Alumni reminded that there are “One Million Reasons to Give”
March 11, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
of the spring Phonathon, which will come to an end next week.
Last fall, just before the annual fall Phonathon got underway, an anonymous donor issued a “One Million Reasons to Give” challenge: if the College could raise $250,000 in new alumni giving to The Centre Fund before June 30, 2010, the donor would contribute $750,000 to the College.
Shawn Lyons '81, associate vice president for development and alumni affairs, explains the challenge’s stipulation. “If somebody gave $25 last year and gives $100 this year, that’s a $75 increase, which would then be matched by $225 from the anonymous donor,” he says.
And for those who did not give last year or are giving for the first time, their entire contribution will count toward the $250,000—that is, receive a three-to-one match.
By the time the fall Phonathon came to an end, the student callers alumni house had raised $150,000 for the challenge. (This total was part of the $339,120 raised during the fall event.)
In February, student callers returned to their phones in hopes of raising the remaining $100,000 needed to meet the challenge. Now nearing its completion, the spring Phonathon has been a successful one.
“It’s been a good spring,” assistant director of annual giving James Barnard says. “Alumni are still responding well to the One Million Reasons challenge. We’ve increased our number of overall pledges nearly 130 percent, while alumni pledges are up even more—132 percent. We’ve also increase our dollars raised by 132 percent.”
The success of the event, Barnard says, is due to the enthusiasm of the student callers. “This has been a great calling season,” he says, “and the highlight has been the input of the students. Our callers are very enthusiastic and are terrific ambassadors for the College have developed great skills and are really running into success when they talk to people. I couldn’t be more proud of what these students do for Centre. I don’t think even they realize quite the difference they are making.”
This spring, Barnard instituted a new Caller of the Week program. A few of the students who have received the honor this term are Jeff Glidden ’10 (who has raised more than $100,000 in his Phonathon career), Shelby Schuttera ’10, Shea Agnew ’12 and Ellie Barhorst ’11.
Barnard and his team expect that more than 500 alumni will have participated by the end of the spring Phonathon, and that they are hoping to raise about $50,000 by its conclusion.
And now, as the end of spring Phonathon draws near, the College alumni house is only $3,503.93 away from reaching the goal of $250,000 by June 30th. A total of $246,496.07 in new or increased gifts has already been pledged by 2,599 donors.
“Some of the increases were substantial,” Lyons says, “but many of them were increases of $5, $10, $25—which goes to show the impact of a high percentage of alumni giving. We still will need almost 1,200 more alumni donors to meet our overall goal for the year, and from the numbers we’ve seen so far, gifts from that many people will make a significant difference.”
To make a gift and help the College meet the One Million Reasons to Give challenge, click here.