About 1848 Properties, Inc.

The Fraternity has established a national housing corporation for Phi Gamma Delta called 1848 Properties, Inc. This concept has been in discussion for some years. With this new housing-focused entity, Phi Gamma Delta is following in the footsteps of a number of other fraternities and sororities.

An initial, primary purpose of the NHC is to hold title to and safeguard certain assets of closed chapters, including proceeds from the sale of chapter properties. In addition to safeguarding of assets, 1848 Properties looks to provide education and other resources to House Corporations.

 Mission & Vision

Mission Statement: 

1848 Properties, Inc. exists to provide competitive housing in Phi Gamma Delta by providing resources and assistance that promotes competitive living environments within the fraternity. Where feasible we believe that housing is an important aspect of fraternity life and that quality, safe housing is important to the long-term success of the Phi Gamma Delta­­­ and individual chapters.

Vision:

To challenge our membership to maintain the highest standards of safety and excellence in housing.

 What We Do

Our role is to foster housing excellence within Phi Gamma Delta and to provide resources and support to help house corporations and chapters to operate at the highest level possible.

While the preferred model for ownership and management is the local house corporation, we are responsible to protect and maximize the valued housing assets of the Fraternity. If a local house corporation is unwilling or unable to do so, 1848 Properties Inc, may either manage such assets until such a time that a local house corporation or chapter is re-established.

 Board of Directors

 

Housing Resources

 House Corporation

 Best Practices

There are many types and variations of housing assets within Phi Gamma Delta - from traditional chapter houses owned by house corporations (HCs), to houses owned by universities or private parties. In other instances, chapters have lodges or private residences that used by members. We recognize that these different types of housing assets will require different levels of oversight and involvement by HCs and that some of the items listed below will not be applicable.

1848 Properties Inc. will be developing resources and support materials as appropriate to assist house corporations in accomplishing the items listed below.

With the goal of providing excellent housing, HCs are encouraged to meet or exceed the following best practices.

Corporate/Fiduciary
  1. Report annually to the graduate brothers of the chapter on the financial and physical condition of their assets
  2. Conduct an an annual meeting (preferably in conjunction with the chapter's Pig Dinner, to maximize attendance and participation of the chapter's graduates)
  3. Meet at least annually with the chapter to explain HC operations
  4. File state and federal filings on time including form 990s and 941 (if you have employees)
General Operations
  1. Conduct either bi-annual or quarterly inspection of the asset (1848 Properties has a recommend inspection list)
  2. Invite undergraduates (chapter president, treasurer, house manager) to attend house corporation meetings and inspections
  3. Conduct HC meetings at the assets location (provides visibility to the HC and provides an inspection opportunity)
  4. Organize and implement an annual house improvement weekend
  5. Hire a graduate advisor or house director living on-site (for chapters with houses that have at least __ men living in the asset)
  6. Implement a "no pets allowed" policy in asset's facilities
Finances/Budget
  1. Review annually that P&C insurance to ensure it is commensurate with HC's asset
  2. Create a reserve study and review annually
  3. Maintain cash reserves equal to at least six (6) months of operating expenses
  4. Operate in full compliance with HR/payroll practices in their jurisdiction
  5. Insure PGD room & board rates are at or above average rate charged on campus
  6. Review/compare condition of assets to other fraternities on campus (our goal is to be in the top 30% of assets)
  7. Implement a scheduled maintenance plan to reduce peaks and valleys in facility condition and extend the life of the facility assets
  8. Charge parlor fees to members not living in the house for their share of the cost to use and enjoy of the chapter house
  9. Have an alternate minimum flat annual rate rental amount that the chapter is obligated to pay, regardless of actual occupancy
  10. Have a written room contract with each individual tenant that is guaranteed by a parent/guardian
  11. Charge a room damage deposit and have a room inspection form that tenants use when moving in/out of the house
  12. Budget for higher than expected operating costs (recommended at least 5% over planned budget)
  13. Budget for bad debt (recommend at least 5% bad debt as part of their standard budget)
  14. Require chapters to have a local rule for a live-in requirement, so if/when house occupancy rates fall below 90%, members would be required to live-in or move in
  15. Require the chapters implement a local annual housing assessment (e.g. $50/man/semester) designated for care and upkeep of the chapter house
Safety & Security
  1. Perform an independent safety inspection annually (insurance company, university, fire dept.)
  2. Perform fire drill/alarm system tests at the same frequency that is done with university housing on their campus (recommended 2x/yr. minimum)
  3. Equip and maintain property with appropriate system for security
  4. Require chapter officers/house manager/chapter advisor to perform a monthly inspection of the asset to assess operational and safety issues (1848 Properties has a recommended inspection list)
  5. Require chapters hire outside security for large social events
  6. Install sprinkler head guards on sprinkler heads to prevent accidental discharge of water
  7. Install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with local fire regulations
  8. Replace batteries for smoke detectors semi-annually 

