Handling Questions or Objections
Questions to Ask (current or former donor) to Help Move Conversation Along
- Where did you live on campus or what activities did you participate in?
- I remember … being one of my favorite experiences, what about you?
- Today, what interests you the most about Illinois?
- When were you on campus last?
- Do you keep in touch with classmates or anyone associated with the University?
- Is there any information you would like for me to pass along and share with College staff?
Questions You May Receive
“How is this different than the Alumni Association or annual appeal I receive in the mail (or online)?”
“The College of Media Decades program is intended to be a peer to peer community program that supports the efforts of the College. The Alumni Association focuses on networking and showcasing alumni achievements. Your participation in the Decades program can be done in the typical way you make your gift - annual appeal in the mail, website or during a telemarketer call. I can also send you information on how to make your gift. A gift designated to the College of Media Annual Fund or Scholarship Fund will count towards our goals.”
“What is happening with leadership and the stability of the College?”
“The College is fortunate to have a strong faculty with a wealth of research and professional experience. Interim Dean Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko (Dean of Graduate College) and Interim Executive Associate Dean Bill Bernhard are excited to work in partnership with the departmental leadership and faculty to continue to advance the disciplines of the college.”
“As Interim Dean, Wojtek’s first priority is the students. His office will work closely with the departments to advance and evolve the College’s curriculum.”
“In the current fiscal climate, it is apparent that there will be many challenges ahead and the road will not be easy. However, this is the case for all units on the campus. The goal remains delivery of top quality media academic programs and research.”
“Can you get me in touch with someone (classmate, faculty or staff person)?”
“I will be happy to pass along your inquiry to the College of Media Alumni Office. Someone will get in touch with you soon to assist with ….”
Possible Objections and Replies
Give to Numerous Organizations; respond with:
- “There are so many great groups to support. I have felt the way you do now, but after giving it much consideration, I simply had to make giving to our alma mater one of our priorities. I want future students to share in my Illinois experience.”
- “This request is really for our future and to continue offering an incredible learning experience to each student who walks through Greg Hall. Enrollment is increasing but our state funds are decreasing. Each gift really matters.”
“The amount I can give is so small, it probably won’t help very much” OR “Can’t afford to give”; respond with:
- “Every contribution to the College and University as a whole is very important and collectively alumni support makes a significant impact.”
- “Your pride in Illinois shows in your participation. No matter the amount, you can make a difference.”
Disagreement with College or University; respond with:
- “We are here to listen to your views and to share, as a volunteer, why we are confident in the direction of the College.”
- “We take your views very seriously and we would like to have a staff member from the College of Media Alumni Office personally contact you.”
- “A few donors shared your views, and in a short span of time we regained their trust. We are here to regain your trust and respect. We know that may take some time, but you are very important to us.”
“My child was denied admission to Illinois;” respond with:
- “I am sorry to hear this. Acceptance to Illinois becomes more competitive every year and admission is a difficult process. I hope that your child was admitted into other comparable schools and enjoyed an experience that lead to a successful career.”
“(For whatever reason), I will never give to Illinois.”
- “I am sorry to hear this. Would you mind explaining a little more? The College values this type of feedback.”
If alum is willing to help in other ways, respond with:
- “This is a great news. There may be an opportunity for you to become more engaged. I will pass along your name to our Alumni Relations office so someone can get in touch with you personally about your interests.”