Phi Gamma Delta House Corporation Bulletin - Thinking Ahead  
October 2020 House Corporation Newsletter

In This Issue

Chairman Message

Contingency Fundraising

Tax Filing

Preferred Partners Message

Housing Webinars

Winter Break Checklist


Thank you for the work that you do to provide housing for an undergraduate chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. That work is important, and the Fraternity wants to provide the resources that you need to be effective. 

This message will address a number of matters that should be of interest to you. 

Message from Steve Bocher - Thinking Ahead

It is hard to believe that we have been living through the pandemic for eight months! For some, it has been a roller coaster of preparing and then little or nothing significant happening. For others, it has been a series of “fire drills” and dealing with multiple issues. In either case, it has been a lot of work, and we are grateful for your determination to deal with this situation. I am hopeful that we are turning the corner, and we won’t see a dramatic rebound of cases later this fall. But if we do, I am confident your preparation over these past months will put you in a good position to deal with what may come. 

In addition to our focus on COVID, I would like to encourage you to look toward the future as well. The Fraternity is weathering through this period, just as we have through wars, economic downturns and other big events throughout our 170+ year history. Preparing and looking ahead is as important as ever. 

 1. Be Well Prepared for Winter Break. Take time now to improve on your plan for upcoming extended breaks. Now is a good time to evaluate how you monitor the facility when residents are gone as more insurance claims tend to happen during break periods than non-break periods (and the damage/claims are significantly larger). Now is also a good time to think about possible maintenance, repairs, improvements and cleaning you want to do over the break period. Additional considerations are outline in the winter/fall break checklists.

 2. Conduct a Rent Study. This doesn’t have to be tedious but take some time to find out what your “competitors” are charging – including other fraternities, residence halls and even area apartments. Charging a fair and reasonable rent is critical to giving your house corporation the funding it needs not just for current operations but future improvements.

 3. Look at Your 1, 3, 5-Year Plans. If you do not have one of these, assign members of your board the task of writing one of these plans. This plan can include developing a maintenance plan, schedule for improvements, communications with graduates, starting or updating your reserve study and adopting various best practices. 

Finally, 1848 Housing is continuing to expand our team and resources! If you would like to share your knowledge and experience with the rest of the Fraternity, contact me and we will get you plugged in! And don’t forget to check out the resources at

Best Regards,

Steve Bocher
Chairman, 1848 Housing

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Contingency Fundraising

During this difficult year, many House Corporations are forecasting revenue losses. They are finding that reserves may not adequately cover any shortfalls, or they are discovering opportunities for capital improvement projects are given lower than normal occupancy. To make up the difference, many house corporations are relying on fundraising. The Fraternity and the 1848 Housing Committee want to offer you assistance with short-term or contingency fundraising efforts. 

We now have templates available that you can utilize to communicate your needs to your graduate base. These templates can be found in the COVID-19 Digital Repository.

The Fraternity is also making its Graduate Communication Services available for these short-term/contingency efforts at little or no cost. There will be no charge for email communications to your graduates, and house corporations will only be charged the 'hard costs' of printing and postage for mailed solicitations. (Note that you will need to provide your own fundraising platform/collections mechanism.) If your undergraduate chapter utilizes LegFi for dues collections/payments, your house corporation has access to a free account for online fundraising. Contact JB Goll with any questions about LegFi's services.

Contact Dio Protopapadakis, Director of Graduate Engagement, with questions or to put you in touch with a member of the 1848 Housing Committee for additional assistance.

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Tax Filing Requirement 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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Message from Our Preferred Partners

Columns Fundraising
Does your house corporation want to raise some last-minute, year-end cash? Columns Fundraising has created a recommendations list for our house corporations to help ease the year-end fundraising process. Click HERE to learn more on the recommended steps to raise funds in 2020. 

Upper Crust Food Service
Does you chapter host gatherings around food? Are your chapter’s chefs looking for ideas to bring brothers together? Upper Crust Food Service has provided some suggestions in this month’s article on how to utilize national food days in your kitchen. Click HERE to learn more about the importance of food or to contact a representative from Upper Crust. 

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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1848 Housing Committee Webinar Recordings

The 1848 Housing Committee held an open forum discussion for house corporations that gave brothers the opportunity to talk through the struggles associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The 1848 Housing Committee also hosted a webinar in late September with the Fraternity’s insurance provider, Holmes Murphy. This webinar highlighted ways to reduce liability and exposure, particularly focusing on trends happening in the Greek community. The recording of this webinar can be found on the 1848 Housing Webinar page.

All previous webinar recordings can also be found on this page. Previous webinars cover topics such as kitchen operations, fundraising, property management programs and more.

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Winter/Fall Break Checklist

We know academic calendars look different this year due to COVID-19. However, it is important to start thinking ahead to prepare for the next time brothers move out of the facility for an extended period, such as winter break. This is an opportunity to get inside the house while brothers aren’t there to review a checklist to ensure everything is up to our standards and to properly disinfect the facility. 

Holmes Murphy insurance provides a winter break checklist and a closure checklist for you to use when doing your winter break walk through of the chapter house. Click here to view the Winter Break Checklist. Despite your facility not necessarily being closed due to COVID, we encourage you to utilize the Facility Closure Checklist during your walk-through as well.

The cold months are coming, and this checklist goes over the obvious safety and security issues, including issues concerning cold weather (e.g. checking water lines, hoses and furnaces). This is a very useful tool that we highly suggest saving for your house corporation's use.

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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 Dio Protopapadakis, Director of Graduate Engagement.

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


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1848 Properties Inc.
1201 Red Mile Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40544-4599  |  859.255.1848