 Reserve Study

Explanation

A best practice within Phi Gamma Delta house corporations (HC) is the use of a Reserve Study to help the HC plan for repair and replacement of major components of the house and the funding for the same. This tool/process will help insure proper funding/capitalization of the HC and avoid the need for continual appeals to graduate brothers to handle routine upkeep and improvements. Further, the use of this tool will enable the HC to properly calculate the full cost of operating the house, so that this can be factored into their rent calculations. Rent, of course, shouldn't just be about mortgage, insurance and utilities, etc., but needs to factor the costs of all the components of the house. With this information, the HC can factor in and charge brothers for their share of the use of this asset and the components annually, rather than pushing that cost out to brothers in the future.

Starting this process can feel daunting. Don't let this deter you! Even if you start with "guesses" about the cost of replacement of items and estimate the useful remaining life, that is better than doing nothing! Over time - say as you have the furnace inspected - you can ask for an assessment of remaining life and get an estimate for replacement from your vendor. Finally, don't be discouraged if your obligations outweigh your on-hand cash. Under capitalization is a common problem among HCs. And not only do you need to allocate some of your cash on-hand to your reserves, but you also should have several months of operating expenses on-hand as well. This is all part of the process of improving HC operations. For those with cash on-hand, we recommend that you allocate some of those funds to your reserves based on the items that will need replacing the soonest. And remember, reserve funds as a general principle should not use for daily operations.

Finally, this reserve study format is allocating the cost of house operations based on the number of brothers living in the house (beds). Of course, the brothers living in the house are getting "more" benefit and use than brothers not living in the house, but all brothers have access to the house and are benefiting from the roof, HVAC, common areas, chapter room, bathrooms, floors, etc., and they are contributing to the wear and tear. For this reason, we recommend that HC factor in an amount to assess/charge the "non-resident" brothers for their share of the use and enjoyment of the house.

Process

Here is the Reserve Study Tool.

The Reserve Study tool is only as good as you make it. We recommend that at least once every three years the HC shall cause to be conducted a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of the accessible areas of the major components which the HC is obligated to repair, replace, restore, or maintain as part of a study of the reserve account requirements of the HC. It is recommended that the board shall review this study annually and shall consider and implement necessary adjustments to the board's analysis of the reserve account requirements as a result of that review.

 Preferred Partners

As a part of the growing list of resources available through 1848 Properties, Inc., we are now providing two preferred partners for house corporations to work with. 

Upper Crust Food Service

You can find all of Upper Crust's information on their website at www.uppercrustfoodservice.com. Upper Crust provides fresh, healthy food services on most college campuses to Greek organizations, and they can even work with your current cook and help simplify the process for all parties by centralizing payroll, benefits, insurance, etc. 

 Additional Resources

 

1848 Properties Webinars

House Corporation Newsletter

 November 2018

     
  Phi Gamma Delta House Corporation Newsletter.  
 
 
 
November 2018 House Corporation Newsletter
 

In This Issue

Best Practices

Annual Tax Filing

Fundraising 101 Webinar

Fiji Academy

 
 
 

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. 

 
1848 Properties Best Practices

1848 Properties has developed some "Best Practices" for house corporations. There are many types and variations of housing assets within Phi Gamma Delta from traditional chapter houses owned by house corporations to houses owned by universities or private parties, to chapters with lodges or private residences used by members.

We recognize that these different types of housing assets will require different levels of oversight and involvement by house corporations and that some of the items in the link will not be applicable, but it is a good starting point as a general point of reference. See the link below for more information. 

1848 Best Practices

 
Annual Tax Filing

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, 2018.

Nonprofit entities that fail to file the annual return for three consecutive years may have their tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS. 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, a number of 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.

 
Fundraising 101 Webinar - In Case You Missed It

On November 7th, 1848 Properties hosted a webinar, presented by Mark Wilkison of Columns Fundraising, focusing on the steps and considerations needed before embarking on a capital campaign.

If you missed it, you can find it here.

