Our Fraternity, Our Foundation
This month I write to you in collaboration with Leslie Ervin Trahant, the Chairman of Theta Phi Alpha Foundation’s Board of Directors, to explain the vital role the Foundation plays in our Fraternity's success and how you too can make a difference.
As National President, I serve as a director of the Theta Phi Alpha Foundation.
The Foundation’s mission statement provides an overview of its activities:
Theta Phi Alpha Foundation enriches Theta Phi Alpha sisters by providing resources for scholarship, philanthropy, and education through charitable giving.
For scholarships, the Foundation supports individual sisters with academic scholarships. Additionally, registration fees and travel expenses are provided for selected collegians attending the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) in Indianapolis.
The Foundation also supports Theta Phi Alpha’s philanthropic causes: Camp Friendship, Glenmary Home Missioners, and the cause of reducing homelessness under The House That Theta Phi Alpha Built. The Foundation also provides relief to sisters who experience loss because of a Presidentially-declared emergency, such as a storm, flood, tornado, or earthquake.
The topic of education covers many things that the Foundation is able to support. The Foundation can fund certain programs of the Fraternity when they are educational:
- Providing funding for the Siena Medalist and additional speakers at our National Conventions.
- Co-sponsoring our annual Officer Leadership Training sessions.
- Funding general education sessions given by our Leadership Consultants when visiting Theta Phi Alpha chapters. Topics covered include leadership skills, communication, time management, risk management, finances, conflict resolution and Foundation education.
While the Fraternity has a few types of income, such as dues, royalties, and donations, the Foundation relies solely on the generosity of those who donate to the Foundation and its programs. The Sisterhood Society is a special giving club exclusively for collegians who donate at least $19.12 annually. They receive special recognition and a dangle for their badge – and all funds raised this way go directly back to fund educational programs for our collegian members.
The Foundation also supports technology-related initiatives to better serve our sisters – partnering with the Fraternity to provide the Member and Officer Portals.
Founders’ Day is an excellent opportunity to support the Theta Phi Alpha Foundation. The Roll Call held during the Founders’ Day Ceremony encourages each sister to donate at least one dollar for each year of their membership in Theta Phi Alpha. Many sisters donate well beyond this suggested amount and many collegians choose to become members of the Sisterhood Society by donating $19.12. The Roll Call and concurrent annual appeal are major sources of funding for the Foundation’s efforts.
The Foundation’s expanded year-round White Rose Garden program enables sisters and friends to send cards for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, initiations, or to celebrate sisterhood! The Foundation also raises funds at National Convention, Officer Leadership Training, Theta Phi Days, and Theta Phi Alpha Day of Giving. Contributions are also accepted at any time through the Member Portal or through the website at www.thetaphialpha.org/foundation.
Theta Phi Alpha Foundation is governed by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3), while the Fraternity is governed by IRC 501(c)(7). For legal and tax reasons, the Foundation is a separate, charitable organization is allowed to accept tax-exempt contributions that may be tax-deductible to the donor.
While legally-separate entities, the Fraternity and Foundation work in tandem for the common good of Theta Phi Alpha and its membership.