Fundraising and philanthropy are an integral part of Greek Life on campuses around the country. Nearly every chapter has a pillar, value or motto that states they will help others and do good in their communities. Raising money for a sorority or fraternity isn’t always easy, it takes a lot of hard work and organization to plan and execute great events. We took a minute to chat with one of the men behind some of these events, Philanthropy Chair for the University of Minnesota Delta Chi Fraternity, Graham Andrews.
CC: What are some of your major responsibilities as Philanthropy chair?
GA: As philanthropy chair, I am responsible for overseeing and executing the philanthropic activities of our Delta Chi chapter. Planning and hosting events can be difficult tasks, especially when the goal is to get college students to donate money. Luckily, my brothers are quick to help each other out, and I am able to find support for whatever I need, whenever I need it. Another important role of mine is to keep members active in the community by motivating them to give time, effort, and money and representing our chapter well through our various philanthropic activities.
CC: What initially drew you to philanthropy?
GA: Giving back to the community is important to me and was part of the reason I joined Greek life. Also, the philanthropy chair is one of the most important roles in the house; much of the public image of fraternities and sororities is shaped by philanthropy. [This position] has helped me improve and develop my personal leadership skills all while contributing to both the community and Delta Chi. To me, this is my ideal position. I feel like I have already learned a lot and will continue to learn more as the year goes on.
CC: Does Delta Chi donate to any specific charities or organizations?
GA: The V Foundation for Cancer Research is Delta Chi’s international charity. This means that every single Delta Chi chapter donates to this amazing organization. The Jimmy V foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, so they are able to give 100% of money raised directly to cancer research. This is such an important cause because cancer has affected so many people in every community—friends, family and strangers alike. It is very rewarding to know that all of the money we raise is helping to look for new cures and treatments.
CC: What are some events that you have planned for Delta Chi?
GA: We host at least one major event each semester. In the spring semester, we have a whole philanthropy week, similar to the Jimmy V Week that ESPN does. We plan four to five days of activities that include volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, a charity volleyball tournament and some sort of meal like a pasta dinner. Some favorites in the past have been attending sporting events like a Minnesota Timberwolves game and two years ago we even had a concert put on by one of our alumni and his band.
In the fall semester we put on an event called Pelt A Chi. For this event we fill up water balloons with paint that people can purchase to launch at their favorite (or least favorite) Delta Chi’s. We set up a slingshot and backboard in our front yard and make an afternoon of it, this is usually one of the most fun days of the year.
CC: Are you planning any future events for the Chapter?
GA: As I mentioned, we have Pelt a Chi coming up in the fall so my committee and I are working on picking the date and finishing up the logistics for that. Otherwise, we always have a few FMSC time slots picked out that we’ll go to as a chapter to package meals.
CC: Are you involved in any other volunteering or extracurriculars at the moment?
GA: I volunteer my time as an admissions ambassador for the U of M. Sharing my appreciation of the community at the university with prospective students while giving tours is very rewarding.
CC: What do you think about the shop-to-raise fundraising method that Campus Causes offers?
GA: Shop-to-raise fundraising is a great way for people to give back without even changing their spending habits. This is an especially powerful tool for people without a lot of disposable income to give back to causes they believe in. Supporting causes makes the entire community better off, and shop-to-raise fundraising plays an important part in allowing people to contribute.
CC: What have you found to be the most effective ways to raise awareness of the shop-to-raise opportunity on Campus Causes within your chapter (i.e. social media, email, collateral distribution, etc.)?
GA: I have found that an effective way of raising awareness for the shop to raise fundraiser is combining some of those things. As a chapter we found it most effective to use social media posts as well as announcements at meetings where collateral was presented and explained so everyone understands how easy it is to use it and why it could help us out.
CC: Did you know that we have a browser extension that will remind you when there’s an opportunity to earn cash for your group when you shop your favorite brands online?! What brands do you think will be a hit with your chapter as they shop-to-raise?
GA: I did not know that Campus Causes has a browser extension, that is a very helpful reminder! Having the browser would definitely make it easier for us to raise some money. As for the brands, I think Target will be a big hit because a lot of people in the house shop at Target regularly throughout the year. Also since you can order online and pick it up in store it will be even easier for us to raise money through the platform that way.
CC: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to any charity/organization who would it be and why?
GA: Cancer has affected my friends and family, so with $1,000,000 I would want to try make the biggest impact possible. I believe that research is the best way to work towards possible solutions, so I would donate $1,000,000 to a cancer research organization. The V Foundation, Delta Chi’s national charity, spends 100% of donated money on research, so I believe that the Jimmy V foundation would be where I would donate the money.