Bluefield College recently completed its spring 2011 Annual Fund Phonathon, and alumni and friends of the college pledged more than $45,600 to the effort — the highest pledge total in BC Phonathon history.
For four weeks this spring, 11 current Bluefield College students phoned some 6,270 alumni soliciting support for the BC Fund for Scholarships.
More than 7,890 alumni were contacted in an advance Phonathon mailing. The advance mailer generated $3,467 in gifts from 63 donors, while solicitations from students by phone produced $42,146 in gifts and pledges from 485 donors for a total of $45,613 in gifts and pledges to date.
Proceeds from Phonathon, coordinated annually by BC’s Betty Carroll, director of annual giving, go directly to the BC Fund for Scholarships, which is the primary financial resource for institutional financial aid for students. More than 95 percent of BC students depend on financial aid to be able to afford their college experience.
The Phonathon also brought out the competitive nature of the student callers. Each was in competition to walk away with prizes each night for the most money solicited and the most new donors. And, while soliciting support from former students was the primary goal, Carroll said the school and its current students benefit in so many other ways.
“One of my favorite parts is getting to interact with current students,” said Carroll. “They learn so much about the importance of giving to the school, and hopefully realize why we’ll be calling them year after year after they graduate.”
Post-event calculations indicate that the average gift or pledge to this year’s Phonathon was $83 per donor. In addition, of the 548 donors who pledged or gave to date this year, 65, or about 12 percent, were new or first-time givers.
Current Bluefield College students who participated in the Phonathon this spring included Julia Austin of Rockville, Virginia; Cheznee Daily of Mooresville, North Carolina; Lydia Freeman of Bristol, Virginia; Brittany Garton of Gordonsville, Virginia; Taylor Marshall of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Andrew McKinney of Elk Creek, Virginia; Logan Platt of Melbourne, Florida; Keenan Rainer of Warrensville Heights, Ohio; Emily Sears of Hinton, West Virginia; Ashley Strickland of Galax, Virginia; and Marianne Williams of Evington, Virginia.
Local businesses joined the effort, as well, donating prizes for the students, which included tickets to Barter Theatre, Dollywood and Wolfhart Haus, as well as snack gift baskets, a whitewater rafting trip for two, and a trip for two to Massanutten Resort.
“The alumni really enjoy speaking to the students,” added Carroll. “They ask what is going on with the college and what they personally are doing at Bluefield. Some will even tell stories about their experiences when they attended the college. We have wonderful alumni who participate. Their generosity makes Bluefield College’s Phonathon program a great success.”
Six-Year BC Phonathon Comparison
2011: $45,613 (1st)
2010: $40,681 (4th)
2009: $42,669 (3rd)
2008: $44,726 (2nd)