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  #1  
Old 07-27-2013, 11:33 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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Philanthropy vs. Academics: How much is too much?

Today I received a "cold call" email from a local board member of one of our national philanthropy partners. The local board she serves on is 3 hours away, while we have a local board that our local alumnae and collegiate chapters partner with for fundraising and volunteering.

She said she had been Greek in college. (Strike One ) She wanted to know if we could send any members to volunteer at a couple upcoming events their board is hosting, and also wondered if any of the collegians might be interested in serving on their board. I politely replied and said that we are very involved with our local group, and that the two events conflicted with move-in weekend and recruitment. But I also said that any collegians from her part of the state might be very interested in summer volunteering and gave her the chapter's philanthropy e-mail so she could communicate future dates.

Well, she sent me a rather offended reply, like she thought I was dismissing her. Well, I kind of was. What I really thought was: our collegians are over committed to fundraising and volunteering as it is. They organize their own events, they go to all the other fraternity and sorority fundraisers, and they stress about PR, planning, organization, getting enough people there, getting enough volunteers, etc. Every GLO has one major event each year, and 1-2 small ones each semester. This chapter won an award for philanthropy/community service at the last Convention, but we're really trying to get them to scale back. It's a campus culture issue with all the groups. As faculty advisor, I'm not going to promote members driving that far to volunteer during the school year.

So, how much is too much? Have GLOs gone too far and reached "too much of a good thing?" Are you seeing this phenomenon on your campuses?
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Last edited by Sciencewoman; 07-27-2013 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:43 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sciencewoman View Post
Today I received a "cold call" email from a local board member of one of our national philanthropy partners. The local board she serves on is 3 hours away, while we have a local board that our local alumnae and collegiate chapters partner with for fundraising and volunteering.

She said she had been Greek in college. (Strike One ) She wanted to know if we could send any members to volunteer at a couple upcoming events their board is hosting, and also wondered if any of the collegians might be interested in serving on their board. I politely replied and said that we are very involved with our local group, and that the two events conflicted with move-in weekend and recruitment. But I also said that any collegians from her part of the state might be very interested in summer volunteering and gave her the chapter's philanthropy e-mail so she could communicate future dates.

Well, she sent me a rather offended reply, like she thought I was dismissing her. Well, I kind of was. What I really thought was: our collegians are over committed to fundraising and volunteering as it is. They organize their own events, they go to all the other fraternity and sorority fundraisers, and they stress about PR, planning, organization, getting enough people there, getting enough volunteers, etc. Every GLO has one major event each year, and 1-2 small ones each semester. This chapter won an award for philanthropy/community service at the last Convention, but we're really trying to get them to scale back. It's a campus culture issue with all the groups. As faculty advisor, I'm not going to promote members driving that far to volunteer during the school year.

So, how much is too much? Have GLOs gone too far and reached "too much of a good thing?" Are you seeing this phenomenon on your campuses?
I would have never known that social/general GLOs do all that you listed when it comes to philanthropy. I mean, I sorta knew because of GC, but I never considered how much effort it would be when you add on supporting other org's events, too.

That's a lot.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:00 AM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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I do think that over programming is a problem, and you have to draw the line somewhere.

As far as that woman being offended, if she went to college and "was" Greek then she should know that a collegiate member is pretty tied up during move in and recruitment.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:49 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I think that as you said, it's a campus culture issue. This really isn't a problem at some schools.

Personally, I think the best way to alleviate this would be to bag national philanthropies and go back to having each chapter choose something locally that they could do hands on throughout, rather than creating a big fundraising event. To me that really doesn't help the members learn the value of giving time and talents, it just becomes another production like rush or Greek sing or the like.
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