Re: Academic year 20-21 plans and programs
First, we’d like to express our well wishes to you and your families as we all continue to collectively navigate the Covid-19 outbreak.
For the AKPsi volunteer leadership and the professional staff, our challenge has been to determine a path ahead for our fraternity in this uncertainty. Although this letter is somewhat lengthy, it sets a course for the fall academic term, provides transparency on several aspects, and outlines the resources available to achieve the plan. Several perspectives have been heard throughout the process, including those who represent the management team, the fraternity professional staff, current students, and the fraternity board of directors.
The main concern is our members health and well-being. With the coronavirus situation, there are many campuses being closed, or partially closed, and there will be a significant number of students who decide to forego the semester and wait until the situation starts to normalize.
Related to our focus for this semester, and perhaps the entire school year, AKPsi experience for most students will be virtual. This will make it difficult for many chapters to keep brothers engaged and potentially impacts many chapters ability to survive.
Especially in times of uncertainly and crisis, it’s an opportunity for local chapters to rely more on the “AKPsi” to provide more resources and programs – to provide local brothers with reasons to stay engaged and to provide local chapter officers with tools for operational continuity. (“AKPsi” in this context is what many may sometimes call “international” or “national.” “AKPsi” is the whole organization, including the vast network of volunteers and the professional staff.)
In order to better assist local chapters and student brothers, there are several items being rolled out or adjusted for this semester (and perhaps the entire school year):
- Brotherhood Unbounded – several programs and events to assist you in getting the most of your AKPsi membership through unique opportunities you can only access through AKPsi.
- Chapter Operations Resources
- Policy and Procedure Adjustments
The sections below will explain each item in more detail:
- Brotherhood Unbounded
AKPsi will be providing several new offerings to students for this academic year, thus reducing the burden on the local student chapter officers to deliver professional development opportunities in an ever-changing environment.
Many of these programs will be focused on the current challenges students are facing — stress management, career planning, time management, and include the following:
- The Birkman Survey – access to the comprehensive tool utilized by many executive search firms to identify work styles, preferences, team dynamics, and stress behaviors. You will gain insight into the ways you process information, solve problems, manage stress, and work with others.
- Birkman Small Groups – AKPsi will have dozens of volunteers and staff trained to lead small groups (groups will be based upon your ‘profile.’ (e.g., are you a second-year student looking for an internship, are you a 4th year student soon to be graduated, etc.). Groups will meet virtually but can also meet in-person if permitted.
- Institute of Business Leadership – a virtual leadership development conference with speakers and panelists. Because the in-person PBLI will not be planned for this year, we will hold two virtual conferences. The registration fee for these events will be free for dues-paying members.
- Fraternity-wide virtual keynotes – one-hour Q&A with executives and leaders in business and other professions – the current plan is for these to be monthly events. The registration fee for these events will be free for dues-paying members.
- The MyAKPsi app — available in the Apple and Google Play stores – provides access to the functions above through any handheld device. (More information on MyAKPsi is below.)
- Principled Business Leadership Certificates – to be rolled out in MyAKPsi later this year, the certificates will be awarded to members as they achieve milestones along their principled business leadership journey through our Brotherhood Unbounded programs.
- Chapter Operations Resources
The Management Team and the professional staff have been working on many tools and resources to assist chapter officers:
- Virtual Chapter Operations Guide – A comprehensive guide providing student officers with the tools to plan for virtual operations. This guide can be found in the Knowledge Base in MyAKPsi
- MyAKPsi Groups – Do you want to grow your network? In MyAKPsi, each chapter has a “group” for all members, including alumni and students. This gives generations of AKPsi brothers the opportunity to connect for mentorship, job-related opportunities, etc.
- Groups also give you the opportunity to contact any AKPsi member (as long as they have registered in MyAKPsi) in any industry in any location in the world.
- Knowledge Base – A library of professional development and chapter management resources.
- Volunteer Central – Chapters can find volunteers who are willing to serve as speakers, panelists, judges, etc. Volunteers can sign up to serve in a variety of roles to advise students or other alumni.
- Events – Local chapter events can now be organized and managed via MyAKPsi, including local chapter meetings (virtual or otherwise).
- New MyAKPsi app – as mentioned above, this will give additional access to resources and opportunities for networking
- Policy, Procedure, and Operational Adjustments
This semester will be a challenge for student brothers and student chapters overall. In addition to the items mentioned above, a comprehensive review of policies, procedures, and operations has been conducted. There will be several changes for this term (and perhaps the year):
- Chapter Minimum Expectations have been changed to reflect the current campus environment and the challenges of coronavirus – the expectations are designed to assist chapters in creating their goals for engagement and sustainability. Resources are provided for the chapters to achieve these goals (see sections above – Virtual Chapter Operations Guide).
- Flexible payment plans – AKPsi will not charge late fees for chapters for billing through Nov. 30, 2020. This gives the chapters the flexibility to spread out member dues payments over 4 months (Aug-Nov, ~$15-20/month for insurance, dues, fees)
- LOA-Extreme Hardship – many brothers are struggling financially, so even with the program opportunities coming this fall, there will be those who do not have the time or money to participate. Update your rosters as soon as you can in order to ensure billing is accurate. Please note your RD ask that any requests for LOA-Extreme Hardship include if it is due to Covid-19.
