Maxwell alumna Phaedra Stewart ’91 finds it difficult to look at the world without seeing opportunities to connect with people, raise their spirits and empower them to make their lives better. A self-described serial entrepreneur (some might say a serial…
Telefund breaks goal during 2001-02 academic year
Telefund breaks goal during 2001-02 academic yearMay 24, 2002Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
The 2001-02 academic year was a busy one for the students on the Division of Institutional Advancement’s Telefund team. Telefund, the phone-based component of the Fund for Syracuse, raised more than $1.3 million in unrestricted funds in the time period from Sept. 4, 2001 to April 29, 2002. The total surpassed the year’s set goal of $1.22 million, and is the highest amount the unit has raised in 10 years.
“Our students worked very hard this year to break the goal and we truly appreciate all of their efforts,” says Telefund Manager Meghan Warner. “I think they are proud that their work has a direct impact on the University and the opportunities available here.
“This year’s record takes on added significance due to 9/11, which delayed our fall calling and found many alumni appropriately responding to 9/11 needs,” says Thomas D. Harblin, vice president for giving programs. “SU is fortunate to have such dedicated and well-trained student callers and Telefund staff leadership.”
Each year, Telefund hires student callers to secure gifts by contacting parents, alumni and friends. The money raised through the Fund for Syracuse is used to cover yearly operating expenses and to help bridge the gap between the cost of tuition and the actual cost of providing an education. Through the Fund for Syracuse, the University offers various financial aid awards and scholarships, purchases library books, upgrades computer clusters and makes improvements to campus facilities. Gifts can also be pledged to the school or college of the donor’s choice. Prior to this year, fiscal year 2000 was Telefund best year with $1.167 million raised.
“The University depends on these monies to continue the programs of excellence across campus,” says John D. Sellars, senior vice president for institutional advancement. “Some monies go to academic programs, while others go to special student programs. We deeply appreciate our alumni and friends that make these monies available.”
Warner says the success of the past year was due in a large part to the enthusiasm of the student callers. The unit retained between 50 and 75 student callers throughout the year, and students even contributed $200 of their spare change to the effort. On Oct. 29, the unit recorded $52,741 in pledges (Between $18,000 and $25,000 in pledges are recorded on a typical evening).
“They were very excited to be breaking records,” Warner says.
Duncan Touchette, a recent graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a former student manager with Telefund, says that in his opinion, he had the best job on campus. “It was fun, and we raised money for great things like scholarships and new technology.”
“I’m really glad the hard work of everyone at Telefund paid off this year,” he says.
Telefund was established as an in-house program in 1985 and was fully automated in 1996.