Phone-a-thon encourages alumni to answer the call

Johnson State College’s phone-a-thon, the formerly annual event that takes place over eight nights when students call alumni trying to encourage donations, is back after a year’s hiatus.

Raising money of course is the goal, and according to phone-a-thon coordinator Anna Maria Liccione, donations can go towards specific purposes, giving  prospective donors some discretion as to how their donation is spent.

“They can put it towards the Annual Fund if they want,” said Liccione. “But, I prefer encouraging people if they were in a particular sport, or if they had been the recipient of a scholarship, or have a certain area they are really interested in, to designate their donation to go in that direction.”

Calling goes beyond fund-raising, however.  Another function of the phone-a-thon is to keep alumni informed of current and upcoming events at JSC and this is why students are chosen to make the calls instead of using a professional call service, a strategy employed at many other colleges.

Students are not only well-informed of current activities on campus, but they can provide a real connection, a real person at the other end of the phone line, who can easily share common points of reference with an alumni who is thinking about giving.
Also, student-callers will be sure to inform reunion-year alumni about this year’s homecoming weekend.  This is also an opportunity for the school to update its information about the alumni.

The phone-a-thon is only part of the college’s alumni outreach efforts, which include a monthly electronic newsletter, a Facebook page, and an interactive alumni website.

“After you graduate, and we call, we hope you answer,” said Director of Development and Alumni Relations Lauren Philie. “We aren’t just looking for money. We are really looking to keep people engaged, and we want to hear your feedback. We want your email so we can tell you ways to stay hooked-in. We really do care about our alums.”

The phone-a-thon will run the weeks of March 10 and March 17, from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.