Mission Statement

The 1848 Housing Committee was created by the Archon’s to serve as the housing programming arm of Phi Gamma Delta. Its goal and purpose to support the Fraternity’s efforts 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. 

1848 Housing Committee Members

  • Chairman: Steve Bocher (Denver 1983)
  • Jim Lee (Minnesota 1978)
  • Peter Welsh (Wittenberg 1974)
  • John Ziza (Ohio 1978) 

House Corporation Tools & Resources

Resources

Communications for House Corporations

 Recommended House Corporation Communication Plan

The Fraternity recommends the following communication plan for all House Corporations:

  1. 5-7 communications per year to your graduate base. This should include at least two physical (mailed) newsletters and 3-5 other mail or email communications. 
  2. It is also important to create a strong social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. You should also consider using Instagram for photos or to engage more recent graduate brothers. People will be able to discuss things and plan events with your HC members and other brothers on Facebook. Twitter and Instagram can be used in a similar way, but it reaches a younger and more diverse audience.
  3. Keep a strong communication plan. It will make it easier to fundraise in the future, in addition to keeping graduates involved in the chapter.
  4. If you do not have a good email list, or have any questions about how you can maximize your communication strategy, email Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement. 

 Example Communication Plan

  • January: Physical newsletter, including: Pig Dinner information/save the date, information about spring events, other relevant chapter updates.
  • March/April: Mail a Pig Dinner invitation 6-8 weeks prior to the Pig Dinner, add info about the BCA and House Corporation and how to reach them if needed.
  • May/June: E-newsletter with end of the school year information, Pig Dinner attendance report, chapter house updates and other relevant information.
  • July/August: E-newsletter with information and important reminders for the start of the school year, updates on chapter house renovations, and how to volunteer in any volunteer roles if they are interested.
  • October: Physical newsletter, including: fall news (recruitment, house renovations, etc.), information about upcoming tailgates or events and other relevant information.
  • December/End of Year: Fundraising letter, asking for donations and Happy Holidays message. Also include an update about the chapter or house and other important information.

 Need Help Communicating With Your Chapter's Graduates?

The Fraternity's Graduate Communication Services can assist you with your email communications, newsletters and other mailings. For more information visit www.phigam.org/GraduateCommunicationServices.

Graduate Communication Services Mailing Cost: 

Costs vary depending on the project type, quantity and printing or mailing preferences. We created an estimate cost sheet, but for an accurate quote, please contact our Coordinator of Communications.

Newsletters:
 

House Corporation Quarterly Newsletter

 April 2019

 
 
 
April 2019 House Corporation Newsletter
 

In This Issue

New Partner: Columns Fundraising

HC Communication Plan

Webinars

End of Year Tips

 
 

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. 

 
Announcing a New Preferred Partner: Columns Fundraising

Phi Gamma Delta and Columns Fundraising are pleased to announce our new partnership. On the recommendation of 1848 Housing, the Archons have designated Columns Fundraising as the Fraternity's preferred fundraising company.

Columns is one of the leading providers in the Greek fundraising industry and has a successful track record of working with Phi Gamma Delta house corporations, and those other national fraternities and sororities.

Click here to read the full press release

Columns Fundraising recently provided an article that tells it like it is when it comes to chapter house fundraising. Read the Myths vs. Realities of Chapter House Fundraising article by Mark Wilkison (Vermont 1983) discussing some common misconceptions about fundraising.

Information about Columns Fundraising and the services they offer can be found at www.columnsfundraising.com or by contacting Mark Wilkison, principal and partner of Columns Fundraising.

Learn more about the benefits of using a third-party to fundraise in this recorded 1848 Housing webinar

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Announcing the New House Corporation Communications Plan

In an effort to continue to grow and improve the resources available to our house corporations, we have added a house corporation specific communications plan that includes sample newsletters, emails and postcards with a pricing model that the international fraternity can offer your house corporation.

The operation of a house corporation is not just managing the physical house, it involves maintaining solid communications with your graduates. That consistent communication leads to improved graduate support of the chapter, increased interest in graduate volunteer positions on the house corporation and BCA, and easier fundraising campaigns with engaged graduates.

