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Phonathon FAQ & Tips

To whom am I speaking during my phonathon call?
Calling for the Whitworth Phonathon is an on-campus job, so all callers are current Whitworth students, from all academic years and programs.

Why does the phonathon exist?
The purpose of the phonathon is twofold. First, we hope to stay in touch with our alumni by ensuring that we have their most current contact information and by keeping them informed about campus development and events. Second, we fund-raise for The Whitworth Fund, an unrestricted fund that is vital to the success of Whitworth. The Whitworth Fund supports the areas of greatest need on campus, which means that it's the most flexible resource Whitworth has in terms of funding.

How long will my call last?
Your call will last as long as you want it to. Most calls last 3-5 minutes, but we really love talking to alumni, parents and friends. So if you're interested in swapping Whitworth stories with your caller, it may last longer. If time is an issue for you, feel free to let your caller know that you have just a few moments; he or she will respect your time constraints.

Why am I called so often?
We use an automated dialer system, which means that each time we fail to reach you (or you tell us you're not available at the moment), your phone number goes right back into the system, ensuring that you will receive another call within the next few days. The best way to avoid this is simply to answer your phone and take 3-5 minutes to complete your phonathon call. Once you've given us a definite answer as to whether or not you'd like to give, you will be removed from this year's calling list.

When I answered my phone, no one was there. What happened?
Our automatic dialer is set to wait for a certain number of rings before moving on to the next call, so when you pick up the phone and no one is there, we've probably just missed you. We apologize for this inconvenience, and we will try to reach you again soon.

I am unable to give to Whitworth this year. How can I avoid being called?
First, please know that we would truly appreciate a gift of any amount – don't feel embarrassed to make what you might consider to be a small gift. Each year, longtime Whitworth Professor of Philosophy Forrest Baird encourages our graduating seniors to give the amount that it costs to buy a pizza. Trust us: It really does make a difference.

But if you cannot give this year, please allow our caller to update your contact information so that we can avoid sending Whitworth publications to the wrong place; then let him or her know that you won't be able to make a gift this year. We won't call you again until the next academic year.

Other helpful hints:

  • Since you know that a phonathon call is on its way, it would be helpful if you could consider whether/how much you'd like to give prior to your call. This allows you to budget accordingly, and it simplifies your call when it comes.
  • Please consider giving by credit or debit card. These gifts are extremely helpful for us, because we can put that money to use right away. Paying by credit card also simplifies things for you, because we can take care of the entire transaction over the phone, and you won't have to remember to send a check. If you're concerned about paying the full gift amount at once, we are more than happy to set up monthly payments. We'd greatly appreciate it if you would consider making a credit/debit card gift this year.