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Directing phonathon is major part of job for Price

Barry McNamara
02/12/2020
MONMOUTH, Ill. – One of the newest members of Monmouth College’s development staff, Mac Price, is busy this time of year leading an important aspect of his department’s fundraising efforts – the annual phonathon.

The assistant director of the Monmouth Fund, Price oversaw student callers for five weeks in the fall, and is in the midst of four weeks of phonathon duties this semester.

“We use the phonathon as a method to both fundraise and to what I like to call ‘friend-raise,’” said Price, who joined the Monmouth team in September. “A lot of times, the alumni we call have these great stories, these great connections with the people, the faculty, their memories of Wallace Hall, and they really just appreciate the opportunity to be able to tell those stories again.”

The student callers benefit from the experience as well, he said.

“Our students love the opportunity to be able to talk with alumni and friends of the College. It makes them feel like they have a home. It makes them feel like they have supporters from all over the country and, of course, it helps us fund scholarships, it helps us fund updated facilities, it helps us fund student opportunity.”

Students also gain valuable communication skills.

“The ability to carry on a conversation and the ability to have a goal for a conversation, have an intention, and have the ability to carry that out, to improvise if needed, are all skills that pretty much every student needs over the course of their career,” said Price.

One of Price’s students, an educational studies major, turned some of her calls into a type of job shadowing experience, learning about the teaching profession from some of the alumni she reached.

“She called in to several current teachers, and she was able to talk about not only their experience on the job, their experience at Monmouth, but also just what it’s like to be a teacher,” said Price. “She really enjoyed all those conversations.”

The student callers are able to reach a substantial portion of the College’s alumni and friends, but there are others who prefer to make their gifts to Monmouth online. They can do so by going to monmouthcollege.edu/give.

“(Online giving) takes about two or three minutes,” said Price. “It’s very easy to do, and it helps fund scholarships, it helps fund the next round of future Scots.”

A graduate of Western Illinois University, Price said he came to Monmouth because of the many wonderful things he heard about the College, some of them from former staff member Stephanie Kinkaid.

“Working with Stephanie was a joy because she emphasized how much the campus cared,” said Price. “It was clear from stepping onto campus for the first time the unique atmosphere Monmouth had, and it was obvious from working with Stephanie how her own positive influence was a catalyst for an engaged, compassionate environment.”

On one visit to Monmouth, Price was celebrating his birthday, and some students picked up on it.

“As I was packing up to leave, they dropped off two bags of candy,” said Price. “It was very sweet. I still have the original bag somewhere. That’s when I knew Monmouth was someplace special.”