Summer 2017
Gifts at Work

Student call center

Generosity comes full circle in the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Student Call Center. The students, some of whom benefit from philanthropic support themselves, work the phones daily to raise money for scholarships, research, and programs at the U. Last year, 80 callers generated more than $750,000 while also honing important job skills. 

Click on the numbers below to learn more.



Fundraising goals are set at the beginning of the fiscal year and progress is tracked over time. 

In fiscal year 2017, which ended June 30, there were:
775,787 attempted calls
8,631 pledges made
$759,687.02 raised


Brandt Miller, ’17 B.A., has been with the call center since his freshman year. He says the work has prepared him for a career in law. “People skills are invaluable, and I’ve been able to hone mine in this job.”


“It’s very rewarding to know you’re helping someone else,” says Erin Monasterio, ’15 B.A. Monasterio started as a student caller in 2013. She is now the call center’s full-time supervisor.


Jack Barrett, ’17, a call center supervisor, says he has raised money for a number of entities within the U—the Bell Museum, the Raptor Center, 4-H. “It helps you understand how multifaceted the University really is,” he says. His most memorable call? To his father. “The odds of that are absurd,” he says. His father, an alumni, made a gift but only after Barrett ran through his whole script.


Each year, the call center has a different theme, which is chosen by the student supervisors. For fiscal year 2017, it was Goldy Potter. The Wonderful World of Goldy, a take-off on the Wonderful World of Disney, is the theme for 2018.


Tara Baker, ’17 B.A., who earned the Charles and Myrtle Stroud Scholarship, hears from faculty who appreciate what she does. “It’s another scholarship guaranteed for their students or funding for projects that might otherwise not get off the ground.”


Helen D. and Harvey P. Blodgett Scholarship recipient Harper Ciha, ’18, one day wants to teach at the U. “The future students I’m helping will one day hopefully be my students,” she says of the money she’s raising for scholarships.


“A lot of the alumni we call were supported by alumni dollars when they were in college,” says Carolyn Domroese, ’18. “College has gotten a lot more expensive, so it’s more important than ever that we get that support.”