Pi Beta Phi Takes Mission-Congruent Action: Responding to COVID-19

Pi Beta Phi®  Fraternity for Women is guided by a clear mission: a commitment to the promotion of friendship, development of women of intellect and integrity, cultivation of leadership potential and enrichment of lives through community service. It’s during a hardship that such a commitment is tested, and so today – in response to the coronavirus pandemic – Pi Beta Phi announces three additional mission-congruent initiatives.

Pi Phi is tripling our 2019-2020 commitment to our long-standing literacy partner First Book®  

Pi Beta Phi is one of the first partners to step up and help First Book distribute seven million books in the face of the coronavirus crisis. By increasing our commitment to First Book with an immediate gift, we’re able to help ensure kids have books when they need them the most. The additional gift will support programs such as “feed and read” initiatives in which First Book is working to distribute books with meals to kids who count on their schools for both. To date, more than 400 school districts are projected to be supported through these initiatives alone. More information can be found at firstbook.org/coronavirus.

The ability to leverage Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropic focus in a time of crisis is partially what makes Read > Lead > Achieve® unique. The funding commitment is comprised of gifts made to The Literacy Fund at Pi Beta Phi Foundation which have been restricted, by the donor, to support Pi Beta Phi’s reading initiatives specifically. Funds have built over time, preparing Pi Beta Phi to respond in a big way when the need may arise. This commitment is over and above our promise to sustain Pi Beta Phi’s Read > Lead > Achieve initiatives, such as Fraternity Day of Services Signature Events and FDS500 grants and harkens Pi Beta Phi’s more than 100-year old commitment to provide for the basic needs of a community.

Pi Phi is processing prorated refunds to collegians who paid dues and/or room and board for the current semester  

Pi Beta Phi promises a premier member experience. For every Pi Beta Phi collegiate chapter, the current term has been amended by campus closures. Nearly every Pi Beta Phi facility has closed early. Therefore, the Fraternity is working with chapters to issue prorated refunds. Refunds are expected to total multiple millions of dollars and will undoubtedly be costly for chapters, but Pi Phi knows it’s the right thing to do. Our goal is to support the needs of our members while maintaining financial stability of our chapters. The Pi Phi member experience has looked different this spring for our collegiate members, and the Fraternity knows many members and their family will be able to utilize the refund for immediate needs.

It will take the Fraternity a few weeks to process these prorated refunds. Dues refunds will be processed first, with room and board refunds to follow if applicable. Member’s questions can be directed through chapter officers who are supported by Headquarters staff.

Members who have expressed interest in donating their refund to Pi Beta Phi have been instructed do so with a contribution to the chapter, Chapter House Corporation/Fraternity Housing Corporation or via a tax-deductible gift to Pi Beta Phi Foundation.

Pi Phi is keeping staff, including House Directors, chefs and housekeepers on payroll for the regularly scheduled academic year  

Pi Beta Phi is supported by dedicated and beloved staff members. Chapter facility staff help create the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is Pi Phi housing. The Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC) is making the commitment to ensure FHC-employed House Directors, Housekeepers, and Chefs remain on payroll for the full academic year and is recommending to Chapter House Corporations the same.

Pi Beta Phi takes these mission-congruent actions knowing the strength of the Pi Beta Phi membership. For nearly 153 years, Pi Beta Phi has endured with a focus on serving each other and our communities as Friends and Leaders for Life. As we face uncertainty together, one thing is certain: Pi Beta Phi remains committed to supporting every Pi Phi sister.

View our COVID-19 Update for the most up-to-date information on Pi Beta Phi’s pandemic response. 

Supporting Pi Phi through Pi Beta Phi Foundation: Pi Beta Phi Foundation is humbled to aid you in supporting our sisterhood, today and always. Pi Phi is able to help support sisters with emergency grants and literacy efforts thanks to important donor-restricted gifts to the Foundation. This crisis will have a significant impact for our sisters and communities. If you would like to help maintain the Pi Beta Phi programs we’re all proud of and be ready to meet the next needs as they arise, a gift to the Friendship Fund on our secure website is the most efficient way to offer support at this time. For more information contact Pi Beta Phi Foundation staff by phone at (636) 256–1357 or fndn@pibetaphi.org.      

About Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women: Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois, Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities. Pi Beta Phi has more than 300,000 initiated members, and has installed more than 200 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae clubs worldwide. The Fraternity believes in the power of reading and through its philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve, promotes a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential. Learn more by visiting pibetaphi.org or following Pi Beta Phi on Facebook and Instagram   

Published 2020-03-31
For more information, please contact: 
Shawn Eagleburger, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at 
(636) 256–0680 or seagleburger@pibetaphi.org