How to Improve Telethons for Charities

by Contributor
Getting free, radio air space is valuable publicity for a nonprofit organization.

Getting free, radio air space is valuable publicity for a nonprofit organization.

How to Improve Telethons for Charities. Telethons can be one fundraising option for charities. However, in order for a telethon to work, charities need to think carefully about covering all the bases and creating a good event. Technical issues, low exposure and vague goals can kill a telethon.

Make it as easy as possible for people to donate money. Consider having more phone lines, offering Internet donation options and training customer representatives. The more smoothly the process runs, the better off your telethon will run.

Create a concrete mission for the telethon. Larger organizations that have name recognition may be better able to have a telethon for general funds. Smaller organizations may need to be more specific about what the money is going toward.

Use celebrities or entertainment to draw people to the broadcast. Small organizations can make use of local bands and entertainers, particularly if they have a strong local following. In some cases, more well-known celebrities may participate if they have a tie to the organization or location.

Advertise your telethon. Even charities with limited budgets can get the word out. Take advantage of free calendar listings, bulletin boards and listserves in the area. The more people know about the telethon the more likely you'll be to get donations.

Think about the timing of the telethon. Although you'll need to work with the station broadcasting, try to obtain a day and time that's accessible to most people. Putting your telethon on television during a workday may not be the best choice for most charities, for example.

Upgrade your broadcast. If you currently use the radio, see if you can include a television broadcast on a local channel. If you do a television broadcast, look into a more popular station.

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