Be Thankful for your Annual Fund Officer

As college students, sometimes we are oblivious to all the innerworkings of the college we attend. We struggle to stop and realize the hard work multiple individuals put into all the factors that keep the college running at a highly efficient rate. Sure, we can get frustrated and think that these hard workers aren’t kicking butt 24/7, because we can be self-centered at times, but when we do realize all the effort put in by our staff, we become very thankful.

One person that everyone should be thankful that their university has is their Annual Fund Officer. For Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Rachel Tiche is our girl for the job. Rachel helps to keep the world spinning for many students on campus, and most don’t even know how much work she does for them. Rachel’s hidden efforts make the difference between students being able to complete their degree, or not, because of financial reasons.

She runs the phonathon at Clarion University. Rachel’s job is to hire, recruit, train students, and coach them throughout the semester to call alumni and parents to ask for donations for scholarships and other high need areas of the school. Through donations to the Clarion Opportunity Fund, Clarion University was able to give out $150,000 in scholarships to many hard-working individuals in the past school year of Fall 2015 to Spring 2016.

Rachel was a comparative literature major at Hamilton College studying literature in English and Spanish with elements of psychology and sociology. Since her days as a phonathon worker at her college, and her drive for community and philanthropy, Rachel knew she would not be working in a for-profit world.

Working as the Annual Fund Officer in charge of phonathon, Rachel’s favorite thing is spending time with students and getting positive feedback from alumni. Technology tends to be the worst part about her job. Not knowing how to fix a computer problem by herself frustrates this driven woman.

Celebration of Scholarships is an event Rachel is excited to have coming up. Donors and students who have scholarships get to meet up during this event. It is one sure fire way to see how the progress philanthropy has impacted everyone who's involved lives.

Other than the day to day operation of the Clarion University Foundation, Rachel is currently getting involved with student philanthropy this Spring 2017 semester. Student Philanthropy week is the week after Clarion’s spring break. “Student philanthropy week is growing out of our CU Loves a Donor Day, which we have been doing for about 5 years, but, as you may know, here at phonathon, we’re always talking about developing a deeper relationship between alumni and the university and trying to interest people in philanthropy and giving back to the university and supporting students who are currently here,” said Rachel Tiche.

Getting involved with student philanthropy week, Rachel said, “What we really want to do is get people involved just from the time they are students. Really, ideally from freshman year. Even starting to think about, “How can I make a difference after I’m no longer here,” so that when you are calling alumni, they already know what philanthropy does on campus. We will have tables in Eagle Commons, and then one day we are going to have a pop-up table in Gemmell where we are going to have thank you cards to sign.”

For women considering going into a similar career field as Rachel Tiche, Rachel’s advice for those women is, “You’re your own best advocate. Work hard, advocate for yourself, don’t underestimate yourself. This is definitely a career where you need to be able to go out and introduce yourself, don’t doubt yourself, and exude that confidence, and you will feel that confidence.”