Telemarketers have a bad reputation, but Modesto’s Direct Line Technologies is working to change people's perceptions of phone sales, and at the same time, raise money for valuable causes.
"We like to call ourselves 'tele-philanthropists,'" says President and CEO Martha Connor.
DirectLine is a professional fundraising organization that works exclusively with nonprofit groups, including alumni and professional organization and hospitals and medical groups.
"In our 20 years we’ve raised over $74 million through annual giving and memberships sales, and that doesn't include any substantial gifts," says Connor.
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Connor says that the company puts a lot of measures in place in order to make sure that DirectLine is not just another telemarketer. Friendly employees are thoroughly trained and then constantly retrained in order to make sure they are polite and are knowledgeable of local laws regarding phone sales.
DirectLine uses state-of-the-art technology that protects people’s personal information, restricts calls during certain time periods, and prevents employees from making calls for an organization without proper training and certification.
In addition, because DirectLine works with nonprofit groups, they only call people that have pre-established relationships with the organization, so there is no "calling the phone book."
These differences allow DirectLine to stand above the competition in professionalism, but it also has resulted in higher revenues for the organizations they work with, and for Connor, that’s what makes her work so satisfying.
"We get to raise money for organizations that do great things," she explains, "and it's fun and rewarding."