We’re proud to report that it was another record-breaking year for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation telethon! With more volunteers than ever prepared to take calls from donors and assist with the back-end setup and support of the telethon, the Foundation was able to raise a whopping $326,512 in support of hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across Canada from the one-day telethon held during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The donations poured in from generous supporters in every province and territory in Canada. With new calls coming every 10-15 seconds, it was a busy day for telethon volunteers. Similar to last year, the “First Available” setup of call queues directed new callers to the call taker who had been idle the longest (which was not very long!). This meant calls were taken in an orderly fashion and no call went unanswered.
Caller ID was also of great assistance in this scenario as it allowed volunteer call takers to quickly and effectively collect accurate donor information, viewable on the screen of their Polycom phone.
Real-time call analytics and monitoring was important throughout the day, allowing organizers to monitor call activity and make on-the-fly changes to telephone staffing and volunteer resources. Critical when managing 2,763 incoming calls in one day!
But it wasn’t all glory for the telethon organizers. Versature’s own Systems Engineer, Simon Quigley, and Customer Success Manager, Guillaume Bergeron, were on site at Mosaic Place and spent a good 10 hours alongside other volunteers working hard to get the setup finalized in the hours leading up to the telethon. During this time a PoE switch – an essential component of the Hosted PBX phone system being implemented – blew. Luckily a spare switch was on hand and things were back up and running in no time.
The telethon remains the Sandra Schmirler Foundation’s largest annual contribution, allowing the organization to fund life-saving NICUs in every province and territory. The Foundation is a testament to the will and determination of Sandra Schmirler herself, a Canadian curling icon. This year’s telethon surpassed the previous fundraising record, achieved only last year, by over $76,000.
The Sandra Schmirler Foundation and all of the volunteers, call-takers and Scotties athletes should be proud of their accomplishments this past Sunday! Versature was thrilled to once again be a part of such a tremendous cause.
Donations can still be made via the Sandra Schmirler Foundation Donation Page.