Phi Kappa Psi Foundation

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Nonprofit Organizations
North America

Phi Kappa Psi Foundation raises more funds and builds stronger relationships with members.


The Phi Kappa Psi Foundation wanted to buck the trend of abysmal response rates by engaging fraternity members of all ages in the most appropriate ways. By connecting with the right people at the right time, the foundation raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships and leadership programming.  

For over a century, the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation has helped members of the social fraternity across the world. The foundation aims to raise, invest, and grant funds—through scholarships, leadership programs, and housing campaigns—to achieve the most success.

“When we raise money, we are able to communicate with people what the impact is going to be for their dollars—and we get to celebrate through the granting of those dollars back to our members and our undergraduates,” explained Patrick Griffith, the foundation’s director of advancement services.

Griffith noted that Greek letter organizations typically receive a less than 3% response rate to their communications. With 80,000 living members in Phi Kappa Psi, he noted, “There is a lot of opportunity to reconnect with individuals.”

But the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation needed the best tools and strategy to make those connections.

Smart Asks, Real Results

In 2017, the foundation awarded more than $590,000 to the fraternity for educational programming and leadership development. And in 2018, Phi Kappa Psi awarded more than $100,000 in undergraduate and graduate scholarships to 45 members.

“All of this has been raised through Blackbaud solutions,” Griffith said. Having the appropriate tools in place, he explained, positions the foundation to create lasting relationships with Phi Kappa Psi members long after their on-campus experiences end.

“We are making the right ask of the right people and we’re doing it at the right time,” Griffith said. “We are also confident in knowing that we are reaching people in the ways that they want to be reached, where they want to be reached. That comes with the services that we receive from Blackbaud.”

Connecting with Members of All Ages

With Blackbaud as a partner for data enrichment and fundraising and relationship management, the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation knows when members change addresses or phone numbers. Strong data also ensures that the foundation makes appropriate solicitations.

“Within our peer organizations, we can very much say that direct mail is not dead,” Griffith said, “and we definitely believe that. However, we are also forward-thinking enough to know that we need to meet our younger brothers and our constituents in the ways that they want to be reached—and that means online communication and using social networks. Blackbaud digital marketing is going to be helpful efficiently targeting the right audience based completely on how individuals react to our messaging.  We know there are social trends around giving online, and that is going to be our first stop. Additionally, not every audience is a solicitation audience, even though the end goal is to receive a gift. Engagement is a priority to our organization, and each audience will receive intentional engagement at their level to convey impact.”

The foundation’s motto (“Invest today. Change tomorrow.”) speaks to its goals of supporting academic achievement, personal growth, and a safe and healthy space to cultivate that culture of excellence. Griffith explained that technology plays an important role for the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation and all Greek organizations to drive results year after year. With their recent investment in Blackbaud’s marketing package, Griffith notes, “We are conservatively anticipating our acquisition to double in the first year. As the program continues to develop, we will be adding additional segments of individuals to reach out to and further anticipate steady growth of our donor base over the course of two years. Blackbaud, we believe, is going to be the impetus of lowering our average donor age and noticeably increasing our donor counts. Because of Blackbaud, we can now increase the leadership capacity and the academic excellence within our members and our younger brothers so that we can change the world one member at a time.”

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