Ross Howe on how Cornucopia is not only surviving but thriving during COVID-19, helping clients transform face-to-face fundraisers into effective telefundraisers.

If there’s one thing this terrible pandemic has taught us, it’s that we can move quickly, change rapidly and work very effectively under some fairly difficult circumstances.

Cornucopia’s mettle was well and truly tested in recent months. But our superb leadership team, amazing staff, cracking IT team, our wonderfully flexible and accommodating clients, and some very, very, very long days, have seen us not only survive but thrive in this difficult time.

As the impacts of the pandemic became evident in early March, Cornucopia hit fast forward on our plans to move our 50+ seat call centre into home calling. Not only did we achieve that in record time and with few dramas, but we also moved our entire head office into successfully working from home – assorted kids, pets and sometimes dodgy internet notwithstanding. The only thing missing are snarky emails about the state of the kitchen. And the company of our colleagues, of course.

With all face-to-face fundraising suspended in both Australia and New Zealand on 23 March 2020, we have worked with old and new clients to creatively and effectively move face-to-face fundraising campaigns to calling campaigns.

“The transition was astonishingly smooth. We had scripts and dollar handles created within two weeks, the training was attended by former F2Fers and experienced telemarketers, all of whom seemed to grasp Family’s aims and mission quickly. Initial results are looking very strong and our conversations are now about what our post COVID-19 partnership will look like, hopefully a mixture of both fundraising channels,” said Thom Holland, Fundraising Manager, Family for Every Child.

We now have callers working from Perth to Christchurch, with leading face-to-face fundraisers transitioning into leading telefundraisers achieving outstanding results – demonstrating that a great fundraiser is a great fundraiser no matter what.

“The Cornucopia team have shown great adaptability and work incredibly hard to ensure success in all channels…transferring the skills and technology not only to F2F fundraisers but also to helping them work from home,” said Janice Sturmey, Regular Giving Coordinator, Save the Children New Zealand.

Cornucopia is very much open for business. We’re successfully running our normal calling campaigns as well as providing some creative solutions to clients heavily impacted by the pandemic.

FACE-TO-FACE FUNDRAISERS ON THE PHONES AND WORKING A TREAT

We thank our F2F clients, whose campaigns were suddenly stalled with shutdowns in both Australia and New Zealand, for coming along with us and taking a leap of faith in our proposal to put F2F fundraisers on the phones. This has not only kept F2F fundraisers engaged and employed, but also maintained RG acquisition.

Callum Allison, F2F fundraiser on the phones, said: “Not only have we been able to learn new skills and create a new perspective on fundraising as a whole, but we have made a success of it as well…our team is breaking records that have been unheard of in the business and that is down to the positive welcoming atmosphere that has been created.”

Specific calling campaigns, focused on quality lead to regular giving, are performing very well indeed. We are hoping to get more lead-to-RG conversion campaigns in the coming weeks, which will enable us to hire more face-to-face fundraisers looking to transition to telefundraising work. Please get in touch if you’d like to hear more of how we can support your fundraising acquisition.

PRIMED IS THE NEW BLACK

While we are continuing to provide great results on our usual calling campaigns, we have also started a very exciting new lead-to-RG conversion program methodology called Primed Engagement. This is a partnership between Cornucopia and LemonTree, Conversr and More Impact that is collectively enabling new technologies at the cutting-edge of donor engagement.

FANSDONATE – EVERYONE’S DOING IT!

With most of the country at home and glued to social media our very own social media engagement arm, Fansdonate, is achieving excellent results. This is due to a 40% increase in uptake, and we’re seeing a very receptive environment for engaging in creative content.

In the coming months, we are keen to open up our digital services to new partners with the ability to get campaigns in-market within two weeks.

Please give us a shout if you’d like to know more about Cornucopia, Fansdonate or Primed.

www.cornucopia.com.au

THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED DURING COVID-19

  • Our clients are wonderfully compassionate, trusting, accepting, flexible and generally all-round good eggs.
  • Our fundraisers, both F2F and on the phones, are AMAZING. So are the team leaders and managers who keep them engaged, motivated and connected despite being many miles apart. They are the lifeblood of our company and they are doing an exceptional job achieving outstanding results for our clients.
  • Cornucopia can fundraise under almost any circumstance and continues to be a leader in the sector providing innovative, flexible, tailored solutions to increase your fundraising revenue, engage and steward your donors, and partner with you while we all get through this together.
  • Working in pyjamas is okay, day drinking not so much, and cats have no concept of boundaries.
  • Cornucopia has the best staff in the history of employment. Seriously.

 

With 20 years’ experience in the charity sector, Ross Howe has been the Managing Director of Cornucopia Consultancy Pty Ltd, a market leader in acquisition fundraising in Australia and NZ, since 2008. Ross has been instrumental in the diversification, innovation and growth of Cornucopia to meet the demands of the evolving fundraising landscape.

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