This week’s Chapter Spotlight is Zeta Delta (Iowa State), our Northern Quadrant’s Most Improved Fundraiser. Past Red Dress Brunch Chairman, Maggie Feldmann, and Current Vice President of Marketing, Adrianna Huff, share the evolution of their philanthropy events and the growth they’ve seen.
2014-2015 Giving: $503.50
2015-2016 Giving: $5,130.19
Percentage Increase: 1019%
You increased your donations to Alpha Phi Foundation by more than $4,600 last year. How did you accomplish this?
Our increase in donations was due to hosting more philanthropy events. In the 2015-2016 academic year, we hosted three different philanthropy events: Mom’s Day Red Dress Brunch, Alpha Phifa and Pizza Parlor, and participated in both the Greeks Give Back Luncheon and Lollipop Pull on campus. Hosting our very first Red Dress Brunch helped us tremendously in increasing our donation to the Foundation.
What was it like to hold your very first philanthropy event after being reinstalled at Iowa State?
It was actually a blast planning our first philanthropy event because we had so many different options! Generally, chapters on our campus stick to the same philanthropy in the spring and fall semesters, but we had free range to establish what our philanthropy events were going to be. Being a part of that was very special to me and the marketing department because we knew we were establishing a tradition for Alpha Phi in our Greek community. Red Dress events are unlike any other, and our Greek community doesn’t have other philanthropy events that are focused on family, alumnae and friends like this.
How did you advertise for your events? What worked and what didn’t?
For Mom’s Day Red Dress Brunch, we did less marketing than other events because we were only targeting the mothers of chapter members. We sent an e-vite for them to come to our event, and also relied on chapter members to relay information to their moms. Red Dress Brunch was a marketing move in itself, because we used it to give mothers a taste for what Red Dress Gala could be like and get them excited to come back for it!
For the rest of our events, all forms of our marketing worked well. The biggest thing we focused on was targeting the market we wanted at our event, and figuring out what would work the best to attract them. All in all, social media outlets are always a key part of marketing our events because that’s how we can reach a larger audience.
Did you face any challenges or difficulties when planning your first Red Dress Brunch?
There were many things that we had to learn in planning a Red Dress Brunch, because it was our first one. Thankfully, the Foundation website was a great resource and we had extremely helpful advisers who assisted us along the way. Planning ahead and being proactive is something that definitely worked in our favor. However, we will take more caution in the future by straightening out details such as venue selection, gathering auction items, and communicating our chapter member’s roles the day of the event.
How would you like to see future Red Dress events at Iowa State improve?
Red Dress Gala was always a goal of ours since Alpha Phi came back to Iowa State [and we accomplished that goal in November 2016]. For future events we would like to incorporate more interaction between our guests and members, as well as more auction items. We did a great job raising money this year, but we would love to continue to grow our donation to the Foundation!
What advice would you share with other chapters looking to start a brand new philanthropy event on their campus?
Have an understanding of what the “norm” is on your campus. Each Greek community varies from campus to campus; brainstorm of a bunch of ideas, even if they seem out of the norm, and narrow down your list by thinking through the logistics of each event. Think about if it is going to actually make money as well as if it can be done. But most importantly, have fun with starting! It may seem like a scary thing to do, but it is so enjoyable to think about starting something new for your chapter and campus.