By Taylor Maurer and Nita Faulkner
The day of their events, Matt Eisenmann was blowing up dozens of ivory and purple metallic balloons, Anna Puchi was decorating signs and Adam Breunig was calling Amazon about a delayed shipment of 300 wristbands, all to raise money for nonprofits.
The Panther contacted each Greek chapter at Chapman to ask for details regarding their philanthropic endeavors, then used the data provided to evaluate the details of the largest fundraising event from each organization, identifying which event brought in the most funds per attendee, overall cost of throwing the event and amount donated to the nonprofit.
In total, Chapman University’s Greek Life held 16 events that raised $127,900 among eight sororities and nine fraternities in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“I think (fundraising is) great because it shows that we, as students, can make a great difference,” said Ryan Vertelney, a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. “I think it’s amazing that even being such a small school, Chapman Greek Life can raise such a large amount of money and make such a difference.”
The funds, in part, benefit research of children’s illnesses, wounded military veterans, medical research and raise awareness for rape victims.
Altogether, 15 nonprofits benefited from donations from the combined 16 fraternities and sororities at Chapman. Both Beta Theta Pi and the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity support the Wounded Warriors Project.
“Each philanthropy brings a new and exciting way to give back to a certain cause and it takes a lot of collaboration between members of each organization to make it happen,” said Michael Reyes, a member of the Interfraternity Council, the governing body of Chapman’s fraternities.
Reyes and the Interfraternity Council encourage Greek communities to be aware of the local community so they know what events would be exciting for residents to participate in. The hard work and months of preparation for each chapter is reflected by the funds they were able to raise for these causes.
The Panther calculated the average donation per attendee by dividing the amount donated to a philanthropy by the number of reported attendees at the largest philanthropic event per sorority or fraternity. This calculation is reflected in a “per attendee” dollar amount.
Based on these calculations, fraternity Phi Gamma Delta and sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma raised the most money per attendee.
Phi Gamma Delta
The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, better known on campus as FIJI, decorates Purple Tie, their annual philanthropic event, with purple napkins and ivory tablecloths.
For the event, the members of FIJI host a gala, auction, raffle and evening of live entertainment in the Sandhu Conference Center to celebrate their fundraising endeavors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Inland Empire and Orange County.
This past academic year, FIJI raised $15,000 for Make-A-Wish, which granted three wishes to children with debilitating illnesses.
Matt King, the Purple Tie Chair, said he felt thrilled to have organized the event that made the highest donation to the Make-A-Wish foundation in FIJI history.
“The last two years we have really bumped up the donation goal, and so of course for this year we’d love to raise more,” King said. “Any number of wishes granted is a success in my book, but who knows maybe we will grant four (wishes) this year.”
For Purple Tie, FIJI raised $75 per attendee, which is the highest ratio of attendee to amount donated of the fraternities that provided information. Purple Tie 2016 will be held in April in the Sandhu Conference Room.
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma raised $6,000 through Kappa Kloset to encourage the young women of GIRLS Academy – a program that helps to meet the needs of middle school girls ages 11 to 12.
The program is designed to help girls reject unrealistic body images and the objectification of women through a day-and-a-half retreat and community service project, mentored by the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Fundraising allows the 60 attendees from Kappa Kappa Gamma to act as mentors to the GIRLS Academy participants, motivating them to pursue higher education opportunities. Fifty-five girls from the Santa Ana Unified School District were able to attend GIRLS Academy free of charge. Annaliese Baker, Chapman’s Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter president, was honored that Chapman’s chapter was selected for the program in 2015.
“The event has given our chapter a further drive to work closely with these girls and continue the close mentoring relationships that occurred during the retreat weekend,” Baker said.
Both Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Gamma Delta host various events throughout the academic year to help fund their largest annual event and increase funds for their nonprofit.
Sororities Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, and Kappa Alpha Theta, and fraternities Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Delta Phi, Phi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Alpha Mu declined requests from The Panther to share information.
Some figures were estimated based on previously released press announcements on the chapters’ respective websites. Complete data for Alpha Delta Phi, Pi Alpha Kappa, Sigma Alpha Mu, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Delta Gamma were not provided so they are not represented.
Although sorority Phi Sigma Sigma was disbanded in September, the chapter’s philanthropic event is represented because the chapter was active in the 2014-15 academic year. Sorority Pi Beta Phi was not included in the data because of the chapter colonized in the spring of 2015.