Telephone campaign

Telephone Campaign FAQs

Do you have questions about the Telephone Campaign? Feel free to email the Development Office, or see if our FAQs below can help.

What are the Telephone Campaigns?

The Telephone Campaigns are telethons run by the Development Office. They have two primary purposes: to maintain links between current and former students, and to raise money for Fitzwilliam and its students. 

Why does the College have Telephone Campaigns?

On becoming a Fitzwilliam student, you become a member of the College for life. The Telephone Campaigns keep that connection alive, and we know many alumni value the opportunity to find out more about the life of the College today. Fitzwilliam is also one of the larger Cambridge Colleges, with one of the smallest endowments. In order to ensure none of our students miss out on vital academic or enrichment opportunities as a result of financial constraints, we must ask alumni to lend a hand. We fundraise for four primary areas: student support; teaching and research; capital projects; and widening participation and access.

How is the money raised in the Campaigns used?

When you make a gift to the College, you can specify where you would like it allocated. We prioritise 'area of greatest need', as this allows us to direct donations to have the most impact. Of course, if you wish to support a particular project, you are most welcome to do so. Most alumni choose to give to student support, teaching and research, capital projects, or widening participation.

How do I know if I will be called?

If you have been selected to be called in a Telephone Campaign, you will receive a letter or email around a fortnight before calling begins.

Where and when does calling take place?

In the upcoming Telephone Campaign, students will be telephoning 23 September - 2 October. During the week, calling will take place 5.30pm-9pm; at weekends, calling will take place between 10.45am-6pm on Saturdays, and 1.45pm and 8pm on Sundays. All calls are made by current students, and they are ringing from Fitzwilliam.

Are the students paid or do they volunteer?

The students are paid the national living wage for their work. This is not funded from donations received in the course of the Telephone Campaigns.

Are the students trained?

Yes, the students received full training directly before the start of the Campaign. They have support from the Development Office team during the course of calling.

Should the students not be working?

The sessions are timed to allow students to do a full day's work on the weekdays of the Campaign. As part of the interview process, we check with students and their tutors whether they are confident they can balance their workload with the commitment of calling. The Campaign takes places entirely out of term time.

Is now the right time to be asking alumni for money?

We know the last few months have been really tough for a lot of people. A lot of our alumni, however, have gone above and beyond in showing their support for the College and digging deep to help students. We are really grateful for those who are able to do so, but fully recognise now is not the right time for everyone. If you don't want to be called, please email

I dislike the idea of the College asking for money over the phone.

We recognise some people don't enjoy being called, and all alumni selected to be part of the Campaign are given the opportunity to opt out in advance. We hope that even if you feel unable to give, you enjoy the opportunity to chat with a student.