Chapter Educational Fund
- What is a Chapter Educational Fund (CEF)?
The CEF Program was developed so that alumni and undergraduate Sigma Pi brothers can make tax deductible gifts that support the long-term strength and improvement of their collegiate chapter. Many brothers are capable of providing significant gifts, but do not give to the local chapter directly because their gifts are not tax deductible, due to IRS regulations. The CEF Program provides the solution, as gifts made to a CEF through the Educational Foundation ARE tax deductible.
- What can the CEF money be used for?
All gifts to the Chapter Educational Fund will be held by the Educational Foundation as restricted gifts for the benefit of a respective chapter. Potential educational uses for the CEF include…
1. Scholarship awards to members of the chapter.
2. Educational grants to cover portions of travel and accommodation expenses for chapter members to attend international-level events such as the Mid-Year Leadership Conference and Sigma Pi University.
3. Grants for educational resources in the chapter house including desks, bookcases, books, computers, and software. CEF funds may also be used for the construction, renovation, and outfitting of educational areas within the chapter house.
4. Loans bearing interest to the chapter for housing improvements educational in need. A CEF can earn a percentage of the interest paid on the loan along with 100% of the principal from each loan payment returned to the CEF.
A CEF can be started with an initial deposit of $1,000 and, once it reaches a principal balance of $10,000, both scholarships and grants may be advanced from the chapter’s fund. Assets of individual CEF accounts are invested into fixed income accounts and are accounted for separately. Typically, the $10,000 balance is raised within a three to five year period. The Educational Foundation will work with the local CEF board to send out e-blasts and direct mail pieces to assist in raising money for the fund, with the expense supported by CEF funds.
Anyone can donate to a Chapter Educational Fund including alumni, undergraduates, friends, and members’ parents. In addition, many employers offer a matching program for employees making charitable donations.
- Why use a CEF to provide financing for construction or improvements for the local chapter?
In certain circumstances, a CEF account can earn between fifty (50.00%) percent and one hundred (100.00%) percent of the interest paid on the loan. The Foundation directly administers the loan terms and does not use a traditional bank as a proxy. In addition, the principal of each loan payment is returned to the CEF account to replenish the funds.
- Who determines which requests the CEF will fund?
A prioritization committee of local alumni advisors known as the Local Advisory Committee (LAC) will submit a proposal to the Foundation Board of Trustees for approval and, ultimately, fund the CEF. However, Internal Revenue Code regulations and laws governing charitable foundations require that final approval for all disbursements remain with the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. But, disbursement requests that fall within the educational purposes of the Foundation and the guidelines of the CEF Program will not be unreasonably withheld.