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Alumni Phone-a-Thon

In the fall and spring, the Office of Development comes alive each evening with the energy and excitement of students. Their mission is to increase Annual Giving participation among alumni, while also establishing ties with those who are not able to come back to campus. As a matter of fact, these students are the key element to increasing Annual Giving participation and to DSU’s overall success.

When you are contacted, the student will first make sure that your mailing address (including e-mail) and employment information are correct, and then update you on any recent news or upcoming events on campus. The student will then ask for your support of this year’s Annual Giving Drive. Your gifts help to support academic needs at the University, such as scholarships and special needs that benefit students, as well as provide support for DSU athletics. When you make a pledge by phone, you will receive confirmation by mail. You may designate the pledge to a particular program or fund if you so desire. Upon request, we will send you additional information. We hope that you will be able to participate and to ensure that DSU will maintain its reputation for academic excellence – now, and for future generations!

Our callers are committed to assisting us with maintaining and improving the DSU experience for current and future students. These students value the quality education that they receive at DSU, and they realize the life-long advantages that it provides. For this reason, our Phone-a-thon callers are not only contacting alumni to ask for support, but they are also calling to thank them for the great opportunities and experiences that they are receiving at DSU!

For more information contact:
Charity Shockley
Director of Annual Giving and Grants
Division of Institutional Advancement
Delaware State University
1200 North DuPont Highway
Dover, DE 19901
dsufoundation [at] desu.edu


What is Annual Giving?

This is a term used for the annual fundraising drives conducted by the Division of Institutional Advancement. Solicitations are made via the telephone, direct mail, and the internet.

Who do we contact?

Alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

Will I get a separate call from my college, school, or department?

No. Phonathon student callers contact alumni from each college. You may always inform the student to direct your gift to a particular department or fund. In rare cases, you may also be contacted by a staff person from the University in connection with a special project. We encourage everyone to make a regular annual gift to DSU. Your participation is important to us.

Where does the money go?

To support academic programs such as scholarships, graduate fellowships, library resources, computer upgrades, program enhancements, chairs, professorships, and research that directly benefit the faculty and students here on campus and for athletics support.

How much of my gift really goes where I want it to go?

100% of each gift is guaranteed to go to the designation specified by each donor. 

Why do you conduct a telephone campaign?

A significant portion of DSU’s budget comes from federal and state allocations – the remainder must come from other sources, such as tuition and private gifts. We find that a quick friendly telephone call from a current student is a pleasant way for you to stay connected to the university, and for the student to be able to explain opportunities to support academic programs.

Where is the Phone-a-thon Center located?

The second floor of the Administration and Student Services Building and adjacent to the Office of Development. This is a convenient location for our student callers.

Are the callers really DSU students?

Yes. We employ 10-15 students throughout the year. In some cases, a student may continue working part-time after graduation.

Is the student a volunteer?

No. With over 10,000 alumni to contact, this provides a wonderful opportunity for students to earn money for college, while gaining valuable office and communications experience.

When do you call?

Our normal hours of operation are Monday thru Thursday evenings. We comply with all applicable state and federal regulations and do not call after 9 pm.

Why did I get called twice?

Typically all alumni should only receive one call from a Phon-a-thon caller. Occasionally, you will receive a second call if both you and your spouse or significant other are alumni, or if you are a parent of a current student, or if your child is a graduate of DSU and still living at home according to our records.

Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes, 100%. Once we receive your gift, you will receive a thank you letter verifying that your gift has been deposited into the account you have specified.

May I use my credit card?

Yes - once you receive your pledge card in the mail, you will see instructions for using your Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.

Is this the Delaware State University Alumni Association?

No. The Delaware State University University Alumni Association (DSUAA) seeks memberships from all graduates of Delaware State University. Annual membership dues are $25. These memberships are not charitable contributions and are not tax deductible. More information about the Delaware State University Alumni Association.

Can I pay my DSU Alumni Association dues through the Phon-a-thon?

No. These memberships are not charitable contributions and are not tax deductible.

May I choose where I want my gift to go?

Yes. While unrestricted funds are always needed, many alumni choose to designate a gift to any department, college, scholarship fund, other academic program, or athletics at the University.

Can I call you back?

Our students only work part-time, in the evenings, so it’s very difficult to reach the particular student who may have attempted to reach you. You may call our Annual Fund Office at 302.857.6056 with your questions or concerns, Monday thru Friday 8:3 0a.m. until 4:30 p.m. EST.

Will my company match my gift?

Very possibly! Hundreds of national companies will match a gift by an employee. This can double or even triple your gift to the Delaware State University. Contact your Human Resources Office for details. Note: spouses of employees, retired employees, and board members are often eligible for the match as well.

How does this work, exactly, if I want to make a gift?

It’s easy! Simply tell the student how much you would like to pledge. Then we will send you a pledge form, with all pertinent details spelled out. An envelope will be provided for you to return your gift. It’s that simple!

Can you send me a blank pledge card?

Yes. We will be glad to send you a packet of information for you to peruse at your convenience. When you receive this packet, we hope we can count on your participation.

May I select the student to receive my gift that is earmarked for scholarships?

No. In keeping with IRS regulations, a donor may not select the benefactor of a particular scholarship. The DSU Scholarship Committee is careful to strictly adhere to donor restrictions when determining the DSU scholarship recipients.

My questions is not listed above, who do I contact?

If your question is not answered above, please contact us at DSUfoundation [at] desu.edu.