Dial-A-Mav Telephone Outreach Program
When the “ding” of a bell interrupts the steady hum of chatter in the new Dial-A-Mav call center, it can only mean one thing: Another commitment or pledge has come in to help meet the University’s continuing needs.
Three student supervisors and more than 40 students constitute Dial-A-Mav, UT Arlington’s telephone outreach program. Callers contact alumni to update information, share campus news and seek support. With a declining percentage of the University’s annual operating budget funded by the state, UT Arlington relies heavily on private contributions.
“I like the fact that I can help raise $50,000 for my university,” said Dial-A-Mav student supervisor Amy Jackson, a senior interior design major. “This is the annual giving program. Every university has it; it’s necessary money.”
But the process is more than that. “It’s a relationship-building tool,” said Meg Weber, director of development for annual giving. “We are also striving to build a relationship and a friendship with our alumni.”
That rapport is being developed amid changes to the program, notably Dial-A-Mav’s relocation to the Alumni Association’s new building on Mitchell Street.
“It’s a natural partnership to be in the same facility as the Alumni Association, and it gives us a lot more room,” Weber said. “We’ve gone from 16 computers in University Hall to 20 computers with room for three more.”
Also new to the program is the UTA Fund, unrestricted dollars that can be used at the president’s discretion for programs with university-wide impact.
“The student callers make a case for this and other unrestricted support such as scholarships, technology in the classroom and labs, bringing a visiting lecturer to campus or student club activities,” Weber said. “They also ask the donors if they would like to direct their support to their college or the University as a whole.”
Another first: the program’s $1 million goal for 2005-06.
“It is the first time we’ve set a goal that high,” said CC Webb, the program’s director and assistant director of annual giving. “But I believe we can reach it.”
They’re well on their way. Just a few months into the fiscal year, the program already had raised nearly $200,000 (in the last fiscal year, Dial-A-Mav raised $250,000).
“The incentives are just so obvious,” Jackson said. “Just look at what we’re able to do for the University.”
Call 817-272-2584 or visit www.uta.edu/giving for more information on giving opportunities.