The Phone-a-Thon has been a staple at Newman University for decades. For the spring Phone-a-Thon, 10 students — plus one student captain — will spend three hours per night, starting at 6 p.m., March 5 through March 16, calling alumni and friends of the university asking for donations to help provide for the financial needs of the students and university.
In addition to calling, cards will be mailed that give donors the option to either send cash or supply their credit card information. Also, there is an online option that provides a quick, easy opportunity for giving.
Last fall, 10 students made 7,346 calls; 3,000 of those calls were made to alumni. A total of $10,320 was raised, and after a matching donation from Phone-a-Thon sponsor Les Eck of Rusty Eck Ford, the total donation was raised to $20,320.
Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Coordinator Brielle Dunham said, “We have a good time. There’s a lot of laughing because students will sometimes accidentally mess up or freeze when leaving a voicemail.”
Calls are made Sunday through Thursday. No calling is made on Fridays or Saturdays. Students are paid $10 an hour and snacks and drinks are provided for the callers.
In addition to calling and sending out cards, Dunham, along with her Phone-a-Thon team, decided upon a new campaign to spread the word about giving. They will send out postcards to donors asking them to donate the money normally used for a date night and instead have a date night in.
There are two Phone-a-Thons per year; one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall event will be the three weeks from Oct. 1 to Oct. 19.