||Centre alumni now have "One Million Reasons to Give"
RELEASED: September 3, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY— Centre College has often been recognized for the remarkable percentage of alumni who give back to the College. And as the 2009-2010 fundraising campaign gets under way, alumni have a greater incentive to give than ever.
Recently, an anonymous donor created the "One Million Reasons to Give" challenge, in which the benefactor has promised to contribute $750,000 if the College can raise $250,000 in alumni giving to The Centre Fund before June 30, 2010.
"As part of the challenge, the $250,000 that we raise must come from new or increased gifts," explains Shawn Lyons, associate vice president for development and alumni affairs. "For example, if someone last year gave a $1,000 gift and this year gives $1,200, the $200 difference will be what counts toward the $250,000 we need to raise to meet the challenge."
For those who are giving for the first time, their entire contribution will count toward the $250,000.
"The anonymous donor really wanted to create a challenge in which all alumni can contribute, whether they've given to Centre before or not," Lyons says.
The news about the "One Million Reasons to Give" challenge comes as the annual fall Phonathon gets set to begin. This fall's event will kick off on Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. From next Monday until the end of October, Centre students will be manning the phones six times a week in two-hour shifts.
In hopes of meeting the "Million Reasons" challenge and other fundraising goals, nearly 40 Centre students will be callers in the 2009 Phonathon.
"The position of student caller is fast becoming one of the more sought-after campus positions, and we're proud of that," says James Barnard, assistant director of annual giving. "Our current callers love what they do and are always encouraging others to apply."
Though many colleges and universities outsource their Phonathons to external companies, Centre refuses to do so.
"What we do is facilitate a two-way relationship," Barnard says. "On one side, the alumni can speak to a current student, who is best positioned to inform alumni on what has been happening on campus. On the second side, the students get to speak to alumni who can, and do, share valuable information about their career and life experiences. Callers learn a lot from this and have been known to network and even get job or intern opportunities through their calls."
One goal for the 2009 Phonathon is to regain Centre's No. 1 national ranking for annual alumni-giving percentage.
"We expect to raise $400,000 through Phonathon alone," Barnard says, "and to connect with more than 8,000 alumni, parents and friends by June 2010. If we can get gifts from nearly 4,000 of them, Centre will be well positioned to have the highest percentage in the U.S. of alumni who give."
Other goals include 40 percent participation among GOLD alumni (Graduates of the Last Decade) and 50 percent participation from parents.
Because of the current economic climate, meeting these goals will be a challenge. "We're anticipating that there will be an impact from the economy, but we don't know to what extent," Barnard says. "I think we might face a tougher challenge from people who have had to reprioritize their philanthropic efforts this year. It's going to be a tough year, but we're ready for it and can't wait to get going."
To contribute to the "One Million Reasons to Give" challenge, call Centre's alumni office at (859) 238-5500 or make a gift online at http://gifts.centre.edu.
Click here to check out the new Phonathon video on YouTube.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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