Guest Blogger Emily, Butler
This past year, collegiate Kappas raised more than $600,000 through philanthropy events and donated more than 140,650 philanthropy hours to campus and local service projects. Kappa Kappa Gamma has a long history of giving back to those who need it the most, whether that be through our national philanthropic partner, Reading Is Fundamental, community programs, or the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)
Chapters should hold at least one event each year to promote children’s literacy for Reading Is Fundamental. Kappas at Rollins College go to a local elementary school (where 80% of students are on a free or reduced-lunch program) each semester with books and boxed lunches. Members guide the students through a related craft, eat lunch with the students, and give the students an additional meal to take home for the weekend, along with their new books. This year, the books purchased for the event actually raised money for a second philanthropy, multiplying the chapter’s philanthropic contribution.
Signature Philanthropy Events
Each chapter should have a signature fundraising event each year, one that has the potential to be well-known in the community or is already successful each year. Chapters can then choose the charity that the event will benefit. This past year, Kappas raised more than $560,000 through signature philanthropy events.
University of San Diego Kappas honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October with Breastival, a carnival-style event that promotes awareness and raises money for the Scripps Breast Cancer Research Center. The week includes events such as a bra slingshot and the popular America’s Breast Dance Crew, a humorous dance competition that includes students from the USD community.
Kappas from Johns Hopkins partnered with Beta Theta Pi fraternity to host a cook-off competition between fraternities and sororities and chose to donate the money to RIF. Fraternities competed for the best burger, while sororities competed for the best dessert. The chapter charged an admission fee but gave guests the option to donate canned food to the Maryland Food Bank instead.
Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation
Kappas are encouraged to incorporate fundraising for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation into their existing fundraising efforts. Consider donating a portion of proceeds raised from a signature event to the Foundation. Also, if your chapter participates in another group’s philanthropy event that gives money to winning teams’ philanthropies, consider donating any money won to the Kappa Foundation. This past year, collegiate chapters donated more than $91,000 to support the Foundation and its programs.
Interested in Starting a New Philanthropy Event?
Research events being done on other campuses and think about how you could make them work on yours. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you know another group that has done something similar. Think about the best way to promote it on your campus, whether it’s through social media, campus bulletin boards or a campus newsletter.
Consider finding sponsors from the community that can offset the costs of the event. With a signature event, the goal is to create something that is recognized annually as a campus event, so pick a catchy name that you can use year after year. Finally, choose a cause—maybe it’s something that your chapter already supports, or maybe it’s a new cause in the community.
The new and improved Kappa.org has a section just for sharing officer ideas where you can share your best philanthropy events. Make sure you’re logged in, and you can see what your fellow Kappas are doing to promote philanthropy in their chapters, or you can submit your own philanthropy success stories!