Is There Still Any Fun in Fundraising?
By Ace Danger, Staff Correspondent
I tidied the six stacks of paper in front of me one more time. I was a week past deadline. The booze had worn off two days ago, and my adrenaline reserves were running on empty. I had to finish this article, and I had to do it now. How could I make this confusing and boring topic both interesting and understandable, and finish it before I got myself fired? It was time to swallow my pride. I called “The Oracle.” The phone rang twice, and then, amazingly, he answered.
“Fish, this is Ace.”
“Ace, the lowest card in the deck. Why, aren’t you lower than the smallest piece of whale—”
I interrupted. “Fish, I need some help. It’s urgent. I’m writing an article for the Meteor on the various Chi Phi-related funds and accounts to which donations can be made, and I need some clarification.”
“Ace, you have come to the right person. Let me start by reminding you of a parable I wrote 10 long years ago, called the Tale of the Two Pilots. The story starts when a group of fishermen gathers…”
I put the phone down while Fish continued his story, oblivious to my disinterest. This was not going to help me finish the article.
I decided it was time to make the call I was dreading. I picked up my cell phone since Fish was still holding court on the other line and dialed up the Alumni Association president.
After he answered, I jumped right in: “Russ, Ace Danger here. I need some help trying to finish my article.”
“Ace, that article was due a week ago. I’m reviewing several resumes of possible replacements for you right now.”
“Russ, can you just help me finish this without the condescension?”
That silenced him for a second. “I just need information about each of the funds to which Chi Phi alumni can donate to.”
“Alright, Ace, get your pen ready.”
I did, and this is what I discovered. There are five different entities to which alumni, family and friends to donate:
Red Triangle Foundation, Inc.
• Named after the founders of the Kappa Chapter in Madison, prior to having their charter proposal accepted by Chi Phi National
• It is a 501(c)(3) corporation, so contributions are tax deductible • Raises money for educational purposes dedicated solely to the Kappa Chapter
• Funds are managed by a volunteer board of trustees, so overhead is virtually non-existent
Alumni Association of Kappa of Chi Phi, Inc.
• Manages the property at 200 Langdon, where needs are constant for the beautiful, 85-year-old house
• Funds annual gatherings for the 900+ alumni of Kappa Chapter
• Contributions are not tax deductible
• Serves to mentor the active Chapter, help recruiting efforts, and provide a safe, sound, and attractive home for current and future Chi Phis
Chi Phi Fund
• The National Fraternity’s annual fund used to cover the gap between what students’ dues cover and the overall cost of running the national fraternity, roughly 35%
• Used to run National and projects such as the Chi Phi Greek Life Museum
• Uses unrestricted funds donated to Chi Phi Educational Trust in addition to donations made directly to the Chi Phi Fund
Chi Phi Educational Trust
• Part of the Chi Phi National fundraising effort
• Currently operating the Changing Lives Campaign
• Contributions are tax deductible
• Manages each chapter’s Chapter Excellence Fund, used to fund scholarships and educational-related expenses at the Chapter House
• Trying to raise $10 million overall and establish a Chapter Excellence Fund for each chapter with at least $25,000
• Managed by a board of trustees
Kappa Chapter of Chi Phi
• The active Chapter at 200 Langdon
• Contributions are not tax deductible
After finishing my notes, I picked up the receiver for my landline. Fish was finishing a story on the history of Schwanstucker racing. I listened politely and made a few more notes for a future article. When he finished, I thanked him and hung up the phone.
Read the feature on Kappa Chapter of Chi Phi in Madison Originals Magazine
Kappa Chapter of Chi Phi endeavors to create an environment where young men can learn and live a connected yet respectable Greek lifestyle as a student at the University of Wisconsin. The chapter house, located at 200 Langdon Street, was constructed in 1928 and is an official Madison historical landmark.