 
Fiji Academy - Housing Breakout Information

The Fraternity will hold the 2019 Fiji Academy January 4-6, 2019 in St Louis, MO. The Academy is designed to give new chapter officers a strong foundation so they can dynamically and courageously lead their chapters, as well as provide training to our graduate volunteers.

House Corporation members may be interested in a housing breakout session facilitated by 1848 Properties. This session will be held during the during the Graduate Advisor track on Saturday morning, January 5. Please note that the majority of our graduate volunteer training is tailored to our Section Chiefs and Advisors.

Details regarding the 2019 Fiji Academy may be found at www.phigam.org/academy.

Note the Academy registration deadline is November 30th.

Back to top

 

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 Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement.

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

 
 

© 2016 Phi Gamma Delta

1201 Red Mile Road, P.O. Box 4599
Lexington, Kentucky 40544-4599
phigam@phigam.org  |  859.255.1848

 
 
 

 September 2018

House Corportation Newsletter - Fall 2018

Beginning of the Year Tips

The early part of the fall season should be a busy time for your house corporation team. Starting the year off with strong communications should hopefully pay dividends through the remainder of the year.

This resource provides a number of items that we encourage House Corporations to do as the academic year begins.

Best Practices

As most of you are aware, the creation and use of a best practice has been commonly used by organizations of all types for many, many years. What exactly is a best practice?

A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements. (Wikipedia.)

What we have come to recognize, is that by not giving house corporations consistent support we have missed the opportunity share information like best practices and one of the results is that we are making our volunteers work harder, by having to “figure everything out” for yourself.  We want to change this as we challenge ourselves to continually improve and achieved the highest level of excellence. Our goal is to develop support materials to help you with each of these best practices. We are just getting started. And ask if your house corporation has tools/materials already developed to share them with 1848 Properties so that we can in-turn share them with our Phi Gam HC groups.

So now having an understanding of what a best practice is and what our goals are, we like to ask that you review the initial set of the best practices that we have created at https://www.phigam.org/file/HCBestPractces.pdf.

We understand that some of the house corporations will be operating above the level of these best practices and some will need to make some changes in their practices to meet or exceed these standards. We are here to help you…so if you need support just ask!

Taxes

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, 2018. 

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, a number of 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.

College/University Agreements

We continue to see an increasing number of host institutions requiring fraternity chapters, and in some cases house corporations, to execute relationship or housing agreements with the institution.

Many of these agreements require that the institution be named as an insured on the chapter/house corporation’s liability insurance and that the chapter or house corporation indemnify the institution. Some of these requirements are not feasible or are inequitable.

Any such document should not be executed until it has been reviewed by the Fraternity’s insurance agency. It can be sent to Bill Martin at bmartin@phigam.org.

Insurance Coverage

The International Fraternity purchases general liability coverage, as well as directors and officers (D&O) insurance, that includes house corporations, their officers and directors as insureds. (Purple Legionnaires and other chapter advisors also are insureds.) The coverage limit on the primary general liability is $1 million, and the limit on the excess coverage is $5 million. The D&O limit is $5 million.

Exclusions
The Fraternity’s general liability coverage excludes from coverage anyone directly involved in a violation of the Risk Management Policy that results in a claim. This includes the construction and/or use of water features, towers, platforms and other similar. Our claims experience shows that these structures pose a significant risk of injury. The prohibition applies not just to and during Fiji Island parties, but to all chapter events.

We suggest that you reinforce with your chapter that the Fraternity’s Risk Management Policy, including the provision regarding pools and construction, is to be followed at all times on chapter property. The policy and provisions are also to be followed at all other locations, but we emphasize chapter property here because of your house corporation’s role and interest in the property.

This exclusion does not apply to a brother, advisor or House Corporation that is not directly involved in a violation.

Commercial Crime Coverage 
The insurance program of the Fraternity also provides coverage for theft, forgery and alteration of checks by house corporation or chapter officers or by employees. The coverage limit per claim is $50,000. To maintain coverage and to avoid the opportunity for claims, all chapters and house corporations should be certain (1) that all checks require the signatures of two people and (2) that the bank statements are balanced by someone other than the individual who has check writing authority. It is also highly recommended that house corporations annually have an independent third party conduct an audit of the corporation’s financials.

Property Coverage
House corporations should obtain property coverage on their own. If you would like information on agencies that specialize in property coverage for fraternities, please contact Bill Martin.

