Planning for my Future as a Young Alumna

As an undergraduate at Valparaiso University, I regularly kept a journal. One of the questions I asked myself freshman year was, “Where do I want to be in four years?” 

I took that question seriously and started setting goals and making decisions that would lead me to become the woman I am today. I joined Pi Beta Phi and embraced the member experience, becoming a leader in my chapter and working hard to excel in school. My sisters were my rock and I depended on them for support. In so many ways, my Pi Phi family was my family. 

As a collegian, I saw how the leadership development opportunities Pi Phi provided changed lives. My sisters grew and became better women because of Pi Phi. I graduated from Valpo grateful for my experience and excited to stay involved. 

When I started my career post-graduation, I decided to designate a portion of my life insurance policy to Pi Beta Phi Foundation. Some may ask, “Why Pi Phi?” to which I would respond, “Why not Pi Phi?” I believe in the power of our sisterhood. My sisters helped me not only define my values but held me accountable to them.  

To put it simply, I chose Pi Phi because I want sisters, even those I’ll never meet, to continue to benefit from the experience Pi Beta Phi offers. 

Others have asked, “How did you know to start planning at an early age?” I’ve always been a planner, so this process was top of mind for me. I believe knowledge is power, which is why I want more of my sisters to educate themselves on the benefits of planned giving and what it can mean for you, your family and organizations you choose to support.

Here is some of my advice on planned giving for my fellow young alumnae: 

  • Ask lots of questions. Our Foundation staff members can guide you through the process and even provide sample language for you to use in your planned gift.  
  • Don’t be afraid of the commitment. Your job may change, but the benefits are yours and will follow you to your next position. 
  • Your gift doesn’t have to be big to make a difference. Any amount can be put to good use! 
  • It’s easier to start giving when you have less money. When you’re more established in your career, you will likely also have more financial commitments. Building the habit of giving now will help ensure your future intentions to give are a reality. 

Trust me, I know it can be confusing and overwhelming to think about legacy gifts when we are trying to navigate careers, families and volunteer roles — but believe me when I say, it’s worth it! 

Every November, Pi Beta Phi Foundation celebrates Marianne Reid Wild Society Recognition Month to provide education around planned giving and honor sisters and friends who have made legacy gifts to the Foundation. For planned giving resources and to learn about making a planned gift to ensure the future of our sisterhood, visit the Pi Phi website

Published November 29, 2020


About The Author

Amanda Rychtanek

Amanda Rychtanek is an Indiana Theta from Valparaiso University.