Supporters  |   Speed kills  |   Telephone Fundraising – It Works!  |   FCC & Phone Laws  |  

Current Newsletter

 Talking to Your SupportersJack Tracksler 

What If You Could Talk With All Of Your Supporters One-On-One?

We have a number of clients who do it all the time. Best of all, they don’t buy plane tickets, rent cars or hotel rooms to do it. They do it on the phone.

Among our healthcare, nonprofit and sports team clients, a major university in the Northeast uses our technology to talk with prospective students and their parents on a regular basis. The program is simple. They create lists of admitted students who have not yet paid their deposit. Students from different majors and their parents have the opportunity to talk directly with the Director of Admissions and Dean of the college where they have been accepted through a program we call Boardroom. It runs like a radio phone-in show and all participants need is a telephone.

What started out as an “interesting test” has become an absolute necessity. It gives the student and/or their parents an opportunity to ask any question or voice any concern they may have directly with either the Director of Admissions or the Dean of the individual college. Boardroom adds a human to the mix of the admissions process.

Although we limit the number of potential participants to 1,000, we have the ability to engage 10’s of thousands on the call.

So, how does it work?
  1. The university provides a list of prospective participants.
  2. We send out a “save the date” phone call the day before the program runs.
  3. On the evening of the call, the Director of Admissions, Dean of the college and two or three call screeners gather just before 7:00. (And they all don’t have to be in the same room! Often each calls into the Boardroom program from their home.)
  4. Then we dial out to the list provided by the university.
Calls average over 250 participants who listen to all of the conversations with many asking their own questions. These programs have seen activity of one-on-one communication last as long as 90 minutes, however, the average is usually one hour. As the Director of Admissions says, “where else can I get a one-on-one conversation with students and parents for over an hour? Not at college fairs, campus visits, nowhere!”

Deposits are up, campus visits are up, goals are met or surpassed. And the university has put a friend in the mix. Through Boardroom, this university has projected a friendly image, calmed nerves and answered every question these admitted students and their parents have. Everyone wins.

Please give me a call at 207-439-2924 to hear more. Demos can be provide free-of-charge. I hope to hear from you.

Contact Jack at

 SPEED KILLS Jack Tracksler 

But, sometimes speed saves. Consider this.

Something has happened that requires you to get a message out to your entire constituency. Sending a letter or card can take weeks and we all know that most of the time, we don’t have weeks. We have hours or in some cases – minutes.

One of our clients is a major league baseball team that plays in an open stadium. If a game is cancelled or delayed due to rain, they need to get the word out to all ticketholders – immediately. So, they record a message using the voice of their game announcer and email the wav file to us. We load the file of their ticketholders and send the prerecorded call out. All in less than 15 minutes!

Many of our clients have events scheduled throughout the country. Recently, one had a venue that closed 8 hours before their prescheduled event. Oops! They secured another venue and we placed calls to everyone who was signed up for the event. The calls went out within 20 minutes of the backup venue being secured. Seamlessly, folks were directed to the new venue.

Quite frankly, we prefer to take our time setting up programs, analyzing files, testing calls. But there are times when that is just not possible and we have to speed to help save our clients. While most are trying to figure out what can be done, we are already doing it. And best of all, there is no rush charge – ever.

Try us, you'll like us. Believe me. Or believe our 100's of satisfied clients.

Contact Jack at

  Telephone Fundraising – It Works!CIC

Telephone fundraising is one of the most effective ways to generate new donors in a short amount of time and help establish a list of supporters right away. Tele-fundraising response rates can be higher than direct mail, so you can add new donors quickly. We have the benefits of rapid implementation and instant feedback and can update and hone our message daily based on what message is working. We can help deliver a coordinated message while raising funds and with daily results, we know within a few days whether or not a file will work effectively, so risk is minimal. However, telemarketing is expensive and while it can gross more dollars than mail, the cost is higher.

The biggest reason to tele-fundraise is to build a file of supporters and donors that will net dollars down the road. Confluent Impact Communications, licensed and bonded in every state, offers the ability to prospect for new donors at a breakeven rate. While you won’t risk money on finding these donors, expect that prospecting for new donors will not net money for your organization. The net dollars come from additional calls and mailings you make on the newly acquired donors 6 months down the road.

Fundraising and Prospecting Case Study

Confluent provided a statewide organization with a small dollar fundraising plan beginning in the summer of 2010. Prospecting began in advance of their fiscal year in order to build a house file.

We were able to acquire over 13,000 new donors and maintained a fulfillment rate above 60% for both prospective and current donors. Our small dollar tele-fundraising program grossed over a million dollars in 2010, proving the value of finding new donors early and setting up a schedule where they give regularly.

The effort also netted funds through prospecting, which is a rare commodity in fundraising. Fortunately through the CIC break-even guarantee and trained calling staff, the organization was able to generate net dollars, while finding new donors at the same time. Further, we grew the donor list from a couple thousand regional pledges to a statewide network of contributors committed to the organization’s success.