Update HC Rosters

House corporation officers are encouraged to regularly update their member rosters with the Fraternity. Contact Rob Caudill, Senior Director of Graduate Development & Operations, to determine who is currently listed in the Fraternity's records and/or to update these records. 

Webinar - 21st Strategy for operating Your House Corporation

On Thursday, September 13, 2018 1848 Properties, Inc. will host a webinar titled 21st Century Strategy for Operating Your House Corporation. This was a popular session at our 170th Ekklesia Housing Conference we want to make available to all House Corporation members.

Register today at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8211186214221214211

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

 April 2018

House Corporation Bulletin - Spring 2018

2018 Greek Housing Conference in Atlanta, GA

The Greek Housing Conference (GHC) is designed with fraternity and sorority volunteers in mind, highlighting key aspects of fraternity and sorority house management and alumni involvement. It provides a broad range of speakers who have hands-on relevant experience in their respective fields, giving you the opportunity to ask questions from industry experts and gather useful and practical information.

This conference is geared towards local house corporation board members, board of advisors, alumni association officers, chapter advisors, other local or regional volunteers, as well as staff whose primary function is working with house corporations and dealing with housing issues. 

The 2018 Greek Housing Conference will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018 on the Georgia Tech campus. This interfraternal conference is available at no cost to attendees. Additional details and registration are available at https://www.mygreekgift.org/GHC.

College/University Agreements

We continue to see an increasing number of host institutions requiring fraternity chapters, and in some cases house corporations, to execute relationship or housing agreements with the institution.

Many of these agreements require that the institution be named as an insured on the chapter/house corporation’s liability insurance and that the chapter or house corporation indemnify the institution. Some of these requirements are not feasible or are inequitable.

Any such document should not be executed until it has been reviewed by the Fraternity’s insurance agency. It can be sent to Bill Martin at bmartin@phigam.org.

Leases

If you have not already, we encourage all House Corporations to get signed leases now for the 2018-2019 academic year. Please note that many student housing leases (including those through colleges and universities) are signed 6-12 months in advance.

The Fraternity suggests that the House Corporation have a lease with the chapter and see that the chapter has a lease with each brother living in the chapter house. At a minimum, the House Corporation should have a lease for each brother living in the chapter house.

Sample documents are available for both the House Corporation – Chapter lease and Chapter – individual lease.

Insurance Coverages

The International Fraternity purchases general liability coverage, as well as directors and officers (D&O) insurance, that includes house corporations, their officers and directors as insureds. (Purple Legionnaires and other chapter advisors also are insureds.) The coverage limit on the primary general liability is $1 million, and the limit on the excess coverage is $5 million. The D&O limit is $5 million.

Exclusions
The Fraternity’s general liability coverage excludes from coverage anyone directly involved in a violation of the Risk Management Policy that results in a claim. This includes the construction and/or use of water features, towers, platforms and other similar. Our claims experience shows that these structures pose a significant risk of injury. The prohibition applies not just to and during Fiji Island parties, but to all chapter events.

We suggest that you reinforce with your chapter that the Fraternity’s Risk Management Policy, including the provision regarding pools and construction, is to be followed at all times on chapter property. The policy and provisions are also to be followed at all other locations, but we emphasize chapter property here because of your house corporation’s role and interest in the property.

This exclusion does not apply to a brother, advisor or House Corporation that is not directly involved in a violation.

Commercial Crime Coverage
The insurance program of the Fraternity also provides coverage for theft, forgery and alteration of checks by house corporation or chapter officers or by employees. The coverage limit per claim is $50,000. To maintain coverage and to avoid the opportunity for claims, all chapters and house corporations should be certain (1) that all checks require the signatures of two people and (2) that the bank statements are balanced by someone other than the individual who has check writing authority. It is also highly recommended that house corporations annually have an independent third party conduct an audit of the corporation’s financials.

Property Coverage
House corporations should obtain property coverage on their own. If you would like information on agencies that specialize in property coverage for fraternities, please contact Bill Martin.

Recognizing Graduate Brothers

We often get requests or questions related to how Phi Gamma Delta recognizes its graduate brothers for their contributions and/or accomplishments. Generally, on the International Fraternity level, these fall into two categories:

Individual Awards for Volunteers: The Fraternity's awards competition provides a number of individual awards to recognize deserving brothers for their contributions as graduate volunteers. We encourage you to nominate deserving brothers, either by working through your chapter, or make nominations directly by submitting an application no later than March 31. These awards include:

  • Coulter Cup: Graduate brother who has contributed the most to an undergraduate chapter through service in a capacity other than as a Purple Legionnaire or General Officer
  • Crowder Cup: Outstanding Faculty Advisor
  • Durrance Award: Outstanding Purple Legionnaire
  • Haynes Award: Most Effective Section Chief

The Distinguished Fiji Award: Each year, the Archons select up to six accomplished graduate brothers for their faithful and unselfish service to Phi Gamma Delta or their special contribution to mankind and society at-large.

