Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Spurs Congressional Action Using Vontoo Phone Messaging Technology


WASHINGTON -- Getting quick Congressional action takes a compelling message, exceptional communication, and a constituent base uniquely motivated to call Capitol Hill. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) delivered all three by rallying their national network of grassroots advocates with Vontoo Voice Messaging.
Recently, the House and Senate Diabetes Caucuses circulated a sign-on letter in support of increased funding for Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research. Wanting to demonstrate strong bipartisan support for this funding, JDRF leadership set a goal of persuading 50 senators and 218 representatives to sign the letter.
"This letter represented a significant opportunity, but we could only make good on it if our grassroots supporters were aware of and actively participated in the effort," commented Mike Kondratick, director, JDRF Grassroots Advocacy. "We needed these voting constituents to immediately contact their senator and representative and ask them to sign the letter."
Seeking a way to make a stand-out impression and convey the truly urgent need for immediate support, the JDRF then turned to permission-based voice messaging company Vontoo. By accessing Vontoo's automated calling technology via the Internet, the JDRF scheduled and then voice broadcasted a compelling voice message to thousands of its JDRF advocates nationwide. The voice message was distributed to the mobile, business, or home phone number each advocate had previously provided to the organization. Since Vontoo's self-managed process requires no hardware, software or third-party call center, the JDRF could create and send its message very quickly.
"One of Vontoo's most powerful features was the ability to immediately transfer listeners to their congressional representatives' offices," stated Kondratick. "Rather than us hoping they would take the extra step after hanging up, the listeners could simply press '1' on their phone to be connected. That simple transfer feature dramatically increased the number of calls reaching Capitol Hill."
The JDRF exceeded its expectations with the Vontoo automated calling campaign: 65 Senators and 262 Representatives added their names to the funding letter and an unprecedented 17 percent of the JDRF advocates transferred to their representative.
"The call-in rate was far higher than past achievements with e-mail or other efforts," shared Kondratick. "Those calls had a direct and meaningful impact on our results."
According to Vontoo Founder and CEO Bob Compton, the JDRF's approach demonstrates a rising trend in government advocacy and not-for-profit groups. He explains these organizations view Vontoo's voice technology as a primary tool in maintaining enthusiasm and streamlining calls-to-action for busy members who have less and less time to support a cause.
"Vontoo's personal connection and detailed tracking capabilities helps not-for-profits stay visible to their members," explains Compton. "And by reviewing reports detailing who listened and responded to each call, organizations are constantly updating their communications in real time to ensure their message remains fresh."

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