Once in a while you might get a call asking for your support for UMBC and its mission.
The person on the other end of the line? A UMBC student.
Five nights a week, UMBC students assemble at Alumni House and reach out to alumni and parents via the university’s Phonathon. The program was brought back to campus in 2011 after being outsourced to a third party for eight years.
Dayna Carpenter, UMBC’s director of annual giving, says that the university made the change because it was students who could make the most tangible connection to donors.
“People were really excited to talk to actual UMBC students and to have meaningful conversations,” said Carpenter.
Success is measured in numbers – and giving is up since the switch was made. But the relationships built by the Phonathon effort are just as important. Students and alumni swap stories about their time at UMBC, and a few students have received internship and job offers from alumni whom they’ve connected with during a phone call.
Logan Wern, UMBC’s Phonathon coordinator, says that students’ understanding of philanthropy has also increased: “Many of our students realize and understand the importance of fundraising and the good it does here on campus.”
One of the efforts that has benefited from the Phonathon is the Retriever Learning Center. The effort was heavily funded by alumni and it is a place beloved (and used) by many students.
“It’s because of the donors’ outstanding support that UMBC is able to offer so many resources for students and alumni alike,” says student caller Jordan Coffie ’14.
– Katharine Scrivener