New Call Center Expands Opportunity to Connect With Alumni

Nebraska Wesleyan is excited about the opportunities its new Phonathon call center will provide.

NWU's New Phonathon Call CenterThe call center opened this month at its new location at 49th Street and St. Paul Ave. The call center was previously housed in Callen Conference Center. The center’s new coordinator, Kevin Forch, said the previous set up provided some challenges: phones had to be removed from Callen each evening and students didn’t have the needed privacy to make phone calls. The new call center is more professional and provides cubicles, which Forch said will increase productivity and save time since the initial phone set up is no longer necessary.

Phonathon is the primary connection of alumni to current NWU students. It provides an opportunity to receive current information about alumni. Phonathon workers begin calling alumni one year after graduation to extend the alumni network, update information, request donations and share their appreciation. Funds raised during the Phonathon go to the Archway Fund to further support NWU operations.

“Many alumni really enjoy the personal interaction with current students,” said former Phonathon Coordinator Ashley Karges. “Phonathon allows that connection.”

Forch joined the Advancement staff last month. He has previous experience as a student caller and later as a student manager at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s call center.

“My previous experience provided the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and there was a positive work environment,” said Forch.

The call center’s permanent location now provides the opportunity to extend the traditional 12-week Phonathon to a 40-week process.

A 40-week Phonathon will also provide more opportunities to reach alumni. Forch said he also intends to narrow the prospects by department, contacting science majors at one time, and English at another.

“We hope to make more contacts with our constituents and that will help us reach our goal of doubling the Archway Fund by the 2014-2015 academic year,” said Karges.

The 49th Street building where the call center is located was purchased by Nebraska Wesleyan last summer and was the former home to the Nebraska United Methodist Conference. In addition to the call center, the 49th Street building is now home to Marketing & Communications, Public Relations, Alumni Relations, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Church Relations. Furniture for the new call center was donated by Lincoln company TELCOR Inc., a healthcare systems and solutions company.

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