Phi Gamma Delta House Corporation Bulletin - August 2020  
August 2020 House Corporation Newsletter

In This Issue

Message from the Chairman

Beginning of Year Tips

Fall Opening Guidance

Preferred Partners

Taxes for Nonprofits



Thank you for the work that you do to provide housing for an undergraduate chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. That work is more important now than ever as we all work to navigate the pandemic at hand. The Fraternity wants to provide the resources that you need to be effective.

This message will address several matters that should be of interest to you, particularly concerning the measures that need to be taken to re-open your facility and proper preparations for the fall semester as students return to campus.

We appreciate everything you do for Phi Gamma Delta and for our undergraduate brothers. 

Message from Steve Bocher: Making This Your Best Year Ever


"Making this your best year ever” might seem like it is a bit ambitious given the pandemic and resulting uncertainty, but I still think it is a worthy goal. We covered this very topic during our recent webinar in late July. If you weren’t able to join, I would encourage you to view the webinar.

Hopefully, in the weeks ahead, the uncertainty of how many men will be returning, and if/when the house will be opening, will be settled and we will be able to get back to a small sense of normalcy. For some, it could be business as usual, whereas for others that have more limited operations, it might provide you with a window to evaluate your operations. In any event, the concept we shared in the webinar is that “success comes from doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well.” We shared several ordinary things, that if performed extraordinarily well, could help propel a house corporation forward. All were ideas that are relatively easy to implement, so we hope you will take a look.

Communication Is Critical
Please remember, you cannot over communicate in challenging times like we are in now. Keeping parents and University/College administration up to date about your operations and the proactive steps your house corporation has taken could save you countless calls and will be reassuring, nonetheless. Keeping graduates up to date on your re-opening and the “state of housing” is not only part of your fiduciary responsibility, but it could be helpful if emergency fundraising is needed. Lastly, great communication with the chapter regarding expectations for the coming year is also important. A large part of successfully navigating the pandemic is in their hands, but their failure is your financial headache/nightmare. Good communications with the BCA, chapter offices and leaseholders is going to be important too!

Also, be sure to check out the new House Opening Checklist, which was just updated.

Emergency Fundraising
There are instances around the country where universities or government entities are surprising Greek systems with the news that they will not be allowed to open. This of course puts a house corporation in a difficult situation, having to sustain itself without income! Our partner, Columns Fundraising, has already been approached by some non-Fiji groups to do emergency fundraising, and they stand ready to help Phi Gam chapters as well if this is needed. To learn more about these services contact Mark Wilkison (Vermont 1983) at

Finally, thank you for your service! If there is anything we can do to support you, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Best regards,

Steve Bocher
Chairman, 1848 Housing

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Beginning of the Year Tips

The early part of the fall season will be a busy time for your house corporation team, and it may look very different than previous years. Starting the year off with strong plans and procedures, particularly as they relate to COVID-19, should hopefully pay dividends through the remainder of the year. We encourage our house corporations to have fluid communication with members, parents, University / College administration and local authorities as we all work to navigate through the pandemic.

There are still a lot of unknown challenges that we can/may face as the fall semester progresses. The 1848 Housing Committee strongly suggests working with local authorities to implement precautionary policies and guidelines to prepare your facility and house corporation board for these challenges/concerns. We encourage you to continue utilizing the resources available on the COVID-19 Guidance page to make this one of the best years ever.

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Fall (Re-)Opening Guidance

Over the last several months, the 1848 Housing Committee has compiled several resources to help ensure a safe re-opening of all Phi Gamma Delta housing facilities. Below you will find some of the available resources that can be found on the Fraternity’s COVID-19 Guidance page. We encourage local house corporations to create/implement COVID specific re-opening guidelines/addendums to ensure the safety of all brothers, guests and housing staff.

Opening Checklist
The Housing Committee has worked endlessly to create a Housing Opening Checklist to help ease the re-opening process. Included in the checklist is a COVID-19 specific section that includes some recommendations from the Committee regarding various areas of facility management operation that may be affected by the pandemic. 

The Fraternity's insurance provider, Holmes Murphy, has also created a Re-Opening Checklist that will help you identify further recommended guidelines for safety. We highly encourage all house corporations to utilize these checklists and follow all CDC/local guidelines as students begin to re-occupy the facility to ensure the safety of all members and staff. 

Procurement/PPE Supply Lists
As our house corporations begin/continue to re-open for the fall semester, there is not only a need to have an in-depth plan for cleaning/sanitizing/decontamination, but also to have an adequate amount of supplies on hand. The 1848 Housing Committee has been able to compile procurement lists from American Business and Upper Crust to help ease the process of ordering needed supplies.

It is important to communicate to members whether the house corporation will be providing cleaning supplies for individual/personal spaces. If it is a member’s responsibility, we encourage that it is communicated in a timely manner so brothers can prepare accordingly.

