Category Archives: community service

Countdown to Founders’ Month of Service…9


Ask people for donations. Sounds obvious, right?  Then why do so many philanthropy events consist of nothing more than chapter members sitting behind a card table with a change jar?  The most common reasons people don’t donate is because they were never asked or, believe it or not, because they were asked for something insignificant.  Ask donors for a specific amount and don’t insult them by asking for too little.

Potential donors could include alumni, brothers’ family members, other students and local vendors/businesses.  And donations need not only be monetary.  For example, ask a local grocery store to donate bottled water or ask local restaurants to provide gift cards as incentives.

Learn more here about how your chapter can participate in the Helping Hand Initiative.

Lending the Helping Hand

To countdown the start of this year’s Founders’ Month of Service, we’ll be posting a different tip every day to help your chapter reach new heights in philanthropy and community service.  While only ten days remain until the start of the Founders’ Month of Service, it’s never too late to get something started.


Pick a charitable purpose your chapter is passionate about. Don’t do a project because it “looks good” or because it gets you positive PR.  Do it because you genuinely care about helping others.  Chapter members are more likely to get excited about an event if it benefits an organization or recipient about which they care deeply.  Check Sigma Nu’s Helping Hand Initiative for suggested organizations to partner with.

Theta Theta (EKU) at a recent game ball run which raised funds for cancer patients.

Expand Your Service Network

In chapter rooms across the country, the 2010 calendar is filling up quickly.  Social events, chapter and committee meetings, LEAD sessions, brotherhood outings and campus-sponsored educational events create a busy schedule for the term.  Is your chapter saving room for community service events?

One of the greatest misperceptions surrounding a chapter’s service and philanthropic efforts rests in the chapter’s calendar.  You might look at the month of February, for instance, and note all the philanthropic events hosted by other fraternities and sororities that the chapter is planning on attending.  “We’ve got a full slate of service activities planned,” chapter brothers will reassuringly tell one another.  In this instance, however, does perception really equal reality?

One of the greatest strengths of the college fraternity is in its ability to organize a group of men – committed to the same values and principles in word and deed (see: Ritual) – to carry out a desired task or purpose.  Collectively, your fraternity can make a greater impact than any one person on campus.  And are you really reaching your full potential by simply writing a chapter check to another sorority or pulling together 10 members to take part in another fraternity’s softball tournament?

So now you’re convinced that you need to do more; where to begin?

Start by identifying other groups on campus focused on community service.  Partnering with other student organizations is a tremendous way to share organizational responsibilities and double the service potential.  For instance,  Alpha Phi Omega is a coeducational service fraternity on over 350 campuses:

“Founded on the cardinal principles of leadership, friendship and service (Alpha Phi Omega) provides its members the opportunity to develop leadership skills as they provide service to their campus, to youth and the community, to the nation and to members of the Fraternity.”

A list of Alpha Phi Omega’s chapters – and how to contact the chapter leadership – is found here.

Also consider partnering with Greek Honorary Societies, such as Order of Omega ( chapters) or residence hall groups (who knows when a community service outing might also turn into a recruitment event?)

And of course, the General Fraternity has you covered: consider teaming up with one of our three Helping Hand Partners.

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