WPage 1

Philanthropy In The Phi Delt World – What It Looks Like And What You Can Do To Be A Part Of It


joan_schimlBy Joan Schiml, Director of Annual Giving, Phi Delta Theta Foundation

In this blog series, we’ll look at the world of philanthropy (aka — giving away your time, talent and treasure). Both the United States and Canada have strong histories of generosity toward others. In 2010, $211.8 billion was given away by Americans and Canadians gave away $10.6 billion (individuals only).  Key words: given away. Over $222 BILLION dollars that people could have spent on personal items or saved in a bank or invested in the stock market were given away to a person or organization in need.

In the Greek community, this trend toward generosity is also strong. Last year, overall giving in the U.S. grew by just 4% and has not yet returned to pre-recession levels. Within the Greek community, giving grew by 11%, with the average Phi Delt supporting six organizations or causes.

But, why? At a time when resources are tight, why is giving on the rise?

If we look at the top ten reasons people give, it may surprise you that it is not at all about receiving something tangible or a tax benefit. It is about strengthening an organization that means a lot to them. In short, giving stems from the heart, not the mind.

The top ten reasons people give are:

  1. Belief in the mission of the organization.
  2. Civic pride.
  3. Organization is fiscally sound and manages its money well.
  4. High regard for volunteer leadership.
  5. High regard for the professional staff.
  6. High regard for the organization’s leadership.
  7. Access to special events.
  8. Receive a tax benefit.
  9. Slick brochures.
  10. Guilt or obligation.

In the articles that follow, you will read about how Phi Delta Theta is active through its Foundation and hear from some alumni who have chosen to make careers out of the business of philanthropy.  The topics covered are:

  • An overview of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation — why it exists and how it helps
  • Top 10 things you can do to be philanthropic within Phi Delt
  • Alumni Career Profiles:  What does a career path in philanthropy look like?  Three Phis share their experiences in and motivation for working in the field of giving
  • Live like Lou.  How one Phi Delt turned a diagnosis of ALS into a life’s mission