The annual Phonathon, the centerpiece of the Southern Annual Fund, will begin Sunday, Oct. 26, and continue through Tuesday, Nov. 25.

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 Monday through Thursday evenings and throughout the day on Sundays.

Students will reach out to potential donors during the annual Phonathon.

Students will reach out to potential donors during the annual 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 that 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.

This year, the annual Phonathon has been moved from the spring semester to the fall semester, said Bryant.

“From the Homecoming celebration to athletic events, there’s an energy and excitement on campus that we wanted to capture with this event,” she said.

JoAnn Graffam, executive director of the Missouri Southern Foundation, said the Phonathon is the primary means of reaching the university’s Annual Fund donors.

Donors give in a variety of ways – from money given to a particular academic or athletic program, or the performing arts. Donations can also be made to the Green and Gold Fund.

“The Green and Gold Fund is unrestricted money that allows the campus to address needs on campus as they arise, from funding scholarships and programs to making building improvements,” said Graffam.

Students participating in the Phonathon have been training for the event during the last week and will begin making calls on Sunday.