By Chad Thompson
Director of Annual Fund Giving
It’s that time of year again! The Siena Heights Phone-A-Thon will take place during two weeks this November. Last year’s Phone-A-Thon was the most successful in Siena Heights’ history and we’re looking forward to building on that success.
Thanks to the support of friends and alumni, Siena Heights is able to continue our mission of assisting people to become more competent, purposeful and ethical.
While the Phone-A-Thon is primarily a fundraising event, this is also a great opportunity for friends and alumni to:
· Update your contact information so you can continue to receive Siena Heights publications and updates
· Share news of job promotions, marriage, births and deaths for the Class Notes section of the upcoming issue of Reflections
· Request information on upcoming athletic and theatre events
· Request the latest brochures on Siena Heights degree programs
Last year, so many wonderful stories came out of the Phone-A-Thon. Alumni and friends alike shared and reconnected with Siena and our current students. One woman, a 1940s graduate, had not been back to campus in over 50 years and simply asked our student caller, “So what’s new on campus?” Needless to say, they both enjoyed the conversation that followed and the exchanging of stories. This is typical of our Phone-A-Thon in that a vast majority of our alumni look forward to their call from Siena and the opportunity to engage the current generation of Saints.
We look forward to speaking with you and thank you in advance for your support.
Q. Why is it important for me to make a gift to the Phone-A-Thon?
A. Your gift is very important for several reasons. First, your gift directly impacts the students here at Siena. Without student financial aid, many of our students would not be able to continue their studies. Secondly, your participation is vital to the overall success of the institution. Alumni giving rates are an important indicator in the overall well-being of a university. Many of the grants we apply for include questions about alumni giving participation. Your gift sends a strong message that you appreciate your education from Siena Heights. Finally, you are setting an example for our student callers so that they too realize the importance of giving back once they are alumni.
Q. Who makes the calls for the Phone-A-Thon?
A. Current Siena Heights’ students will be calling during the Phone-A-Thon. They enjoy the interaction with our alumni and this provides our current students with valuable lessons about giving back to their alma mater.
Q. What are my payment options when I make a gift?
A. You can pay over the phone with a Visa or Master Card or you can wait for your pledge card via mail and send in a check using the enclosed prepaid reply envelope.
Q. If I am not certain of the amount I wish to give during the call, can you send me a blank pledge card to fill out later?
A. Yes. We understand that you may need some time to reflect on your gift. Our callers can send a blank pledge card which you can fill out on your own and return with a check via the prepaid reply envelope.
Q. Can I give to a specific program? What are my options?
A. Your gift can go to an academic department, athletics (or a specific sport), or be designated for general scholarships. Most of our alumni choose to donate wherever Siena has the greatest need and leave their gift as a general donation. However, if you have a specific program or department that has special meaning to you, we can make the appropriate arrangements.
Q. Last year, I didn’t receive a call. Why did this happen?
A. Our calling software cycles through over 17,000 friends and alumni. If you are not home, your number gets recycled to be called by our students at a later date and time. It is our policy not to leave messages on answering machines. We do try to reach everyone but it is possible that we simply did not reach you during our last Phone-A-Thon.
Q. Is my gift tax-deductible? Will I get a receipt?
A. Yes and yes! Your gift to Siena Heights is tax-deductible and upon receipt of your pledge payment, you will be sent a letter of receipt for your records.