By Col. (Ret) Stephen M. Bloomer, Monmouth ’83 – Senior Vice President of Advancement, Phi Delta Theta Foundation
As seen in the Winter 2018 Edition of The Scroll
The future is bright for Phi Delta Theta. Just five months ago I joined the Phi Delta Theta Foundation in its quest to create a greater culture of philanthropy. So much good work has already been achieved. I am happy to report that after a bottom-up review of personnel, policy, partnerships, and systems, a strong framework is in place to support great success in the future. Our 188 chapters and colonies and 176,000 alumni provide the bedrock support required to remain a top-level fraternity Foundation.
The mission of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity is “To fulfill the principles of The Bond by providing our members with a lifetime association that enhances success, enjoyment and fulfillment in life.” As a values-based organization, we accomplish this by promoting and living lives of friendship, sound learning, and rectitude. Our General Council and General Headquarters leadership strategically work to be the premiere fraternal leadership development organization in North America. In being so, we shape the conversation about the role of fraternal organizations in higher education and raise the bar for others to emulate.
Our challenges are many. Young men are attending college at a lesser rate and college resources are focused on other issues rather than serving our current and future Phis. Well-led fraternal organizations that enjoy sound mentoring by an engaged chapter advisory board create a ballast for undergraduates who are not just looking for a social club but who seek to become leaders, civic minded citizens, and men of character while enjoying fellowship in the company of other like-minded individuals. Phi Delta Theta sets positive conditions for this personal and individual growth across North America. Thank you for all you do in providing the time, talent and financial support to bolster our efforts!
How the Foundation funds the future
I was recently asked why a fraternity needs both an annual fund and endowment. This question is a fair one and the answer has two parts: 1) The annual fund (Phi Delt Fund) supports general membership scholarships and near-term operations for chapter assistance and leadership, and 2) The endowment supports predictable and sustainable student scholarships and educational programming, namely the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute, Phikeia Educators College, Shaffer Honors College of Leadership, and the Presidents Leadership Conference. These core programs are not yet fully funded and will, therefore, be a main priority moving forward. In addition, our Foundation staff continues to engage alumni and friends on a personal level, based on each individual’s means and interest in emerging or underfunded educational programs.
To their credit, our trustees established a conservative endowment spending policy of 4% to protect the principal of the established funds, a practice that supports a long-term strategy for the Fraternity and Foundation.
As we deliver on the promise to become the premiere leadership development organization in North America, we do so with the mantra that every Phi matters! We look forward to your personal engagement in this endeavor for years to come. Salute!