Theta Foundation received the 2019 Award of Distinction for Best Major Gifts Development Effort presented by the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence (FFE). Theta was selected out of both our fraternity and sorority peers, receiving one of only seven awards in recognition of the record-breaking Giving Tuesday effort that launched the newly named Theta Forever Fund.
When the Theta Forever Fund launched, Theta embraced the organic and powerful connection Thetas share. With a milestone year around the corner and a new organizational philosophy behind Kappa Alpha Theta, Theta Foundation was tasked with assessing its major gifts program and creating a structured approach to bolstering its growth long-term. What started as an effort to support a staple event, #GivingTuesday, resulted in a strategic initiative to elevate the impact of major gifts while engaging new donors.
Sisters near and far were inspired to share their own thoughts on what “Theta Forever” means to them on Giving Tuesday! Foundation Vice President and Advancement Chairman Cathie Cardelucci shared, “Theta Forever was a promise that we each made at Initiation. On that day, today, and in all the years to come, it means that together we will strive to uphold the noble ideals of Kappa Alpha Theta, and to provide a positive experience for all the women who come after us. Theta Forever is our legacy.”
Every unrestricted gift to the Theta Forever Fund bridges the gap between the experiences made possible from membership dues and the realities of educational and leadership expenses. “Theta Forever” also linked the Foundation’s mission with not only those members most connected and engaged with the organization, but all Thetas.
Though the fundraising goal was $100,000, Theta Foundation raised an impressive $274,815 in unrestricted revenue for the Theta Forever Fund on #GivingTuesday 2018, a 144% increase in funds raised the previous year. Of the impressive #GivingTuesday total, $181,586 was a result of the generous leaders, who made possible dollar-for-dollar matches and exciting challenges (such as turning the U.S. gold by securing a donor in every state), including a $50,000 lead gift from an anonymous donor, the largest unrestricted (non-bequest) major gift in recent history. Despite the unprecedented launch and the Theta Forever Fund’s continued success, it cost only 5 cents for Theta Foundation to raise $1 as part of this initiative!
Though the Theta Foundation team was proud to accept this award on behalf of the organization, this recognition from FFE truly belongs to the visionary and generous donors that made this milestone possible.
We can hardly wait until this year’s Giving Tuesday! Save the date for December 3, and if you’re interested in learning more about leadership donor opportunities in support of Theta Forever, please contact Foundation Director of Advancement Justine Thomas.