When we founded Thirtyone it was on the back of simple ideals and values and we try to live by them everyday. We call the UK public and ask them to support charitable and not for profit organisations, some would label us a ‘call centre’, we’re not keen on that term – it conjures up images of people crammed into small spaces with tiny desks.
We prefer the label ‘fundraising agency’, because that’s what we are. We’re a team of individuals who want to make a difference and enjoy our successes. Here’s a revelation – we enjoy what we do and we’re pretty good at it too!
We all like to think of ourselves as charitable, intending to do more and give more, but life does have a tendency to get in the way, so our best intentions of donating to ‘that’ cause on the website or via text sometimes doesn’t materialise.
There are some amazing organisations doing vital work and they need continued support. We try to bridge that gap; we try to connect people with causes that need your help. We know, you can’t support everything and worry about everyone, but we still need to ask the question, we do it professionally and with care and if you can’t help this time, maybe you’ll enjoy a conversation with one of the team and you’ll be able to help another day or in another way?
Thirtyone was set up on a tiny budget, [seriously it was really tiny], everything was about best value. From our chosen premises to the furniture, we put the desks together ourselves, potted plants and set up tunes for the floor.
We wouldn’t still be here if we didn’t keep an eye on the numbers and just like any other business we have to make a profit to pay everyone but we make sure it is not at the cost of anyone else. We only ever work on an acquisition basis, so we only get paid when we bring a new supporter on board, meaning no risk for the charity.
We’re good at what we do and we’re confident in our fundraisers ability to deliver.
No matter how nice and refreshing we think we are, we know that telesales, telemarketing, telefundraising, whatever you prefer to call it, has got a bad rep. This is because poorly trained callers are being let loose on the British public. Our guys aren’t let near a phone until they have gone through our training principles and we are confident they can represent our charity clients professionally. All fundraisers at Thirtyone undergo training to advise and guide them on indicators where an individual should not be sold to, whether because of their health, age, finances or a gambling addiction. Our aim is to provide our clients with new supporters acquired in an ethical way who can sustain their support.
Pushy sales techniques have no place at Thirtyone; we don’t employ aggressive tactics or use guilt to gain support.
Our calls are about two adults having a conversation about a particular cause or issue. We don’t rely on the generosity of the elderly, we never knowingly call anyone over the age of 75 years old, not because people of that age can’t or don’t want to help, but we believe the senior people in our society have done their bit and shouldn’t be bothered with our telephone calls.
We never ask for huge sums of cash, for us it’s about getting more people on board rather than big cash amounts, can you imagine the difference it would make if everyone in the UK regularly gave £1 per week to charity?
We buy consumer data records from trusted data suppliers so we only call people we have the right to call, the people we speak to have either taken part in a legitimate telephone or online survey expressing interest in the organisations we work with, or their records are publicly and legally available to call.
We’ve made it easier for a consumer to opt out of receiving calls. If a consumer dials 1471 after receiving a call from us they will hear this recorded message;
“you were called today by Thirtyone, we fundraise on behalf of UK charities and not for profit organisations and we will endeavour to call you again at another time. If you would prefer not to receive another telephone call, please dial 01603 859658, leave a message confirming your name and telephone number and we will remove you from our calling list, thank you.”
This provides consumers with control over what calls they receive from Thirtyone and offers the chance for them to “opt out”.
If we do happen to call someone who really doesn’t want to be called, we won’t call again. Ever.
We also provide the data supplier’s contact details so you can call them and ask to be removed from future marketing and other company lists too. We know things aren’t perfect and yes sometimes a name and number will slip through the net, so if we call you and you don’t want to be called, just tell our fundraiser, they’ll say sorry, they’ll mean it and we won’t call you again. That’s a promise.
We are doing our best to be a good employer, our fundraisers are paid more than any other in a similar role, our offices are bright and colourful, we have a cool break out area if you fancy a game of pool or air hockey and a library and board games if you fancy peace and quiet.
In the years to come, we want to be able to look back and be really proud of the business we’ve all helped to create. Thanks for taking the time to read this blurb and if you fancy popping in to say hi, please do; we’ll put the kettle on.