One of the difficulties many of our Alphas often face is creating a cool philanthropy event that differentiates itself from other Greek organizations on campus. Their difficulties derive from a number of questions – Which sorority should we pair up with? Will people come out for it? Will Brother participation be high? What charitable organization should we raise money for? And the list goes on and on….
As an Alpha Visitor, I am a strong supporter of applying the ‘stakeholder model’ when planning a philanthropy event. Think about which groups both on and off campus have an invested interest in your Alpha – sororities, parents, professors, administrators, student organizations, your local community organizations, Brothers in the Lodge, alumni, pledge class members, potential new recruits, other Alphas, etc. You get the idea. Use your philanthropy to strengthen your relationships with these groups. Get creative – pair up with a different sorority, co-sponsor an event with a student organization you have never interacted with in the past, use friends, professors, and other Alphas as resources to get you going on some ideas that are unique to your Greek community. Working together as an Alpha in creating an idea will be much more effective than leaving it to your Philanthropy Chair and his committee.
Ever heard of the phrase “kill two birds with one stone?” Cheesy, I know. Use your philanthropy event to achieve other Alpha goals:
Turn your philanthropy event into a recruitment event. Invite those potential new members and the ones currently sitting on your names list to the event so that they will meet some of the Brothers and experience first-hand what values we uphold as Brothers of Chi Psi.
Use your philanthropy event to strengthen your relationship with sororities. Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice. (ba-da baa…ok I’ll stop typing now) Make your fun event the ice-breaker that begins a new relationship with a new group of young ladies. Much like dating, women typically wait for men to make the first move. Strap on your boots, be confident, and make it happen. After those sorority girls have a great time with your Alpha, you could potentially use them to drive your names list. (Hint…everything can be related back to recruitment.)
My final piece of advice would be to get creative on the organization you wish to sponsor. Talk with sorority women, talk with professors, talk with student organization leaders, talk with your faculty or Greek adviser, talk with friends from home, talk with family members, talk with other Alphas, talk with your Alpha Visitor, write Dear Abbey, talk with your priest/rabbi/holy man, talk with the random stranger on the street, or talk to the alleged ghost that haunts your Lodge. The point is that you should all consult as many resources as you can to come up with an event that is so unique and so effective that it presents Chi Psi in the most positive way.
So now there’s only one thing left to do…