- The professional fraternity staff costs have been reduced by 20-25% compared to last year, temporarily reducing expenses
- In-person events and meetings will be substantially decreased, temporarily reducing cost for planning, facility, meal, and travel. This includes PBLI. We will not plan PBLI for this year. Instead, the Institute for Business Leadership will provide opportunities for brothers to connect with speakers and panelists in a virtual format.
- The registration cost for the Institute for Business Leadership and the Virtual keynotes will be free for dues-paying members. Although ‘going virtual’ may imply the events can be conducted without costs, it is still necessary to budget for speaker, staffing, curriculum, & technology costs for these events; therefore, there will be a registration fee for any non-dues paying member.
- Insurance and related expenses – The HC staff manages several insurance policies for the organization, including policies that protect chapters from embezzlement, provide liability coverage for student chapter officers and volunteers if an incident occurs outside of their control, and several other polices for events, governance, the HC building, and the Member Accident Protection Plan. These coverages must be maintained and managed. The current insurance charge is $30/student (annual), which is paid in the fall. For this year, we have negotiated a reduction of $3/student, which will temporarily lower the cost to $27.
- Student member dues are currently $60 per semester per person. For the fall semester, member dues will be reduced by 10%, to $54 per person.
- The Convention Savings Plan was to be increased to $350 this term. That increase will be suspended for the fall semester. The Plan will remain $250 for fall term. If the Convention currently planned for August 2021 is postponed, the pool will be suspended entirely for the 2021 winter/spring term.
Overall Fraternity Impact & Outlook
The reduction in dues and fees and the subsequent offering of additional programs and resources represent an investment in you and your chapters. The changes above will result in an overall budget shortfall for the organization of $700,000 for this fiscal year.
This budget also includes a budgeted reduction in pledges of 20% compared to last year. The overall pledge goal for this year is 6,100 compared to 7,500 in FY20, which heightens the importance of every chapter making a good faith effort to attempt virtual recruitment.
Because local chapter activities will be limited, it’s even more critical for AKPsi to provide the activities and experiences at the fraternity-wide level to provide brothers with the opportunities to continue their principled business leadership journey.
It would help decrease overall budget deficit for the organization if each chapter would make a good faith effort to utilize the Virtual Chapter Operations guide in order to keep AKPsi active on campus and to recruit potential members.
From a programming and networking perspective, the vast opportunities in AKPsi are not replicated by any other student business organization in the US or beyond.
We are brothers because of our long line of commitment others have shown throughout the years. The challenges of Covid-19 are real, but we will remain the oldest and largest fraternal business network in the world for generations to come. Being part of something bigger than ourselves is what has drawn many of us to AKPsi from the beginning.
Finally, please see below a break-down (in a ‘typical’ year) of dues and fees. Although the table below accounts for specific items, there are many other general activities dues and fees enable AKPsi to do:
- To continue developing and delivering new business leadership development opportunities for AKPsi members.
- To more broadly, through programs and communication, further the tenets of principled business leadership.
- To maintain the organization as a professional entity with 501c7 non-profit status – legal, fiscal, regulatory.
- To provide the infrastructure for chapters to be rejuvenated or restarted when circumstances cause a temporary ceasing of operations on a specific campus.
- To actively manage the AKPsi brand as a symbol of integrity, longevity, and continuity.
Membership Dues and Fees- contributed to AKPsi by members – Cost Breakdown of Dues (student member dues and insurance) in a ‘Typical Year’ (from official audit documents)
The information below provides the percent breakdown of costs and a summary of the cost items in each category. The categories and costs are examined and validated by an independent auditor, in compliance with the oversight set up by the AKPsi Board of Directions.
(The audit for 2020 (fiscal year) will not be completed until later this year; however, for FY19, the functional expenses were distributed within the following categories.)
|Member Dues||$ 60|
|Insurance (only charged in the fall semester)||$ 30|
|Convention Savings Plan*||$ 5|
|Total Dues & Fee per Student Member||$ 95|
|* Convention Savings Plan = $350/semester, Avg Chap Size of 71|
|Fraternity Expenses Breakdown||FY 19||Dues|
(ex: awards, certificates, membership database and technology – Salesforce, etc)
|PBLI, PAFAC, and Other Meetings
(ex: meeting space rental, meals, travel, material, A/V, technology-related costs, the Diary, insurance, etc)
(ex: meeting space rental, meals, travel, material, A/V, curriculum design, technology-related costs, insurance, etc)
(ex: training for students, volunteers, & staff, incl. materials, curriculum design, dev., delivery, and assessment, partner fees, etc)
|Management and General
(ex: accounting, audit, legal, insurance, facilities, technology infrastructure, consultants, agents, CPAs, attorney, etc)
Overall budget shortfall for the organization of $700,000 for this fiscal year (FY21).
Please feel free to send questions & clarifications for the items above (Brotherhood Unbounded, Chapter Operations, Policy & Procedure Adjustment, or the Fraternity Outlook) to email@example.com.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read the information above. With Covid-19, we hope you and your families are staying healthy and have been adjusting as well as can be expected at this time. We also hope you will continue to utilize the tools and resources AKPsi provides as a critical part of your personal life and your academic and professional careers.
In U – and I –,