A look into the Alumni Call Center

Henry Gamber

Looking for a flexible on campus job where you can study for classes, talk with your co-workers and relax with coloring books? Look no further, the Alumni Fund Call Center is for you.

The call center, located on the first floor of the Cherry Street Parking Garage, is a part of the UMKC Alumni Association, which aims to keep alumni connected to the university. The team at the call center makes calls to alumni asking for donations back to UMKC.

“We call from September to mid October, and then we pick back up in February to mid March,”  said Logan Cheney, director of annual giving for the UMKC Foundation said. According to Cheney, student callers raised around $150,000 over that time period last year.

This year, the team is on track to hit their goal of $154,117, raising over $131,000 so far.

An average call lasts around six to eight minutes. Cheney explained that when starting a call, it is important to establish rapport with the alumnus. “People can be deterred, especially if they think we’re like telemarketers,” she said. “You never want to go into a call and be like, ‘Hey, can I have money?’”

The average donor gives between $120 to $150, according to the Engagement Center Manager Malykah Bell.

“I basically just help the school with their fundraising efforts,” Bell said. “I want to make sure we’re on track to hit the goals, make sure the callers are doing everything that they need to do.”

One conspicuous characteristic of the call center is its inviting and calm environment. The space is decorated with personalized white boards and tinsel with upbeat music playing from a radio.

Bell said she tries to prevent the job from being stressful by creating a relaxing space.

“I take suggestions to see what they would like to do,” she said, “play music, provide them with food… we play games throughout shifts.”

The callers enjoy the work environment at the call center. 

“The people here are really friendly,” junior student caller Ally Alcabasa said, “I’ve already made a lot of new friends within the short time that I’ve worked.”

The job is appealing, Alcabasa explained, because of its flexibility and the amount of downtime that callers have throughout their shifts.

The callers generate impressive results, despite the relaxed work environment.

“An average caller can generate anywhere from $5,000 for the year up to $30,000 or $40,000,” Cheney said. “It’s really how much calling they do; if you work a lot, you’ll raise a lot.”

The funds raised by the call center, unless the donor specifically chooses where their donation goes, are used in emergency funds for students struggling to pay for their last few credit hours.

Positions at the call center are open to all students except international students. This is because it is classified as an off-campus job, as the call center is managed and operated by an outside company.

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