Temple University's Latest Fundraising Effort

Is it me, or does this email sound - at first - like it's coming from a student who is hearing disabled? Here, let me "read" it to you - since the above image is way too small (or click on the image for a larger view):
Dear Ms. Maniglia,

As a current Temple University student, I use many different types of technology and campus resources to enhance my education. Of them all, one of the most important is the headset I use as a Temple Telefund caller. My headset allows me to call alumni, parents and friends to encourage the Temple community to stay involved with the university.

I have been trying to contact you from the Telefund, but have been unable to reach you. As a student with a part-time job, I completely understand how busy life can get. If you could spare just a few minutes the next time one of my peers or I call, we can share campus news with you, update your information and let you know about great ways you can stay involved at Temple.

We look forward to speaking with you during this year's Telefund!


Temple Student Caller

All gifts made to Temple through December 31, 2009 will be credited toward Access to Excellence: The 125th Anniversary Campaign for Temple. Learn more at www.temple.edu/accesstoexcellence.

Temple University · 1938 Liacouras Walk · Philadelphia, PA 19122 · (215) 204-1001 
I had to read the opening paragraph about three times for some reason. Clever copywriting in that it could possibly "trick" some people into donating, thinking they are helping the hearing disabled. But also potentially misleading and capable of pissing off potential alumni donors big time.

The problem is a disconnect between the first sentence and the second - and probably the third sentence too. And maybe the rest of the letter. The copy doesn't say how the headset and the Telefund enhance the student's education. I don't really care if the headset is important to the student, unless of course he or she is hearing disabled. Maybe he or she is? I'm feeling sort of guilty for not answering their calls lately...

There's no mention in the letter about a donation (unless you count that little footnote at the bottom), just about "ways I can stay involved," and all I'm being asked is to spare a few minutes to talk to this student, who will no doubt be wearing his or headphone - which somehow enhances his or her education.

I must tell you - actually I CAN'T tell you - how many calls from Temple University I've received in the past month that we haven't answered because they invariably come while we're enjoying our dinner.

Sure, I've received great fundraising efforts from Temple in the past, like the one where they tipped on a HUGE magnet (the thing must have been 5" x 5") to the inside of a cool brochure. And I've given in the past ... which is obviously why they keep hounding me now. But this email and their persistent calls have me, well, confused and miffed.

Sorry, Temple - better luck next fundraising drive. You can call me mean if you want to.


Ted Grigg said...

My take: it’s not a good letter.

The headphone graphic and allusions to it confound the reader.

The message attempts to make you talk to them over the phone because it’s coming from a student and not just any nondescript telemarketer out there.

The student is making the appeal that as a student they are learning about others through you, a past alumni.

“So are you ready to disillusion me, a poor student who is working to pay my way through school, by not answering my call?“

You could have helped them greatly with this copy.

Cynthia Maniglia said...
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