Visit the House Corporation Resources to view communication samples, templates and estimated prices. We have created a comprehensive plan for house corporations to use for their own graduate communication plans.

There is a suggested communication schedule with the ideal amount of communications to help keep graduates engaged with the chapter, including events, newsletters, Pig Dinners and, most importantly, future fundraising.

You will also find the webinar, "21st Century Strategy For Operating Your House Corporation" with the research behind the communication plan here. Some of that research by fundraising experts suggest that house corporations need at least two years of communication with graduates to run the most successful fundraising campaigns.

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New House Corporation Webinars Posted on Website

The housing committee recently recorded two more webinars to add to our library of webinars for the benefit of house corporations.

The two new webinars are titled "New Safety Checklist" and "Reserve Study Tool For Your House Corporation". You can find them both on the 1848 Properties Webinar page.

The New Safety Checklist Webinar goes over safety as our number one priority. If your house corporation is not using a comprehensive chapter house safety checklist, we encourage you to use the one provided.

The Reserve Study Tool Webinar explains the tool, and how it helps your house corporation plan for future expenses. 

You will also find the New Safety Checklist and the Reserve Study Tool and explanation.

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End of Year Tips From Preferred Partner Upper Crust Food Service and the Housing Committee 

Our Preferred Partner, Upper Crust Food Service, is providing house corporations with an end of year checklist for kitchen cleaning, safety and closing. Learn more about Upper Crust Food Service and the services they provide HERE.

As an end of the year reminder, another major resource that is expanding is our list of best practices for house corporations. Over the next few months we will be providing expanded explanations for all of the best practices listed on the website.

A few other tips for spring and summer:
 - Service air conditioning system if needed.
 - Examine exterior of house, repair roof/gutters, paint exterior.
 - Fertilize lawn, check lawn maintenance tools, and make sure gasoline for equipment is stored safely.
 - Prepare/install window screens if needed.
 - If closing the chapter house for summer, collect all keys before brothers leave for summer, or change all electronic key combinations on the house if brothers are not to have access over the summer.
 - Check to make sure doors/locks/windows are functioning correctly.
 - Clean/inspect fireplace and chimney.
 - Unplug and store any unused appliances or electronics.
 - Notify the university and/or local police department if the house it to remain empty over the summer.

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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 Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement.

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

 

 February 2019

 
 
 February 2019 House Corporation Newsletter
 

In This Issue

Added Resources

Upcoming Webinars

Food Services

Seeking Volunteers

 

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. 

 
Added Resources on 1848 Properties, Inc. Website

We are excited to let you know about some added resources and tools for house corporations on the 1848 Properties, Inc. website.

Reserve Study: This is a powerful tool for house corporations to track assets and budget for future replacement costs of major items, allowing you to look differently at your operating costs and rent levels.

Best Practices: We have included links to a number of best practices that provide you with more detailed explanations of each of these areas, and where appropriate, we have links to documents or tools like the reserve study. In the near future, all best practices will have a link that provides a further, more detailed explanation.

Additionally, we have added an 1848 Properties, Inc. webinar schedule for 2019, all the previous webinars and a preferred partners section.

1848 Properties will continue to provide more housing resources for house corporations as we develop them, so please check back regularly. You can find all of that information HERE.

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Upcoming 1848 Properties, Inc. Webinars

Our next webinar is scheduled for March and will cover new communication strategies for house corporations.

Renovations and rebuilding projects are huge undertakings that require participation from our graduate brothers. Studies show that if you haven’t had consistent communications with your graduates for at least two years prior to the campaign, your fundraising effectiveness is severely diminished. Also, as the “trustees” for the biggest asset owned by your chapter, regular communications with your “shareholders” is an important part of your duties.

This webinar will discuss what types of communication you need to have and will introduce tools that have been created to make this easy for you to accomplish!

An invitation to join this webinar will be sent in the coming weeks.

Here is the schedule of live webinars for the rest of the year:
 - March: New Communication Strategies
 - May: Fundraising 102
 - July: Strategies For When You Do Not Have a House
 - September: Building And Renovating Houses

In case you missed it:
On January 30, 1848 Properties and Upper Crust Food Service hosted a webinar titled "A New Approach to Kitchen Operations". You can find that video and all previous webinars HERE.

