Make it Possible

Samantha Mathewson

With the start of the spring semester, more could be seen around campus than mounds of snow. As a way of expressing thanks to the university’s many donors, the Office of Advancement has posted signs in Bartels and Bartels Student Activity Center.

U make it possible

The cards that are posted showcase names of donors, which range from alumni, faculty and staff, to parents, friends and even businesses.

“The wall is twofold,” said Marya Neary, director of annual giving. “It is to acknowledge supporters [and] let them know how much their support is appreciated, and to educate current students about philanthropy at UNH and the importance it plays in their education.”

Director of Donor Stewardship, Paula Mortali, explained that the names posted in Bartels are those that have donated over the past year, beginning July 1st 2014, and the names posted in the BSAC are donors that made gifts after Jan. 9.

Overall the posters “help the campus become more aware of who supports the campus and its students,” said Mortali.

Donor thank you cards were first hung at this past homecoming in the alumni tent at North Campus and represented donations that were made since July 1. They were brought inside this semester to welcome students back and will be up until Feb. 12.

“Our donors really appreciate when their names are posted and when they hear directly from students,” said Neary.

On Feb. 25, a Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day Ice Cream Social & Thank A Donor Night will be held in the Student Dining Room in Bartels Hall from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Students are invited to come and write a thank you note to a supporter while enjoying free ice cream. This event is part of the third worldwide Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day.

“The goal of the event is to raise awareness about the impact of Philanthropy in our community. The program provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude to the individuals who helped shape their educational experience. Students are encouraged to come with their clubs and organizations, roommates and friends or simply stop by in passing after class,” said Neary. “The

Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day Ice Cream Social & Thank A Donor Night celebrates the UNH experience, the growth and transformation of the University and today’s students!”

Students might not be aware of the role they play in the campus community, but when students become alumni, they are forever family, and at UNH, the number of alumni supporters has increased nearly 50 percent over the last six years.

Neary explained that the increase in alumni support has a ripple effect, that when there is an increase in support, UNH’s ranking increases, which in turn increases the value of students’ degrees.

“When many universities are experiencing a decline in alumni participation, UNH alumni support is going up,” said Neary.

When donors give gifts to the university they have the opportunity to give back to what matters most to them or things that made a difference in their education. This means that, if they wish, they could give back to a specific athletic team, study abroad program, internships, research, college or major or experiential education.

Mortali and Neary explained that many of the donations made come from the university’s Phonathon, which is composed of approximately 30 UNH student callers, who call for ten weeks in the fall and ten weeks in the spring. This semester the Phonathon started Feb. 5 and runs until April 26. Students make calls Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:30 to 9 p.m.

“The Phonathon is an important engagement tool to connect with alumni,” said Neary. “Through the Phonathon, we are able to update contact information for our alumni, inform them about important news and events at UNH, let them know about alumni events and benefits and connect alumni with funding opportunities at UNH that are relevant to their UNH experience and life passions.”

Through the Phonathon 70 percent of UNH alumni supporters give back.

“The conversations our students have with our alumni are an invaluable communication tool,” said Neary. “What better way to connect alumni with UNH than through a conversation with a current student?”