event was a resounding success, with close to 2000 supporters tuning in and 86 people queuing to ask a question or share their thoughts and ideas. The interactive nature of the town hall allowed the Canadian Red Cross to have compelling, informative, and at times, emotional conversations with their supporters, strengthening their community’s relationship.
How to organize a telephone town hall for your charity
If you’re looking to find out more about telephone town halls and how to integrate them into your communications strategy you can read our blog about how they are revolutionizing community engagement.
You can also reach out to our engagement team who are always happy to discuss all things telephone town hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for engaging and connecting with your audience during a telephone town hall
To maximize engagement and connection during a telephone town hall, consider incorporating the following tips:
- Be inclusive: Ensure that all participants feel welcome and valued. Encourage diverse perspectives, listen actively, and create a safe space for everyone to contribute.
- Use storytelling: Share compelling stories and real-life examples to illustrate the impact of your charity’s work. Stories evoke emotions and help supporters connect on a deeper level.
- Be interactive: Incorporate interactive elements, such as polls or live Q&A sessions, to keep participants engaged and actively involved in the conversation.
- Keep it conversational: Use a conversational tone and language to create a friendly and relatable atmosphere. Avoid jargon or complex terminology that may alienate or confuse participants.
Measuring the success of your telephone town hall
Measuring the success of your telephone town hall is crucial to understanding its impact and identifying areas for improvement. Here are some key metrics to consider when evaluating your telephone town hall’s success:
- Combine with other communication channels: Telephone town halls should complement your existing communication channels, such as email newsletters, social media, and direct mail campaigns. Use them to reinforce your messaging and foster a consistent brand presence.
- Follow up and nurture relationships: After a telephone town hall, continue to nurture relationships with participants. Send follow-up emails, provide updates on the discussed topics, and invite them to future events or initiatives.
- Measure and optimize: Continuously measure the impact of your telephone town halls and optimize your approach based on feedback and results. Experiment with different formats, topics, and engagement strategies to find what resonates best with your audience. Stratcom’s engagement team is always on-hand to offer strategic consulting to help you get the best results.
Conclusion: Harnessing the power of connection for charitable impact
Telephone town halls have emerged as a powerful tool for charities to connect with supporters in a meaningful way. While traditional engagement methods like DRTV commercials have faced challenges in the evolving digital landscape, telephone town halls offer an engaging alternative that combines technology with a genuine connection. The ability to engage in interactive discussions and gather valuable feedback makes telephone town halls a game-changer. As charities continue to adapt and evolve, the power of connection through telephone town halls will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in their work.