How (and Why) to Set Up an Anonymous Tip Line
Posted by Brooklin Nash in DMC How-To's on July 2, 2019
All kinds of organizations require feedback. And almost always, some of the most important feedback or information is also the hardest to get. In many cases, this is because employees, clients, or other involved parties don’t feel comfortable sharing the information.
This is where anonymous tip lines come in.
Anonymous tip lines allow for a free line of communication between reporters and leadership. This increases the likelihood that the most important information makes its way back to the top. You may not think that this applies to your organization, but it’s been proven over and over that the best way to be aware of sensitive situations or gather people’s true feelings about something is to allow them to provide it anonymously.
Using an Anonymous Tip Line for Schools
Even the youngest people we serve can benefit from anonymous tip lines – children.
Students haven’t always been encouraged to speak up about bullying, unfairness, or unsafe behavior. Even when they are, many are too frightened of someone finding out and retaliating physically or branding them a tattletale.
But the truth is that often, kids know about potentially dangerous situations before adults do. We have to be prepared to make it as easy as possible for them to tell us to make school safer for everyone involved.
To this end, anonymous tip lines for bullying can be incredibly important. To ensure that kids know how to use them, it can be a good idea to talk about them often and advertise easy-to-remember phone numbers on posters, stickers, and signs.
Get an Employee Complaint Hotline to Close the Feedback Loop
Unfortunately, adults are just as susceptible to the idea that reporting something important could have extreme negative consequences. With this in mind, it’s just as important that companies have internal employee complaint hotlines if they want to know what their employees dislike or have concerns about.
While this kind of hotline can receive complaints such as a lack of employee parking or a uncomfortable office temperature, they’re also suited to field complaints of harassment, discrimination, embezzlement, or other big-name topics.
Set Up an Anonymous Tip Line for Your Nonprofit
If you run a nonprofit, you’re likely dependent on financial supporters. You probably also work with many groups of people, including volunteers and the served demographic.
An anonymous tip line allows each of these groups to be heard. It also allows for outsiders to report employees engaging in unsafe practices or using money in ways it’s not meant to be used.
Examples of anonymous tip line uses in the nonprofit sphere include:
- A hotline for foster parents to call if they believe they’re being treated unfairly
- A tip line open to the public for calls related to instances of discrimination in the community
- A tip line to report shady financial practices potentially committed by the nonprofit’s own employees
- A hotline for prayer requests
The Mechanics: How to Set Up an Anonymous Tip Line
Thankfully, it isn’t hard to set up an anonymous tip line for your organization. With DialMyCalls, it can be done in four simple steps:
#1: Establish a Number
With DialMyCalls, you can choose between a local or toll free number. These vanity numbers are easy to remember and often relate directly to the service you hope to provide with the tip line.
This vanity number will appear on caller ID if the number is used to call someone else, but also serves as the number one calls to report to the tip line.
#2: Record Your Message
Once the caller has dialed the number, they’ll be directed to a pre-recorded message. This message can be updated whenever necessary, so it can reference current events if that would be helpful.
For example, a company’s employee complaint hotline could change temporarily to apologize for the on-campus construction and reassure callers that they should be finished within the week.
Alternatively, a tip line could remain consistent to breed familiarity with callers.
#3: Choose Your Settings
What happens when a user calls can change depending on the type of hotline you’re creating. For example, the following are all options for those creating tip lines with DialMyCalls:
- Allowing the caller to repeat the original message. This option is important if the message is long, complex, or leads to several ensuing options.
- Allowing the caller to leave a voicemail. For an anonymous tip line or hotline, this option is a must. Simply directing the caller to a human to speak with may scare many away from reporting their concern.
- Allowing the caller to opt-in to future phone calls from this number. This can be helpful if the number doubles as a way for employees, clients, families, or others to stay in the loop on ways you’re improving or addressing problems.
- Allowing the caller to press a key and be transferred to another number. The option to talk to a real person can be especially important if the caller’s concern is time-sensitive. It can also help callers who want to ensure that their complaint or concern is heard.
#4: Respond to Tips
Having an anonymous tip line or hotline doesn’t work if the feedback is never listened to. From your DialMyCalls control panel, you can easily see if you have waiting voicemails on the hotline. Responding to these tips is another matter.
Set Up An Anonymous Tip Line
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Because of the wide variety of ways these tip lines can be used, there are all sorts of action steps that could be necessary upon hearing what your target audience has to say. This could include scheduling a meeting with a child’s parent or calling the company attorney. The important thing is that steps are made to address the issue.
The Bottom Line
Anonymous tip lines can benefit almost any organization. And if you’ve already thought about how this could fit into your organization’s operations, DialMyCalls is a way to make this change simple and quick. Contact us today to get started.