Phone calls that keep networks alive

Image of students in the call centre

The Sydney Development Fund’s 2013 Telephone Program is now underway, building on the success of last year’s program.

In 2012, 25 student callers, from a diverse range of faculties and schools, spoke to alumni across all faculties to reconnect with them, give updates on University news and invite them to support Sydney. Last year, nearly 4000 alumni pledged a donation towards an area of their choice, and this year the University hopes to reach 5000 alumni and friends.

One of the most popular areas from last year’s program was the Student Support Fund, which provides emergency bursaries to students in need. Other key areas of support were Alumni Scholarships and the Dean’s Priorities within their faculty or school of graduation.

Student caller Georgia Feltis said: “the alumni we call are often surprised to be informed of the high number of areas of the University they can donate to – programs, research, scholarships, sporting clubs, libraries, museums. They like to be specific about where their money is going.”

The Development Office’s team of callers thoroughly enjoy the conversations they have with alumni from their own and other faculties. They also gain insights into other aspects of the University and get unexpected career advice. “In calling alumni from outside my faculty, it has been interesting for me to learn about other areas of the University and branch out. For some other callers it has ignited a spark to transfer to another degree or head in a different direction in their studies,” Georgia added.

“Calling alumni gives our graduates a chance to reminisce about their time at Sydney – their classes, where they used to live, even which bars they used to go to – and it is really nice to be able to relate to that.”

The 2013 Telephone Program started in February and will run through to the end of the year.