December 2, 1999 Vol . 16, No. 7
By Kathryn Aberle
The 1999 Fall Calling Appeal has wrapped up another year with yet another record. "Four thousand seven hundred and nineteen people contributed $250,455," reports Julie Saito, manager of the annual alumni campaign. "That's up $35,000 over last year's total."
Building on last year's success, the student callers maintained a pace that allowed them to spend time talking to the people they called.
"We asked them to talk with our alumni," explains Saito, "to give out more information regarding benefits and services and to ask for their ideas, concerns and opinions."
During the nine-week campaign, from Sept. 28 to Nov. 25, 31,000 calls were made and more than 10,000 alumni were contacted. "This was our most successful effort ever. For the first time in the history of our campaign we had more pledges than declines," says Chris Seguin, who supervised the calling program.
"This is a testament to the student callers' ability to communicate growing student need, and to forge a bond with our alumni."
A record 1,438 alumni pledged higher dollar amounts this year than they had pledged in past appeals, and the campaign gained 575 new donors including 213 recent graduates.
Saito and Seguin say the record-breaking achievement is the result of ongoing initiatives in university advancement to build relationships with potential donors. "There was a real interchange of information," says Seguin.
"It takes more time, but we believe it pays off, in much more than the money raised. We've made a commitment to communicate with our alumni to help create a stronger sense of community, loyalty and responsibility," he adds. "Following through in the calling campaign has resulted in better results and new ties we hope will grow stronger with time."
Student caller Armita Seyedalikhani speaks for her fellow callers when she says, "This program opens up so many doors for those who might not have had the opportunity otherwise, and it feels great to know that I can play a part in enabling those with the potential or interest to attend university."
Ruth Gonzalez, a student caller from Mexico says, "I am really amazed by the support SFU alumni give to education. Congratulations, that is how a country grows."
© Simon Fraser University, Media and Public Relations