We encourage you to nominate deserving brothers no later than April 13 for consideration this year. Additional information and past Distinguished Fiji Award recipients are listed at www.phigam.org/distinguishedfijiaward.

House Corporation Rosters

House corporation officers are encouraged to regularly update their member rosters with the Fraternity. Contact Rob Caudill, Senior Director of Graduate Development & Operations, to determine who is currently listed in the Fraternity's records and/or to update these records.

 

 October 2017

House Corporation Bulletin - Fall 2017

Collegiate Housing & Infrastructure Act

Fraternities and sororities are the nation’s second largest provider of college student housing. We provide housing – and a one-of-a-kind experience – for more than 370,000 of the most active students on campuses. Yet, donations toward building and maintaining our houses are restricted from receiving full tax deductions.

The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) would provide our houses with equal access to facility upgrades under the law. By simplifying the tax code, all non-for-profit housing (including fraternities and sororities) will be able to gain incentives to increase funding for life-safety and capacity upgrades like fire sprinklers and alarm systems. If integrated into tax reform, CHIA – which has always enjoyed bipartisan support – will also make a meaningful difference in the student debt crisis, by expanding the offering of affordable collegiate housing options.

Now, we need your help. The more voices Congress hears, the more likely students across the country will gain the benefits of safe and affordable student housing. Thank you for your support.

Contact Congress now!

Tax Filing Deadline - November 15

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 5fth 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, 2017

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, a number of 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

Reminder on Insurance Coverages

The International Fraternity purchases general liability coverage, as well as directors and officers (D&O) insurance, that includes house corporations, their officers and directors as insureds. (Purple Legionnaires and other chapter advisors also are insureds.) The coverage limit on the primary general liability is $1 million, and the limit on the excess coverage is $5 million. The D&O limit is $5 million.

Exclusions
The Fraternity’s general liability coverage excludes coverage from anyone directly involved in a violation of the Risk Management Policy that results in a claim. This includes the construction and/or use of water features, towers, platforms and other similar. Our claims experience shows that these structures pose a significant risk of injury. The prohibition applies not just to and during Fiji Island parties, but to all chapter events.

We suggest that you reinforce with your chapter that the Fraternity’s Risk Management Policy, including the provision regarding pools and construction, is to be followed at all times on chapter property. The policy and provisions are also to be followed at all other locations, but we emphasize chapter property here because of your house corporation’s role and interest in the property. This exclusion does not apply to a brother, advisor or house corporation that is not directly involved in a violation.

Commercial Crime Coverage
The insurance program of the Fraternity also provides coverage for theft, forgery and alteration of checks by house horporation or chapter officers or by employees. The coverage limit per claim is $50,000. To maintain coverage and to avoid the opportunity for claims, all chapters and house corporations should be certain that (1) all checks require the signatures of two people and (2) the bank statements are balanced by someone other than the individual who has check writing authority. It is also highly recommended that house corporations annually have an independent third party conduct an audit of the corporation’s financials.

Property Coverage
House corporations must maintain their own property coverage. If you would like information on agencies that specialize in property coverage for fraternities, please contact Advisor Resource page to find these resources – including the House Corporation Manual, which includes sample contracts and other documents, checklists and instructions.

Our insurance broker, Holmes Murphy, also provides a number of additional resources, including a webinar series with pertinent information for both advisors and house corporation members.

In addition to the Ron Sages (Ohio University 1973) is also available as a resource to our house corporations as the Fraternity’s Director of Housing. Ron served as Archon Treasurer from 2006 to 2010 and as chairman of our Financial Advisory Board from 2004 to 2006. He also has many years of experience as a House Corporation President and Treasurer. 

House Corporation Rosters

House corporation officers are encouraged to regularly update their member rosters with the Fraternity. Contact Rob Caudill, Senior Director of Graduate Development & Operations, to determine who is currently listed in the Fraternity's records and/or to update these records.

 

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Have a Question About Housing?
Contact Thomas Lovejoy.