When reaching out by phone, introduce yourself as a member of the class reunion committee. Take some time for casual conversation. Make a connection with news from the College or discussion about occupation or a shared Kenyon experience. Encourage attendance at reunion. Have a warm and friendly opening with email communication as well.
Share class gift and participation goals. Have a specific gift amount in mind (use your call sheets for guidance). Even if the person decides to give a lesser amount, a suggested ask almost always leads to a larger gift than if no specific ask is made.
A direct approach could be: "Will you join me in making a gift of _____?" or "Would you consider a gift of _____?" Do not be bashful about starting high. It is unlikely you will offend anyone by asking for too much. It's much easier to negotiate down than up! However, encourage each classmate to give according to his or her individual ability and inclination. Previous giving history is not always the best indicator for current capacity to give.
Assure your classmates that the fact that they give is just as important as the amount they give. Gifts from a large percentage of alumni demonstrate widespread support for the College. Other donors, such as foundations, consider participation a dimension of alumni satisfaction, as do organizations that rate colleges and universities. Strong participation shows alumni enthusiasm and support for Kenyon and can lead to additional financial support from outside organizations. The size of gifts may vary, but each of us counts the same for participation. Every gift truly does make a difference!
Leave a message or send a follow-up note or email that says something like, "I'm sorry to have missed you. I'd like to talk with you about our upcoming reunion and your Kenyon Fund gift. I will try to reach you again soon or please call me at...."
Feel free to develop your own approach to making your contacts. The most important part is to complete them! You might want to send an introductory email and then follow-up by phone. Some volunteers have had recent success with social media venues such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Approaches may vary based on a number of factors such as personal preference of the volunteer, how well he or she may know the donor, and the donor's availability. Have fun - the sky's the limit!
The donor may designate his or her gift to one of the areas within the Kenyon Fund: scholarships and financial aid, Hannah More Scholarship to benefit first generation college students, academic support, or student life. If the donor does not make a designation, the gift will go to the area of greatest need as determined by the College.
Regardless of the outcome of the contact, end with a warm closing. You can never thank a donor too much, and a warm and appreciative closing will encourage future gifts. The College will send an acknowledgement of the pledge or gift, but your own thank you note or card is a nice personal touch.
When you receive a pledge, email Shayna Daubert, director of reunion giving, at email@example.com, or call the annual giving office at 1-800-KENYONC ext. 5 as quickly as possible. This is critical so we don't send another solicitation once the donor has made a gift.