Back when the Annual Fund was fun and profitable

The Chief of the Fun Police

While we’re on the subject of the Missouri Southern Foundation, how about that successful Phonathon they recently completed?

We’d be willing to bet you that you didn’t know what we are about to tell you. The $75,000 they raised this year is nothing compared to what Sue Billingsly used to raise in the little house where the English department is now serving its exile.

In fact, the Jan. 17, 1997 issue of Accents!, the campus newsletter, reported that in the first 14 years of the event it had raised $1.5 million. That is an annual average of $107,143.

Billingsly used to round up team captains that would include a who’s who of the MSSC campus. Lawmakers would sometimes serve as captains or man the phones.

She would order in pizza and soft drinks and student groups would take turns spending an evening calling alumni, parents, and friends of the college. It was nostalgically low-tech. Callers would work from index cards and when they secured a donation, they would ring a little bell and hand the card over to the bean counters.

Faculty, staff and students would proudly wear their Phonathon T-shirts the day after much like we do today with stickers when we vote or donate blood.

There were no spreadsheets or databases that required a new position in the Foundation. There were no consultants costing thousands of dollars.

There was just a little house, Sue, a loyal and dedicated campus community and goodwill from the Joplin area. And it worked better in dollars. And it worked better in morale.

You Foundation assclowns don’t believe us? Here is one example:

The 1997 goal was $200,000.

The 1996 take was $233,000.

But you tout that $75K total like you just cured cancer or something. Yep, now we pay Jo Jo a VP salary and give her two gift officers and a secretary. We hire those consultants and we have to pay students to make the calls. And we bring in less money with all that additional overhead.

Talk about a budget crisis.


3 Responses to Back when the Annual Fund was fun and profitable

  1. Lady Chatterley says:

    In reality, we didn’t raise $75,000 because we had to pay the Wilson-Bennett consulting firm a hefty amount for running the Phonathon for us.

  2. SNAFU says:

    And Kevin Greim just joined her staff and will no longer be the voice of the Lions. That makes three. I wish them luck, though I would like to see a cost-benefit analysis of the Foundation (and football program). But that would require transparency from the administration or independent scrutiny from, say, newspapers. Too bad we won’t get any of that around here.

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