Rebecca Marsh

Equinox Staff

 

Just as the Keene State College alumnus sits on the couch to read a good book, the phone rings. Who is it?

It’s a Keene State College Phone-a-thon Caller! The job of a phone-a-thon caller is to call the alumni of KSC and update their contact information in the system, update the alumni on what’s happening on campus, and to thank them and ask if they would like to give another gift to the KSC Fund or a department on campus.

Lindsay Taflas, assistant director of annual giving, knows all about it. “Primarily the phone-a-thon program is raising money for the KSC Fund. What the KSC Fund is, is an unrestricted fund that, right now this year, is supporting primarily scholarships and financial aid.”

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She continued, “However if a donor wanted to designate their money to a specific academic program or department, the donor certainly can do that.”

Taflas oversees the program, as assistant director of annual giving and an alumna. “I operate the phone-a-thon program, I hire the student workers along with my student managers and we train about 25 student callers a semester,” Taflas said.

According to senior Renee Giles, manager of the Phone-a-thon callers, the KSC Fund also goes to scholarships where alumni can donate to a specific scholarship. There is a lot to do as a manager of the phone-a-thon callers. Senior Kaleigh Liupakka, another Phone-a-thon callers manager, said, “My role is to oversee the callers during calling hours, I take attendance, I help with processing paperwork.”

She continued, “I keep track of the statistics for how much money we raise, and help Lindsay with individual caller statistics for when she gives evaluations.”

Liupakka started as a phone-a-thon caller in her sophomore year of college. There is a process that the phone-a-thon caller goes through. The callers must contact the alumni and update their contact information, such as their address and email, and get to know them, according to Renee Giles. “I make sure they know what’s going on around campus. Just remind them what it is about Keene State that they love,” Giles said. After that, the callers talk about the KSC Fund and ask for a donation.

“We look at their previous gifts and we take it from there. We always ask at least three times,” Giles said.

“Sometimes, if they’ve given before, we thank them, first of all, for their previous donation and tell them how much it means to us.” Alumni can also just give a random amount and disregard what the phone-a-thon caller asked for. The goal of the phone-a-thon callers is to make at least 100 calls a night. Each night they help raise about $1,500, according to Liupakka. Taflas said they would like to reach around $100,000 for the year and they have already made about $30,000 so far. Each year they reach anywhere between $80,000 to $100,000.

“The ultimate goal is just going to be to raise as much as we can and help current students,” Taflas said.

 

Rebecca Marsh can be contacted at rmarsh@keene-equinox.com.

 

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