Having fun, mentoring, being challenged, achieving goals, building and managing a team and being an extension of an annual giving team is what I reflect on most during my time as a call center manager. It was an invaluable learning experience and helped me grow into the professional I am today by working with a variety of institutions across the country. The role was challenging at times and very rewarding to think a small group of student callers could have that large of an impact on the private support given to an institution and that I was the direct link to that success.
I learned a lot during my first few years and still stay in touch with many of the callers that worked with me along the way. Quite a few have gone on to careers in higher education and as fundraisers. We share a bond of working tough nights and having some record-setting years. We learned a lot about ourselves and about connecting with donors in the process.
A large number of fundraising professionals were either phonathon callers or began their careers managing a call center. While many of us go on to do other things, there’s a lot to be learned from organizing direct personal contact with donors on the phone, and leading a group of student callers to make this connection.
I reached out to some great people that I’ve worked with at Ruffalo Noel Levitz who had the same start and asked this question to find out about their experience:
What have you learned from the experience of managing a call center and phonathon program that has helped you in your career?
“While managing four different call centers during my time as a Program Center Manager, I learned more than I could have through any other entry-level position. Not only did I learn fundraising and management skills, but I also learned about human resources, client relations, recruiting, and interviewing. The list of the valuable skills I learned could go on forever. Ultimately, being a PCM set me on a career path that could go in many different directions and has been the most valuable work experience in my life so far.”
- Katie Wells, Program Director, The Ohio State University