Preparing for the Contact
Make your own commitment first
Though you certainly do not have to tell people how much you have contributed to the Parents Fund, you will be more persuasive if you have committed to the Fund before you contact the prospect.
Be ready to explain why you support Kenyon
Take some time to think about why you give to Kenyon and what the College means to you and your student. This personal touch will not only help in the discussion about the importance of giving in general, but will also show your enthusiasm for the cause, which will resonate with other parents.
Review your call sheets and check time zones
Call sheets include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, student names, giving history and ask amount for the donor. Although we try to assign calls based on the location of the PAC volunteer, we regret that it doesn't always work out perfectly. If you are calling a different region or state, make sure to plan for the time change. Tracking reports will be sent weekly, which will tell you if the donor has made a commitment in the current fiscal year. Check the tracking reports before you make your contact to make sure that you are not soliciting a donor when they have already given a gift or made a pledge. The more information you have before the contact and the better prepared you are, and the higher the likelihood of success.
Ask your student if they know the prospect's student
Any personal touches you can make during the call the easier the conversation will go for you and for the prospect. By bringing up a connection, you may bring back fond memories, raise enthusiasm about a positive experience for the student and parent, or establish a want to help, and then the chances for a gift increase. But remember, the information provided to you is confidential. Please use discretion in all your efforts!
Remember a "NO" is never about you
You are as much of a liaison for parents to the College as you are a fundraiser for the Parents Fund. You may reach a prospect who will not give a dollar for participation. Remember, this isn't about you. You may have reached them on a bad day, or during a difficult time, and they take it out to you. Don't let this get you down. If they have an issue, listen, don't argue, and offer words of support. Let them know that you will find the appropriate outlet for their concern, or direct them to the useful contacts page under "For Parents" on the Kenyon website. Thank the person for their time and follow up with an e-mail or a hand-written note after some time has passed, if it feels appropriate to do so. Most importantly, shake it off and move on to the next person!
Never apologize for asking a fellow parent for support
Every student benefits from the support of the Parents Fund, even their son and/or daughter. You are not a telemarketer. Believe in the effort and smile. Parents will hear your happiness and enthusiasm through the phone, in your writing, or over Internet lines.
Be versed in restricted versus unrestricted giving
This is one of the most common misconceptions when giving to the Kenyon Parents Fund and a question you will surely have to answer in at least one conversation. The purpose of the Parents Fund is to help raise unrestricted dollars for the College's immediate budget needs. It is likely that a parent you are contacting gives to Kenyon in other ways as well. All gifts to the College are needed and appreciated; however only unrestricted gifts count towards the Kenyon Parents Fund. For more information on this, visit the Fundraiser's Dictionary.