The Phoenix Fund Calling Campaign
What is the Telephone Campaign? - An open letter from one of our student callers - Callum Nash
"The very first telephone campaign ran in autumn 2006 and received pledges of over £20,000 from graduates wanting to give back to their institution. The campaign helped to raise money for both scholarships and bursaries to support disadvantaged students, and a link between Flight Simulators within Coventry's Engineering & Computing faculty.
The second campaign in 2008 was equally successful, and gave alumni the opportunity to donate to the Society or Faculty that they will have been involved in as a student, and we also introduced the "Buy-a-Book" scheme, where Alumni could buy a much needed textbook for the library and have their name included on a plaque inside.
In 2010 the campaign was even bigger and better, as in both the previous campaigns, the callers were all current students at the university, who see the benefit of your donations on a day-to-day basis, and funnily enough, every student who has worked as a caller during the campaign has said that they will donate when they become alumni.
If you have received a call then you will know that it's not just about charity, we are eager to hear about how your degree has affected your life, and how you are getting on as an alumni. The alumni department at the University is constantly striving to improve itself, and the campaign is an invaluable opportunity for the University to connect with its Alumni community.
The campaign really becomes an open dialogue between alumni and their University, with alumni expressing their thoughts, feelings and even ideas on how to improve the service they have had. Often Alumni use these phone conversations as an chance to connect with their university life, to find and get back in touch with old University friends and to get more involved in the reunions and alumni events that are organised by the University.
We have a rich and enjoyable experience as callers. Few undergraduates get to speak to so many who have graduated from their course, and as callers we learn a lot from Alumni who are generous enough to pass on some of their knowledge. It's really interesting to find out how the university has changed, and what the field we seek to join is like.
I study Transport and Product Design, and as a caller I have learned a lot about the industry, the words of wisdom passed onto me by alumni were then passed onto my course mates (although I must point out that confidentiality was strictly kept!) In the very first call campaign in 2006 I spoke to a designer from a small consultancy in Milton Keynes, and after speaking about work placements, he realised that his consultancy might be able to take on a student. At the end of my third year in 2008, I actually did an 8 month placement at his consultancy, and learned a great deal which will shape my career, all from one small conversation!
Obviously, not everyone can give a placement but every alumni has something to offer even if it is just words of advice, speaking on behalf of the students here at the university, we are all keen to hear from those who have done our degree. These conversations represent an invaluable opportunity for us students to learn from the alumni, and for those who have left the University to reconnect with it!
The Campaign takes place over 5 weeks from February to March. On the right are some pictures from previous campaigns, there's me in the white top! We have a lot of fun, but we are passionate about raising money for those who need it, and if you do receive a phone call from one of us, please bear in mind we are students just as you were, perhaps following your path! As well as being students, we are representatives of the University, and you should not hesitate to ask us any questions if you want to get more involved in the University Community, find old friends or lecturers, or find out more about the events the University runs for alumni, make suggestions - just ask!
I hope you are now looking forward to hearing from us, we are certainly looking forward to hearing from you!"
- Callum Nash (Transport and Product Design Final Year - www.iamcallum.com)
The new calling campaign began in February 2013, and we will be trying to contact as many alumni as we can. When we do, we will write in advance to everyone explaining the background to the call and giving an opportunity to opt-out of receiving the call if you wish.
It is not our sole intention to ask for donations, we will also be trying to get as much information as possible about what interests alumni have that the University might be able to cater for, as well as to find out about what sort of things people have gone on to do after their studies.
So, regardless of whether you care to donate or not, please take a few minutes to talk with our caller when we call. Your views will have a significant influence on our future plans for alumni activities, and we would greatly appreciate hearing them.