The Phi Delta Theta Foundation exists to strengthen men for life by building on the tradition of our core values: friendship, sound learning and rectitude.
The Phi Delta Theta Foundation was created in 1958 and chartered by the State of Ohio on August 16, 1960. The Foundation was granted its tax-exempt status in 1963 after giving evidence of its good intent by awarding its first scholarships in 1962. The Phi Delta Theta Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization; contributions are tax-deductible as prescribed by law.
For approximately twenty years, the Foundation’s activities were limited solely to giving scholarships. Then, in the early 1980s, the Foundation received a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service that greatly broadened the scope of its activities. This ruling allowed the Foundation to provide educational grants for items other than scholarships. Based upon that ruling, the Foundation began supporting other educational activities like the Chapter Consultant program, the Leadership College, the educational portions of the General Convention, educational materials, and numerous other programs.
The Foundation began with a very small corpus — $4,708 in 1962. That small corpus has since grown and the total assets of the Foundation now total over $16 million. As the Foundation’s funds have grown, so have the number and the amounts of the scholarships and other educational grants.
The Inaugural Campaign
During the celebration of Phi Delta Theta’s sesquicentennial anniversary, the Foundation undertook “The Living Bond,” a $5 million capital campaign. This campaign was Phi Delta Theta’s first capital campaign, and as such, it was the most ambitious program the Foundation had undertaken up to that time. The campaign concluded in December of 1999 with gifts and pledges totaling over $6.3 million. One tangible piece of evidence of the campaign’s success is the addition to and renovation of the General Headquarters in Oxford, Ohio. The Paul E. Martin Building houses the offices of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation and the Phi Delta Theta General Fraternity as well as The David Demaree Banta Memorial Library.
Support of Alcohol-Free Housing
Some critics thought it was going to be a long and arduous task for Phi Delta Theta to implement alcohol-free housing. Others believed that membership would decline. However, the leadership of Phi Delta Theta knew it would be in the best interest for our undergraduate members and for the future of the Fraternity to refocus our efforts to be a values-based organization.
Therefore, in February of 1997, the General Council announced the Alcohol-free Housing Policy to the world. Chapters were given more than three years to implement this paradigm shift on their campus and all properties were alcohol-free by the implementation date of July 1, 2000. In support of this initiative, the Foundation made educational grants in excess of $1 million to the General Fraternity and undergraduate chapters.
Making the Phi Delt 2020 Vision a Reality
In the Fall of 2010, the newly elected General Council assembled for its annual retreat with the General Headquarters staff. This year, their mission was to create a long-term strategic path for Phi Delta Theta. Through this process, Phi Delt 2020 was created to establish Phi Delta Theta as the premiere fraternal leadership organization through six strategic initiatives: Growth, Education, Support, Communication, Capacity and Funding.
Shortly thereafter, a fundraising effort called “Building on the Bond” was launched to raise the dollars necessary to make this vision a reality. The goal is to raise $20 million by December 26, 2020 – the most ambitious fundraising effort in Phi Delt history.
Since its very humble beginnings, the Foundation has awarded more than $4.1 million in scholarships and fellowships to outstanding young Phis. The Foundation has also granted nearly $10 million toward the Fraternity’s premiere leadership and educational programs such as the Presidents Leadership Conference, the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute, the Leadership Consultant Program and the Alcohol- Free Housing initiative.