Authors: Zack Seigel, C’14, and Taryn Williams, C’14
As supervisors of the Red & Blue Call Center, we maintain a staff of about 80 Penn students who help grow the University’s culture of philanthropy – one phone call at a time. Throughout the year, we speak with alumni, friends, and students’ parents for both the undergraduate and graduate schools. While the main objective of our calls is to raise funds for the schools, we also update contact information and make connections with alumni who often have great wisdom and stories to pass on to us as current students.
The efforts made by the callers have definitely paid off throughout the years. We consistently surpass many of our goals and expectations thanks to generous alumni, parents and friends. We have been doing so well, in fact, that last year we raised over $2.5 million from over 14,000 donors. We reached this right before ending for the year, and everyone was excited. Obviously celebration was necessary, so we marked this milestone at the end of the year with this custom-made pretzel (thanks Penn)!
While raising money for the school is the primary reason that many of us choose to work here, there are other reasons why we love this job. Every evening we play a game together – often Jeopardy or Family Feud – that motivates everyone in the center. Friendships are made during the downtime when nobody is answering the phones – and it’s always a bonus when Staci, our boss, bakes us cupcakes!
We celebrate all of our accomplishments here in the center and we often have visitors from the University come to show their appreciation.
When we surpassed 1 million dollars raised for undergraduate education, staff from The Penn Fund came to visit and presented us with a thank you plaque for our efforts. They also brought us these cool mugs to show their appreciation. By the end of the fiscal year, we had raised over 1.3 million dollars for undergraduate education through The Penn Fund.
We had a fantastic year and are expecting an even better year in 2014. Thanks for your support and don’t forget to say “hi” if we call you!