Strengthening Our Sisterhood Today and Tomorrow
Alpha Chi Launches Largest Fundraising Campaign in its History
The big news at Alpha Chi Omega’s 57th biennial National Convention involved a big number—$7 million, to be exact.
That’s the goal of For Now/Forever, the fundraising campaign publicly launched at the convention. The campaign’s objective: Ensure that today’s collegians and tomorrow’s receive all the benefits each Alpha Chi Omega received from our sisterhood—and more.
The even bigger news emerging from the convention was the campaign’s success to date. During its quiet phase, For Now/Forever has raised more than $6 million, including the first two $1 million gifts in Alpha Chi Omega’s history. Those gifts were made by past Alpha Chi Omega Foundation Chair Anne E. Helliwell, of Gamma Iota chapter, University of Florida, and past Trustee Jo Hurley, of Phi chapter, University of Kansas. In all, more than 170 Alpha Chi Omegas have contributed or pledged to the campaign— with gifts ranging from $1 to $1 million. Now, it’s up to Alpha Chi Omegas nationwide to put the campaign over the top.
“Looking into the future, I would love to see the Foundation have the money we need to provide every experience we’ve had, and more, to those young women and little girls—most of whom we don’t even know—who are going to end up joining Alpha Chi Omega,” Helliwell said. “We want to be able to provide the programming that’s relevant to their time in life. It’s going to be different from what’s relevant today or what was relevant when I was in school. We need to have that funding, and we need to have that flexibility.”
Helliwell said the campaign was launched only after careful research. “We asked a sampling of our members what they thought Alpha Chi Omega was providing, what the Alpha Chi Omega experience was, that type of thing, Helliwell said. “And we were very pleased with what our members had to say.”
“When we got those results, we started doing studies with some of our donors to ask ‘If we did this, or if we did that, would you support us?’ Again, we were very pleased. So in January 2011, we made the decision to launch a campaign—one that’s going to make an enormous difference in the lives of our members now and forever.”
Co-chaired by past National President Donna Chereck, Alpha Phi chapter, University of Texas-Austin, and former Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Kitty deKieffer, Epsilon Kappa chapter, California State University-Fullerton, the campaign is not about bricks and mortar, but about programming that helps recruit and retain members. “One of the dilemmas for Alpha Chi is that part of what we teach our members is to be out in the community and be supportive of different philanthropies in their community,” said past National President and Foundation Trustee Marsha Grady. “So it would be very easy to create a model where we teach our members how to go out and support other charities without reminding them that Alpha Chi Omega is our number one charity. The Alpha Chi Omega Foundation provides support for educational leadership programming for our members. That, in turn, helps us continue to build the organization.
“With the escalating cost of higher education, all members need to pitch in to ensure that Alpha Chi Omega continues to be exceptional,” Grady said. “We have 160,000 addressable living alumnae. We look to them to support this organization, so our collegiate members do not have to bear all our programming costs. We need to keep the experience affordable and reachable for every strong woman who’s out there, regardless of how much money she has. And the way we do that for our collegiate members is for the rest of us to step up. We pay it forward, so that other people in the future have the same experience that we had.”
The For Now/Forever campaign emphasizes areas of “greatest need.” In other words, the dollars go where they’re needed most at any particular moment, with recognition that those needs change over time.
Your Gifts Could Help Our Initiatives Grow
In 2010, Alpha Chi Omega introduced an innovative, research-based life-skills and leadership-training curriculum at select chapters. As of this fall, the program has been rolled out to all chapters nationwide. The courses are fun, engaging and getting rave reviews. And with For Now/Forever donors’ help, Alpha Chi Omega could sustain this program without collegians bearing the entire cost. That, in turn, would encourage member retention and deepen commitments to our sisterhood.
Alpha Chi Omega has long been able to bring just one officer from each chapter to its annual Leadership Academy, with the chapter covering much of the cost. With For Now/Forever donors’ help, Alpha Chi could engage more top collegians in this proven training. That, in turn, would help all Alpha Chi chapters—and our national organization—build recruitment, retention, revenue and reputation.
Alpha Chi Omega needs many volunteers. And to make those volunteer experiences memorable and meaningful, it needs those volunteers to be well-trained. Some chapters, unfortunately, have had to work without chapter advisors or other volunteer support. To remedy this, Alpha Chi Omega has developed a new volunteer-training curriculum. That, in turn, would better serve our collegians. With For Now/Forever donors’ help, Alpha Chi Omega could roll this volunteer training out to more and more sisters nationwide.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EDUCATION, PREVENTION AND SERVICE
Two decades ago, Alpha Chi Omega designated domestic violence as its official philanthropy. It’s a way for our women to serve other women very much in need. Today, Alpha Chi Omega supports many domestic-violence programs, but they often lack the resources needed to reach all the members, college women, high school students and victims of domestic violence we would like to reach. With For Now/Forever donors’ help, Alpha Chi Omegas can be stronger advocates, better able to prevent more cases of domestic violence and serve more women and families who’ve become victims.
The Alpha Chi Omega Foundation thanks Anne E. Helliwell (ΓΙ) and Jo Sicking Hurley (Φ), Alpha Chi Omega’s first members to reach the Mount Olympus Roll, the giving society honoring those whose contributions exceed $1 million. Thank you so much for setting such a tremendous example and for inspiring so many women—for now and forever!
We Need Your Help
“The women of Alpha Chi Omega have, since the beginning, demonstrated their generosity, compassion and commitment to their own sisters and to the greater good,” said Alpha Chi Omega Executive Director Cherí O’Neill. “The For Now/Forever campaign is just the latest example of that commitment, and we’re extraordinarily grateful to all the women who’ve donated so far—and eager to hear from other sisters who want to leave a legacy through this campaign.
“Whether you’re a collegian giving up one pizza per week for the cause, a working professional giving back through a major gift, or an alumna leaving a gift that will last far beyond your lifetime, you can truly make a difference for now and forever,” O’Neill said. At the Foundation luncheon during the convention, campaign leaders said gifts could take many forms, including:
- making an individual gift on either a one-time or recurring basis
- joining with sisters for collective gifts
- making Alpha Chi Omega part of one’s estate plan.
To watch a special campaign video and to make a gift online, please visit alphachiomega.org/Foundation, then click on the For Now/Forever link. The Alpha Chi Omega Foundation may be reached at 317.579.5050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on giving to For Now/Forever, refer to the official pledge form on the following page.