The annual Phonathon, the centerpiece of the Southern Annual Fund, will be held Saturday, Feb. 15, through Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The effort will include between 25 and 30 students who will reach out to Missouri Southern alumni and friends to garner financial support for the university. Calls will be made from Room 314 in Billingsly Student Center on weekday evenings and throughout the day on weekends.

Students contact potential donors during the 2013 Phonathon.

Students contact potential donors during the 2013 Phonathon.

The goal for this year’s effort is $100,000, said Elisa Bryant, development officer.

“We try to match our student callers up with potential donors who have similar backgrounds,” said Bryant. “They get to share their story with alums who have their own stories to share.”

The annual fundraising drive was established in 1983, and has continued to be a major component of the Annual Fund – a campaign that raises funds to support the university’s teaching and service mission.

“The Phonathon is the way we reach the majority of our Annual Fund donors,” said JoAnn Graffam, executive director of the Missouri Southern Foundation.

“Our donors give in a variety of ways,” she said. “Certainly, we have some who have something they are very passionate about. Maybe they received a degree in biology and there’s a project there they want to donate to. Or maybe they were a student athlete and want some money to go back into the athletic program. We always accommodate those requests. People will designate money for academic areas, performing arts and athletics.”

Graffam said that donations can also be made to the Green and Gold Fund – unrestricted money that allows the university to address needs that arise throughout the year, including scholarships, building improvements and support for campus programs.

“We’re always thankful for that,” she said.

Students participating in the Phonathon will train for the event on Feb. 15 and begin making calls on Feb. 16.

For more information, contact Bryant at 417-625-3039 or Bryant-E@mssu.edu, or visit the Foundation’s online giving page to give right away.