A few weeks ago, I had the chance to meet with the head of Plan Ireland – a global overseas development organization that supports children and families in developing countries. After a few conversations with their marketing team, we hit upon the idea of  “Calling for a Cause”, a philanthropic effort aimed at leveraging LinkedIn’s extremely talented inside sales teams to support Plan Ireland’s worthy cause.

The first telethon consisted of 15 members of our sales force calling 750 previous donors to see if they would consider reactivating their support. To keep it simple, when the team got someone live that was interested we simply forwarded the call to the Plan Ireland office or marked the contact for follow up. Our team’s efforts not only helped Plan Ireland update their records but these calls also had an important ‘hello’ factor in that those called reminded, and thanked donors for their previous support to Plan Ireland, thus reinforcing potential donor loyalty into the future.

Most importantly, the funds raised within one hour of calling over €20,000, the equivalent of building three schools in a developing country.

Our second telethon campaign was even more well received as we called existing donors that simply needed to fill in a tax form and send it in for Plan Ireland to claim a rebate from the Irish Revenue Commissioner. 16 people flew through these calls netting an estimated €24,000 that will be used to support Plan Ireland’s food and water crisis response in East Africa by feeding 800 Ethiopian families for three months.

Participants in “Calling for a Cause” felt rewarded by the humanitarian impact of their efforts. Meanwhile, Plan Ireland was happy to have this added resource. We look forward to partnering with them throughout the year and hope to replicate this program again. If  we could complete 6 sessions in a year, we can potentially bring in over €140k. With this in mind the bar is being raised as we set a target of €200k for ourselves.

Let me leave you with some thoughts from David Dalton, Plan Ireland’s CEO:

Our relationship with Linkedin over the last few months has been vitally important to us. Outside of the obvious monetary value, the enthusiasm and energy from everyone involved the Calling for a Cause campaign has been so encouraging. I look forward to continuing our relationship well into the future and, on behalf of all the children we represent, I thank all involved.