In the past few months, we’ve heard from house corporation and chapter volunteers across the country expressing concern and uncertainty about their financial position as a result of the pandemic. With some students not returning to campus, facilities not reopening due to campus restrictions, and/or organizations providing refunds after the sudden closure last spring, the financial impact to some house corporations has been staggering. And the need to sustain operation in the short and long term is real.
“If you have a need, you need to ask.” As we’ve talked with dedicated volunteers this summer, this has been our advice time and time again. Why? Because your members will rise to meet the moment. There are alumni who want to and will contribute, and the research backs that.
So, don’t deplete your financial reserves or take on additional debt without communicating your need to your members. Through an annual campaign, you can quickly raise funds to secure your chapter’s success.
Why could this be?
Giving USA reported that during 2018 (the most recent data available), U.S. charitable giving increased 0.7 percent over the previous year’s growth of 5.2 percent. Giving to fraternities and sororities outpaced that growth, increasing 1.9 percent (based on Pennington & Company’s State of the Industry Report).
This was even the case in a year when tax reform changes limited the number of people itemizing their charitable gifts, and there was a significant Q4 market downturn. While a pandemic has brought new challenges, a history of affinity and giving in uncertain times shows us that many alumni will not be deterred.
Donors believe in the fraternity and sorority experience, and they will give to support it. The past six months has proven this once more. When campuses sent students home and the world shifted into sheltering in place, we began having virtual donor visits. Since March, we’ve conducted over 1,500 virtual donor visits and raised more than $18 million in support of fraternities and sororities.
What can you do?
In the last several months, we have helped chapters and house corporations communicate with their alumni and rally support to meet their emerging needs. In these campaigns, over and over, we’ve seen messages pour in from alumni expressing gratitude that they could give to help the chapter sustain success through this challenging time.
Whether your need is big or small, we have solutions that will help you meet your financial goals. We care about you and are here to support you.