Alpha Phi Alpha alumni raise $200,000 for Morehouse College, endorse scholarship

black man graduateMembers of the Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association (APCAA) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. today announced that a $200,000 milestone had been reached in its first-ever annual fund campaign, thereby fully endowing a scholarship fund in the chapter’s name at Morehouse College. On October 4, 2015 the APCAA received an anonymous $20,000 year-end pledge that pushed the campaign over the campaign goal and solidified financial support for deserving undergrads for years to come.
The fund is the primary deliverable for the 855-member alumni group of Morehouse Men who were initiated into the international fraternity via the 38th chapter of the organization on Morehouse’s historic downtown Atlanta, Georgia campus. Chartered on Saturday, January 5, 1924, Alpha Rho
Chapter celebrated its 91st anniversary earlier this year and will gather during homecoming 2015 to dedicate a permanent memorial obelisk in honor of the chapter’s legacy. The October 25th dedication ceremony, to be held at the site on Century Campus Green between Sale Hall and Hope
Hall, is expected to draw hundreds of college alumni, administrators and friends back to the college.
Morehouse College is one of the nation’s leading Historically Black College & Universities (HBCUs), and the only institution of higher learning primarily dedicated to the collegiate education of African American men.
“Clearly, this is a chapter high note for Alpha Rho and also a rededication of our commitment to the school from which we all flowed,” said Campaign Chairman and Fall 1980 initiate BMaynard Scarborough. “Funding circles for HBCUs have changed drastically over the past decade or so and therefore, methods for attracting alumni donors had to modify as well. Our innovative approach to driving new and long-lapsed participants proved to be spot on for today’s marketplace,” he added.
Throughout its storied history, Alpha Rho, under educational leadership from the college, has served as a top-notch launching pad for worldwide leaders in the fields of medicine, government, finance, civil rights and law – to name a few. “The establishment of the endowment fund serves as our collective vote of confidence in Morehouse College’s ability to guide future generations of leaders.”
The APCAA launched its fundraising campaign in March of this year to not only endow the fund, but also construct the obelisk, and commemorate the chapter’s 91-year legacy in their 164-page Alpha Rho International Census (APIC). This massive undertaking was completed in a mere nine months and altogether, the association has raised slightly more than $200,000 to support all three initiatives. Campaign leadership developed the data-driven campaign in response to Morehouse College President John S. Wilson’s 2013 plea for increased alumni giving to the college in light of drastically scaled back federal funding for HBCUs. To that end, the APCAA targeted long-lapsed or first-time alumni donors in an innovative private marketing campaign that utilized social media and direct email for the most immediate and cost-effective response. Perhaps most notable is that the campaign was 100% self-conceived and self-driven – thereby encumbering minimum tactical resources from the college.
Assembling the Alpha Rho International Census (APIC) was the first of seven “campaign phases” that seamlessly wove together historical data, the current state of the college, and forecasts on the impact of our combined giving to the college. The number seven is significant in the universe of Alpha Phi Alpha as there were seven men who founded the international organization in 1906 on the campus of Cornell University in update New York. The 164-page APIC became the chapter’s definitive guidebook, detailing the names and images of the 1,258 Morehouse Men initiated at Alpha Rho since it was chartered in 1924. Research culled from the census also provided past giving details, active or inactive membership relationships for the school and fraternity, and most importantly, contact information for direct solicitation. In the 30 days between March 10 and April 8 more than $100,000 filled the accounts in response to a unique “30-Day Challenge” between the chapter’s 68 active initiation periods,
In a nod to extending its financial stewardship for the college, the APCAA has already identified annual fundraising vehicles for 2016 and beyond. More than 165 members, relatives and supporters have already reserved placement for one of the “Alpha Rho Brick Pavers” that will line the pathway from the central campus green right up to the base of the obelisk. Similar to the successful “Founder’s Walk” at Howard University and Ebenezer Baptist Church’s “Jubilee Walk” across town in Atlanta, this space limited extension will welcome “In Memoriam” placements and personalized dedications for Alpha Rho initiates, Morehouse initiates at the graduate level, and other national members.
Midway through the APCAA’s campaign drive the membership applied for official recognition as a tax-exempt charitable organization so that it could extend its fundraising reach to include the donation of tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under IRS Section 2055, 2106, or 2522. The mission of the association remains exclusive to providing educational and scholarship opportunities for undergraduates enrolled at Morehouse College (regardless of fraternity membership). This establishment of the 501(c)(3) is also Phase 5 of the campaign. The APCAA received formal notification of its non-profit 501(c)(3) status on September 5, 2015. The elected executive cabinet for the next two years will be announced at the dedication ceremony during this year’s homecoming weekend in October.

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