‘Building a culture of philanthropy’
For three consecutive years, Curtin’s Alumni Annual Appeal campaign has been reaping mutual benefits for everyone involved.
The appeal is an opportunity for alumni to connect with the university, discover news and achievements from current Curtin students, and get involved in transforming lives through philanthropy.
Curtin University annual giving coordinator Lauren Evans said this year’s ten-week campaign had many purposes.
“We are generally trying to build relationships with people, and let our alumni know we still care about them and that they’re still part of the community,” she said.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to find out more about our alumni and what they have been doing ever since they graduated.”
According to Mrs Evans, the phone appeal programme endorsed by student ambassadors was also designed to introduce alumni to the idea of giving back to Curtin.
“Part of the appeal is fundraising for student scholarships, fundraising is a small but important part,” said Mrs Evans.
“We’re trying to build a culture of philanthropy.”
Education without limits
Mrs Evans said the funds were raised for scholarships for students from low socio-economic backgrounds who had contributed to the community.
Curtin University Nutrition major Deni Atkinson was one of the previous recipients of the Alumni Appeal Scholarships.
The Dunsborough local said the scholarship allowed her to focus on her studies.
“I felt so relieved and excited as it took away a lot of the financial stress of living out of home,” she said.
“I am now more equipped and able to continue studying and hopefully complete a masters at Curtin.”
Not your typical fundraising call
Mrs Evans said the appeal created a ripple effect in society.
“I think the way we approach people is that it’s just not the average fundraising call, our student ambassadors are trained to have those conversations and build healthy relationships even if they’re on the phone for ten to fifteen minutes,” said Mrs Evans.
“The callers follow loose scripts but are really trained to build up rapport themselves to have natural conversations and use their genuine curiosity to find out more about the alumni.”
Curtin’s Alumni Annual Appeal programme supervisor Bec Robinson said the student ambassadors could also learn and become motivated through this appeal.
“A lot of our callers are really inspired by this campaign and appreciate the value of philanthropy and the impacts it could have,” said Ms Robinson.
Curtin’s Alumni Annual Appeal ambassador Ash Menon said she learned a lot from the alumni she had spoken to.
“The best part about working for this appeal is that I get to speak to amazing people and learn really important life lessons,” said Ms Menon.
“It just makes sense because even though you’re not going through their journey, you learn how they got through it.”
Making tomorrow better
According to Mrs Evans, every year the ambassadors ask a different enlightening question to the alumni.
Mrs Evans said she was always surprised by the generosity of donors.
“Every year we managed to exceed our target,” she said.
“It has been nine weeks so far and we have raised over $72,000 which is great because we were aiming for $70,000.
“There is less than one week left and at the moment it’s looking like we’ll get to raise enough for four scholarships this year, which would be great.”