Augustana Fund Phonathon

Augustana Phonathon callers

The mission of the Augustana Fund Phonathon is to build alumni participation through annual gifts from alumni by educating them on the needs of Augustana and involving them in the life of the University.

The Augustana Fund Phonathon employs students each semester to contact alumni of Augustana. Returning student callers may be promoted to student supervisors who support the Phonathon in various administrative duties in addition to calling duties. The Phonathon is one of the highest paying student jobs available. The hours are flexible and students can make their own schedule.

If you are interested in becoming an Augustana Fund student caller, contact:
Amy Benda '89
Director of Annual Giving

Augustana Fund Phonathon FAQs

What is the Augustana Fund Phonathon?

The Augustana Fund Phonathon is a group of student callers who contact Augustana University alumni. The mission of the Augustana Fund Phonathon is to build alumni participation through annual gifts by educating them on the needs of the college and involving them in the life of the University.

What are the calling shifts?

Calling shifts vary, but typically are Monday-Thursday from 6-9 p.m. throughout the academic year.

How many shifts per week are callers required to work?

The Augustana Fund student callers are required to work at least one calling shift per week, but may work more.

How many students does The Augustana Fund Phonathon employ?

The Augustana Fund Phonathon employs multiple students each semester. The Phonathon also employs student managers who support the Phonathon in various administrative duties, in addition to calling alumni.

Why should I give to The Augustana Fund?

Augustana has been the beneficiary of great generosity by alumni, parents and friends. However, Augustana’s mission of educating the whole person in a diverse learning community that combines a liberal arts core with graduate and professional schools and innovative research programs cannot be achieved through tuition dollars alone. For this reason, Augustana must look to alumni, parents and friends for support to meet challenges and take advantage of future opportunities.

What is the difference between a restricted and unrestricted gift? Unrestricted Gifts vs. Endowment Gifts?

Money generated by the Augustana endowment is allocated in advance for specific uses. Money from the Augustana Fund, in contrast, is unrestricted, which means that it is disbursed on a current-use basis to meet some of the University’s most pressing needs.

What if I can’t afford to make a large gift this year? Does my gift even make a difference?

Every gift matters. Donors give from $10 to $100,000; participation at every level is appreciated. Whether large or small, your gift will be joined with the gifts of other donors, and it is the aggregate of all gifts from all donors that has the greatest impact. When foundations and corporations consider grant applications, they frequently ask us about the percentage of participation in giving from Augustana alumni, parents, and friends. It strengthens our case when those closest to the University support it. Your participation — at any level — serves as a catalyst for larger gifts and grants.

I work for a matching gift company. How do I secure a matching gift for Augustana?

If you work for a company that matches charitable contributions from employees, you may be able to double or even triple the value of your gift. Forms are available through your company’s human resources department. To ensure proper crediting and distribution of your gift, or if you have any questions regarding matching gifts, please contact

Is it safe to give credit card information over the phone to the Phonathon?

The reason we place gifts on credit cards is because it helps maximize your gift! By placing a gift on a credit card, it helps to reduce the administrative and processing costs of sending you a pledge packet that would include the envelope, letter, return envelope, and postage both ways.

We completely understand concerns about credit card security. If you are ever concerned about giving your credit card to someone claiming to be calling from the Augustana Fund Phonathon, there are a couple things you can do to be safe:

Ask the caller for the phone number of the Director of Annual Giving and ask to be scheduled for a call back in a few days. They will confirm through our computer records if you were, in fact, called from the Augustana Fund Phonathon.

Why does the Phonathon call repeatedly without leaving a voice-mail or answering machine message?

We work through a computer system that automatically schedules a call back if there is no answer or the call goes to a messaging system. We apologize if this is disturbing. However, once someone answers the phone and we have determined if you will or will not be giving this year, you will be removed from the calling system for the remainder of the year.

Why does the Phonathon call Augustana Alumni?

The Augustana Fund Phonathon is the single most effective way to reach the largest number of people in the shortest period of time. It is one area within Annual Giving that provides the college with an opportunity to communicate personally with alumni once a year. The main goals of each call are to keep everyone connected with current students, to promote events on campus as well as around the nation, to thank donors and to increase annual support.

How can I provide a gift to Augustana?

The easiest way to give is online, using our secure form.

Give Online

Contact information:

Amy Benda '89
Director of Annual Giving
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, S.D., 57197