Keep an eye out for invitation emails to join these webinars, as well as other informational videos being posted to the 1848 Properties Website.

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Food Corner With Upper Crust Food Service

As we have mentioned in a previous email and in the most recent webinar, 1848 Properties has partnered with Upper Crust Food Service as the fraternity's preferred food service provider. Upper Crust can take your current chef and simplify your kitchen management program - aiming to make it a profitable endeavor - as well as give your chef benefits and more resources to work with.

More information and instructions to request a price quote is available HERE

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Seeking Brothers for Advisory Role: "Ask a Brother" Section of Website

In our continued effort to enhance the resources provided to housing corporations, we are seeking brothers who have recently navigated certain situations on their own housing corporations that other housing corporations might face themselves. Our intent is to build a directory we can refer other brothers to for advice in similar siutations.

We are seeking brothers who have recently, and successfully, completed:
 - Fundraising efforts
 - Major house rebuilds
 - Started a new house corporation
 - Dealt with a crisis (fire, injury, flood, chapter house closure)
 - Successful self-managed kitchen program
 - Successfully used a kitchen management company (like Upper Crust)
 - Used a good cleaning or maintenance company
 - Good experience with a live-in house advisor
 - A successful chapter with non-traditional housing
 - A chapter that has a successful communications plan with its graduates

Please reach out to Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement, if you would be willing to offer others advice on any of these subjects.

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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 Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement.

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

 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.

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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 Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement.

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

 

 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 Rob Caudill at rcaudill@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 Rob Caudill.

Update HC Rosters

House corporation officers are encouraged to regularly update their member rosters with the Fraternity. Contact Thomas Lovejoy, Director of Graduate Involvement, 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.

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Preferred Partners

As a part of the growing list of resources, the 1848 Housing Committee is pleased to announce our preferred partners for house corporations to work with. 

 Columns Fundraising

On the recommendation of 1848 Housing, the Archons have designated Columns Fundraising as the Fraternity's preferred fundraising company. Columns is one of the leading providers in the Greek fundraising industry and has a successful track record of working with Phi Gamma Delta house corporations and other national fraternities and sororities. Information about Columns Fundraising and the services they offer can be found at www.columnsfundraising.com or by contacting Mark Wilkison (Vermont 1983), principal and partner of Columns Fundraising.

Learn more about the benefits of using a third-party to fundraise in the recorded 1848 Housing webinar.

 Upper Crust Food Service

You can find all of Upper Crust's information on their website at www.uppercrustfoodservice.com. Upper Crust Food Service provides a turnkey solution for all of your kitchen management needs. We handle the daily logistics of running your kitchen including hiring and training staff, purchasing goods from vendors, cleaning the food service areas, creating delicious menus, handling insurance and workers comp, meeting with your students to gain feedback, and much more.

 

*The 1848 Housing Committee has made efforts to verify the capabilities and check references of the companies listed on this page. However, given the unique nature of chapter house services, local governmental requirements and the diverse types of properties within Phi Gamma Delta, it is possible that not all providers will be able/willing to serve all chapters. Further, it is critically important for local groups to do their own due diligence to ensure that any company they hire has the specific experience needed for their project. The 1848 Housing Committee may, in some instances, be receiving fees from the companies listed; however, all services provided to our house corporations and chapters by these providers should be at market competitive rates irrespective of whether a fee is paid or not.*

1848 Properties, Inc.

About 1848 Properties, Inc.

The Archons have 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 several other fraternities and sororities. The primary purpose of 1848 Properties, Inc. is to hold title to and safeguard certain assets of closed chapters, including proceeds from the sale of chapter properties.

What We Do

1848 Properties, Inc. will work with house corporations of closed or closing chapters to assist them in safe guarding and holding housing assets for future brothers of Phi Gamma Delta in a manner prescribed by and consistent with the by-laws of the Fraternity.

While the preferred model for ownership and management is the local house corporation, 1848 Properties has been charged with the responsibility to protect 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

Have a Question About Housing?
Contact Thomas Lovejoy.