Through communication with the organization’s fundraising vendors from other media, CIC maximized results in tele-fundraising. Donors were not overwhelmed by multiple vendor contacts; instead our efforts worked hand-in-hand to maximize profits for the client in all fundraising capacities.

At CIC we firmly believe that we are part of your team. As such, we work with you and all your vendors to present a coordinated fundraising effort. We are now planning for 2013 fiscal year fundraising and will continue to provide our break-even guarantee.

 FCC & Phone LawsJoseph Sanscrainte

The Federal Communications Commission recently approved a Report and Order that makes a number of important changes to its rules promulgated pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This document is designed to explain the most important changes:


The first issue involves the FCC’s new approach to predictive dialer and prerecorded calls to cell phones. The “old” rule prohibited delivering “any” such call to a cell phone unless you had prior express consent. The “new” rule divides such calls to cell phones into two categories: 1) predictive dialer/prerecorded calls to cell phones that constitute telemarketing; and 2) all other predictive dialer/prerecorded calls to cell phones.

Let’s take a look at category 1, predictive dialer/prerecorded calls to a cell phone that constitute telemarketing. The FCC divides THESE calls into three subcategories:

• Calls that constitute telemarketing that are made by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization: for these, prior express consent only (i.e., no writing) is sufficient;

• Calls that constitute telemarketing that deliver a health care message from a “covered entity” (as defined in HIPAA): well, it’s clear that the FCC exempts prerecorded calls to cell phones from ANY consent requirements, but it’s not clear whether predictive dialer HIPAA calls are similarly exempted entirely, or if they fall within Category 2 (see below). (For anyone that has questions on HIPAA calls, feel free to call me.)

• Calls that constitute telemarketing generally: prior express WRITTEN consent is required. This is a significant change, in that telemarketers who relied upon inquiries (either oral or via a website) to make follow-up telemarketing calls with a predictive dialer will no longer be able to do so. To make such follow-up calls moving forward (but see the “Implementation” section below, there’s a 12 month period before this rule takes effect), telemarketers will have to get express written consent, which means having a checkbox on a website with language to the effect of “By checking this box, I am signing this form and giving permission to ABC Company to contact me at the number provided.” (To meet e-Sign requirements in the oral context requires advice from counsel. In fact, implementing ALL of these updates requires advice of counsel!)

Category 2 is a “catch-all” – all predictive dialer/prerecorded calls to cell phones OTHER than the calls identified above require “express consent” only. The FCC states that prior express WRITTEN consent is not required for purely “informational” and/or “non-telemarketing” calls, and includes in this category such calls as research or survey messages, non-profit fundraising messages, and informational calls by school boards, political candidates, airline notification services, bank account fraud services, and debt collectors. (And note that with regard to debt collectors, the FCC has ruled that predictive dialer/prerecorded calls to wireless numbers “that are provided by the called party to a creditor in connection with an existing debt are permissible as calls made with the ‘prior express consent’ of the called party.”)


The “old” rule (that telemarketers care most about) is that you have to get prior express consent if you want to deliver a prerecorded telemarketing call to a residential line, UNLESS you have an established business relationship with the person you’re calling. The FTC removed this exemption back in August of 2008 and also required consent in writing for such calls, and now, three and a half years later, the FCC is following suit.

If you’re an entity that is NOT regulated by the FTC, but you ARE regulated by the FCC, you may no longer rely upon an EBR to deliver a prerecorded telemarketing message to a residential line. You must obtain express WRITTEN consent to make any such call. BUT – the FCC goes to great lengths to explain that this ONLY applies to “telemarketing” calls, and NOT informational and/or non-telemarketing calls. (See discussion above). (This rule also does not apply to health care messages under HIPAA.)


All timeframes below commence upon publication of the Office of Management and Budget’s approval of the new FCC rules in the Federal Register. As of this time, I have no idea WHY OMB approval is required (something about the Paperwork Reduction Act) and/or WHEN this approval will be provided and/or published in the Federal Register).

Specifically, the FCC establishes:

• a twelve-month period for implementation of the requirement that prior express consent be in writing for telemarketers employing predictive dialers to call cell phones;

• a twelve-month period for phasing out the EBR exemption related to prerecorded calls to residential lines (i.e., telemarketers will have twelve months from publication of OMB approval of the FCC’s written consent rules to cease utilization of the EBR relationship as evidence of consumer consent to receive prerecorded telemarketing calls);

• a 90-day implementation period for the automated, interactive opt-out mechanism for prerecorded telemarketing calls and for the abandoned call message;

• A 30-day implementation period for the revised abandoned call rule (the per campaign, successive 30 day measurement rule).

Mr. Sanscrainte is a nationally-recognized expert in matters involving teleservices. Mr. Sanscrainte’s many years of experience enable him to cost-efficiently address the many complexities raised by state and federal telemarketing regulations.

Contact Joseph Sanscrainte at or visit his webpage at

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