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The Understated Gratitude of the Annual Fund

The Understated Gratitude of the Annual Fund

By: Jami Harrison Slaton, Alpha Sigma/Washington State, Foundation Manager of Annual & Chapter Giving

The two words I appreciate most at Theta Foundation are “thank you.” And in the work we do, I get to see and hear those two words a lot. I read them in scholarship and grant recipient thank you notes. I read them in ELC reports. I hear them when talking with collegians who have planned a successful fundraiser. And I hear them when talking with alumnae who have given gifts to support their sisters.

“Thank you so much for your gift!”

“No, thank you for the opportunity!”

Some of the most understated gratitude I see is from annual fund gifts. Theta Foundation’s annual fund touches every program we support, from service trips to the Emerging Leaders Institute to aspects of scholarships. Unrestricted annual giving makes it possible for our sisters to pursue their leadership, service, and scholastic potential.

Below, check out four blog posts from this year about programs the annual fund supports. These are some of Theta Foundation’s—and our donors’—proudest moments of 2016-17!

1. Experiential learning is the cornerstone of many Theta programs—and the member experience. In “Bringing Learning to Life” by Becky Reed Barker, Ph.D., Beta Zeta/Oklahoma State, she explores experiential learning, the impact of learning by doing, and the many Theta opportunities for experiential learning, not just for collegians, but for a lifetime.

2. Theta’s service trips have grown from one session with a handful of collegians in New Orleans to multiple sessions per year with both alumnae and collegians, and expanding locations. Theta can only meet the high demand for this program thanks to our loyal donors. Read “The Impact of the Theta Service Trips” to see words of gratitude by some of this program’s participants.

3. Emily Callen, Beta Kappa/Drake, was a first-year ELC during the 2016-17 Academic Year—the first ELC class serving with funding from the Give to Lead, Give to Learn But did you know that even with endowment support, 83% of the funding for the Foundation’s grant to the Fraternity (which includes aspects of the ELC program) comes from unrestricted annual fund support? Read more from Emily, and why continued support of Theta’s programs is vital to the success of our leading women.

4. 2016 saw Theta Foundation’s most successful Pansy Patch ever. Thanks to sisters, friends, and families who gave gifts ranging from $5 to $5,000, Thetas raised $200,000 and helped establish 18 Pansy Patch Scholarships. $94,125 alone was raised through more than 19,000 individual, unrestricted $5 donations. If that doesn’t speak to the collective power of sisterhood, I don’t know what does!

As you read these blog posts, and others from scholarship recipients and donors from this year, we hope you keep in mind just how impactful an annual fund gift can be. Please consider making a donation to Theta Foundation before June 30 to support the women participating in Theta programs in July. And when you do, know you’ll hear two powerful little words: thank you!


Nearly $1.9 million in funding for Kappa Alpha Theta’s leadership, philanthropic, and scholastic opportunities are made possible from Theta Foundation’s annual fundraising efforts and special campaigns. We count on annual fund support from alumnae, parents, friends, and chapters to give Thetas every opportunity to lead, learn, and make a difference. Give to Theta before June 30 here.

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