College Fundraising Secrets
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

College Fundraising Secrets

Honestly, just answer the phone.

College Fundraising Secrets

When I first told my sister about my on-campus job, she was a little shocked. Calling people and asking for money? Why would anyone ever choose to do that? Especially these days, when hardly anyone uses the phone for calling and many of us have at least a little bit of phone-anxiety. The first secret is this: It helps a lot to be paid to talk to people.

But, honestly, that’s not the whole story.

Here, we call them Tech Callers. Basically, a bunch of students, some on work-study and some not, sit in cubicles and wear headsets while the computer system dials the phone numbers on file. It’s all on the computer: the address, the phone number and a bit of info about the alum’s major and clubs so we have something to talk about. I think this takes away a lot of the anxiety — we don’t have to punch in the number and hit go, we just sit and let the computer do that work. Then we listen to the answering machine. We click through the system so the computer knows it was an answering machine. And then the computer calls the next number, probably another answering machine. It’s pretty repetitive, but it’s all right. And sometimes people actually pick up the phone and want to talk about their work or their experience at school, and that can even be fun.

Some of the best calls are when I ask for advice. Since I’m a freshman, it’s easy to say, "Hey, what’s something I should do while I’m here? I have three years left!" Sometimes they’ll recommend favorite professors, and other times they’ll tell stories of pranks or questionable decisions. The number of people who have walked across the Charles River in the dead of winter, trusting that the ice was thick enough for the weight of a couple of college students, is honestly a little worrying. Some of the older alumni (since we call people who have been away for up to 50 years) have told stories of playing computer games coded on punch cards at two in the morning, when the room-sized machines weren’t being used for research.

Inevitably, not everyone is so kind, though. Usually when people don’t want to talk, they’ll either ignore the call or hang up before I have a chance to say hello. But one call that sticks out in my mind is the time an older man told me, “I have a Ph.D., I know how to write a check!” before he requested to be taken off the calling list. Other people have been caught in unfortunate situations, like being fired or recently out of surgery. Sometimes people call the phone numbers of relatives only to find that the alum has passed away. You might say there’s a learning curve to dealing with these situations. We do our best to be considerate, and of rude calls — you can’t take them personally.

Since you’ve made it this far, I’ll let you in on the best of the secrets: how to handle these calls when you’re getting them. If you’re in college, you’ll get them once you graduate. If you graduated recently and hate hearing the phone ring so often, I’ve got you. Every time it goes to an answering machine, the number goes right back into the system (we call them “calling pools”) to be called again within the next few days. If you pick up and immediately hang up, it’s the same thing. The best thing you can do is take a minute to talk to the person on the other end of the line. If you do that, then you’ll at least avoid phone calls for the rest of the fund-raising season or fiscal year. Even if you aren’t able to donate or if you want to be taken off the calling list, I can almost guarantee that the person you’ll talk to is some anxious freshman who just wanted a bit of spending money and could use a nice conversation.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments