Annual Giving Program Phone-A-Thon Provides Benefits All Around

The Annual Giving Program is made up of two parts, one of which is the phone-a-thon. The phone-a-thon has around 40 students who just by making calls to alumni, manage to make around $350,000 per year.

by Shelbey Hernandez
The Lance – News Editor

For about 20 years, the Annual Giving Program has helped raised thousands of dollars for UWindsor scholarships, research equipment, library resources and more.

On Tuesday, a luncheon was held to kick off the program which raises funds two ways. One way is through the University Division: Faculty and Staff Supporting Students Campaign, which has current and past faculty and staff collectively donating whatever they can towards the program itself. This was what put on the luncheon specifically.

The other way, which brings in a little more than 50 per cent of the money each year, is through the phone-a-thon. Within eight weeks, this part of the program manages to raise more than $350,000 simply by having students call alumni and ask for donations.

It’s a win-win with the phonathon, according to Shae Kavanaugh, the coordinator of the annual giving program.

“It’s a great learning experience for students to grow. Talking to alumni, they can increase their communication skills and it looks great on their resume for when they’re graduating and looking for jobs,” said Kavanaugh. “You also get a lot out of it where you get to talk to alumni, having nice conversations and helping your fellow students in a job that’s like nothing else. You’re talking to people who actually care. Most people are not only excited to chat but also excited to give.”

Around 45 students are currently participating, taking around 200 calls each for three hours straight.

One student in particular had been doing this for two years prior. A criminology student, she has had phone jobs previously and found it was something she was quite good at. So doing work in the phonathon was only fitting.

There are many things Jacqueline Mccullough said she loves about doing the phonathon. She loves the conversations she gets to have with alumni and she especially loves seeing how much money she is making for UWindsor. In fact, just from one three-hour session, she raised around $1,000 from calling around 100 people.

For all the benefits, Mccullough said students should definitely try and get involved.

“You kind of get to see where you’re going to end up in a way and it’s really cool because I’m in criminology, so I get to see where the people who were in criminology have gone to,” said Mccullough. “It’s also a good opportunity to give back to your school, raising money for the university and specifically raising money to give back to your faculty.”

The phone-a-thon works on a resume-basis so it isn’t something students can just simply show up for. For students who may be interested, Kavanaugh said a job posting will be up again in January.

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