Undergraduate Brother Expectations
The serious nature of COVID-19 has presented a further need for our house corporations to set expectations for the undergraduate chapter regarding cleanliness and other precautionary measures. These expectations should not only apply to brothers living in the facility, but to all members returning to campus.

The Undergraduate Brother Expectations Sheet is intended to help promote the safest, cleanest and most comfortable living environment while keeping brothers’ safety as the number one priority. We encourage our house corporations to adapt the expectations to align with local and university guidelines/policies and to be clearly communicated to all brothers. 

If a Brother Tests Positive
There is mixed guidance on what the housing corporation should do if a brother living in the facility tests positive for COVID-19. We highly encourage our house corporations to follow CDC guidance regarding self-isolation and to work with local authorities to create contingency plans. Holmes Murphy has created a list of considerations that we encourage our HC’s to consider when developing contingency plans. This list of considerations and other facility management questions regarding decontamination can be found HERE.

Headquarters staff is also working to create messaging templates that should be used to model communications by all house corporations if a brother tests positive. These templates are intended to increase the HC’s transparency with parents of brothers, the undergraduate chapter and University/College administration. Messaging templates can be found HERE.

Digital Resource Library
Headquarters staff and the 1848 Housing Committee have been compiling resources from Universities/Colleges and other House Corporations to help provide some examples of COVID specific policies/protocols/procedures that have been created by individual groups. We encourage you to utilize these resources to edit or model your COVID-19 specific policies as your facility re-opens for the fall. Click here to access the digital repository. Also, if your house corporation has enacted any COVID-19 specific policies/protocols, please share them with us.

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Message from Our Preferred Partners

Columns Fundraising
Does your house corporation feel financially stable for the upcoming semester and beyond? Is your house corporation worried about the financial impact of COVID-19 on the preservation of your facility? Has your house corporation thought of/planned out contingency plans for the continuation of facility operations? Columns Fundraising has created a blueprint for short-term contingency fundraising to help ensure financial stability amidst the pandemic at hand, regardless of student occupancy in the facility. Click here to learn more about protecting the financial stability of your facility.

Upper Crust Food Service
Do you know kitchen management basics? Operating a kitchen at your chapter house means that you are accepting a certain level of responsibility. Whether you hire your chef directly or use a food service company, you are still responsible to understand and supervise the operation to ensure you are complying with necessary guidelines. Our goal should not be to just provide a lot of food, but to provide great tasting food in a safe, well-run kitchen.

Take this quiz and see how much you know about the basics of kitchen operations. You can request the answer sheet from The first person to score 100% on their quiz will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Upper Crust Service is also creating a kitchen re-opening checklist to help all facilities safely re-open their kitchens for members. We encourage our House Corporations to frequent the COVID-19 Guidance page as it will be posted there once finalized.

Additional Suggested Vendors
If you are a house corporation searching for a property management company, an architecture firm or property insurance, we suggest reviewing the list of suggested vendors on the Housing Resources page.

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Taxes for Nonprofit Organizations

All nonprofit entities in the U.S., including house corporations, are required to file an annual tax return with the IRS. The return is some version of the Form 990 and is due by the 15th day of the 5th month following the close of the fiscal year. For those house corporations that have adopted a fiscal year end consistent with the Fraternity's on June 30, this is due by November 15, 2020

Nonprofit entities that fail to file the annual return for three consecutive years will have their tax-exempt status revoked. The loss of tax-exempt status means that the entity must operate as a for-profit entity, with its revenue, such as dues and rent, subject to income tax. Unfortunately, several chapters and house corporations have lost their exempt status and are working through an onerous process to regain it. To check if your chapter / house corporation is on the revocation list, go to this page on the IRS website.

If your chapter/house corporation is not on the list, but you know that the tax return has not been filed for one or more years, you should give this your immediate attention. And we suggest you engage a local tax professional to assist you. The Fraternity may also be able to direct you to assistance if your tax-exempt status has been revoked by contacting Will Shier.

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1848 Housing Committee Webinars

The 1848 Housing Committee hosted a webinar in late July on how to make this year your best, despite the situation we are all facing. It highlighted various suggestions from the Housing Committee concerning all areas of operation and addressed the re-opening of facilities. Above all, it allowed an opportunity for our House Corporation members to ask questions directly to the committee, our preferred food service provider Upper Crust, and two of our suggested vendors: CSL Management and Alpha Fraternity Management.

You can find this webinar, as well as previous webinar recordings on the 1848 Housing Webinar page. Previous webinars cover topics such as kitchen operations, fundraising, property management programs and more.

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You are receiving this newsletter because you are listed as a House Corporation member for a Phi Gamma Delta Chapter/Colony. If you are no longer a member of a house corporation contact Director of Graduate Engagement Dio Protopapadakis

You may also contact Dio to determine who is currently listed in the Fraternity's records. 


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