Week 3 was one of highs and lows. Our students have made progress on better understanding the purpose and mission of this project, have identified organizations to investigate, and our guest speaker for the week, Geri Beaty of Event Innovations was awesome! Unfortunately, it’s the organizations we’re trying to support that are coming up short. First, the positive…
Cold calling is difficult regardless of the purpose of your call. These middle school students have embraced this task of reaching out to organizations, determining who they should be speaking with and setting appointments. It’s a difficult task that will serve them for the rest of their lives. This week we had Geri Beaty come into the classroom and spend some time discussing the nuances that come with operating a company that is dependent upon volunteers. It’s a different game than paying someone to work. She brought up some great points about how each of our experiences in volunteering can have a lasting impact on the specific organization we’re working with, as well as the volunteer experience overall. How an organization treats its volunteers, their level of organization with volunteers, and their appreciation are all reflections on their overall well being. Our purpose in this portion is to get a “feel” for the organization – what it’s like on the inside, perspective of other volunteers, etc. This will become part of our qualitative analysis as we determine which groups we wish to donate to.
The bummer part of this week came from the organizations themselves. After multiple calls by students (as well as several by Mr. K), we are yet to have booked a time to meet with someone or volunteer. Students have been transferred to voicemails, been told to call back another time, been given wrong numbers, and at least one hang up. They are calling with scripts describing the purpose of their calls, that they are students, and that they will be determining if they’d like to donate to this organization. It’s pretty disappointing to hear this feedback, though in my experience in working with other donors, it’s not all that uncommon. Speaking with non-profit organizations, their number one concern in nearly all cases is better fundraising. More donations. Bigger donations. Finding donors. These are current and future donors calling them, wanting to give them money. If someone called you wanting to write you a check, would you ask them to call back another time? Really? This shouldn’t be so difficult.
As a result of all of this, we’ve added a more detailed form for them to complete when calls are made to ensure we’re documenting the calls – which organizations, and to whom we spoke. Not sure if we’ll use this to notify the organizations, but I’m guessing that would be good information for them to know.
We’re counting on a few orgs to step it up this week; time is ticking! Check delivery is in three weeks; hope there are a few organizations that warrant the gift!