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Values-Based Service and Philanthropy

Through the Pursuit of Excellence Program, criteria for an “Acceptable” level requires that Sigma Nu chapters incorporate the values of Sigma Nu into all service and philanthropy events. But what does this mean? While it is simple enough to ask members to think of the Creed, “…to serve in the Light of Truth,” the below questions supply thoughts for reflection on the chapter’s service and philanthropy activities.

  1. Do members know why they support their chosen causes? Think about the last time the chapter had a conversation about why it supports its chosen cause. Has the chapter actively affirmed its commitment to a cause or is the chapter carrying on a tradition? Regardless of how you arrived at your choice, chapters should engage their community partnerships with intentionality. It is through service and philanthropy that Sigma Nu men practice one aspect of servant leadership. However, at the heart of being a servant leader is first knowing who you serve and why you believe what you believe.
  2. How are you representing your chosen cause through fundraising and volunteering? When a chapter engages in service and philanthropy, it takes on the role of being a representative and advocate for its chosen cause. Would your chosen organization be proud of the way the chapter has fundraised? What about the way members behaved while volunteering? Chapters and officers should engage the organizations you are supporting in the planning and preparation of your service and philanthropy activities to make sure all are on the same page.
  3. What are your motivations for engaging in service and philanthropy? It is important for chapters to reflect on why you are choosing to serve or engage in philanthropy before you host an activity. Sure, philanthropy events are fun, but does the cause you are supporting get lost in the process? Do chapter members believe that service is good, or do they view it as just a chore? Observing how general members engage with service and philanthropy activities is a useful way of measuring success in building servant leaders. If general members and guests do not know the cause being supported through a philanthropy event, the chapter should think through how it can center the cause and make sure participants are educated on why support is important. Similarly, if getting members to complete service hours is like pulling teeth, the chapter may benefit from thinking about the number of hours it is requiring members to complete and how it is helping chapter members access to service. Sometimes reducing hours to improve quality may be better overall.

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9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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