Student Callers Typically Raise $80,000-Plus from 1,100 Donors
Wilmington College’s Phonathon is entering its final week as the spring semester also culminates with a flurry of year-end activities.
PICTURED: Freshman Mackenzie Leon listens as members of the alumni community share stories with student Phonathon callers.
For the past five weeks, two-dozen students have been interacting with alumni and friends of the College via a telephone exchange whose goal is both a gift in support of Wilmington College and a positive interaction with their alma mater.
Matt Wahrhaftig, vice president for advancement, said the Phonathon typically raises more than $80,000 from some 1,100 donors. “The College is very appreciative for the generous gifts that alumni and friends have provided, and their willingness to converse and share their stories with our student callers,” he said.
Nathan Dean, Class of 2016 and director of the annual fund, said the Phonathon offers a win-win situation for the prospective donors, the students and Wilmington College.
“Many alumni enjoy getting called by our students,” he said. “They like engaging with students, who share their academic interests and campus involvements, and things like what attracted them to WC. Alumni enjoy telling stories about how it was ‘back in my day.’ More recent alumni want to know if certain favorite professors are still here, the success of sports teams and their favorite food in the TOP (still chicken tenders?).”
Dean added how the calling experience benefits students, who learn much about interpersonal communication, marketing and taking persons off the defensive.
“Our students are ambassadors for the College and develop skills for speaking with persons they don’t know,” he said. “They interact with all different personalities. It’s gratifying for me to see them steer the conversation in a positive direction and get a favorable response.
“This experience will be part of their toolbox of learned skills they can use in careers and life after they graduate,” he added. “It’s truly a hands-on learning experience.”
And, of course, the generous financial support from alumni and friends gained as a result of the students’ calls helps enhance teaching, learning and living at Wilmington College.
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