The Second Century Campaign
Nearly a century ago, a small band of students created a new honorary society for forensics competitors at small colleges and named it Pi Kappa Delta. These founders created a forensics honorary celebrating a motto: The Art of Persuasion, Beautiful and Just.
From modest beginnings, a long journey began where students, faculty and alumni committed themselves not only to the premise that forensics competition was fun and educational, but that the values of camaraderie and high ethical standards were also vital ingredients of the forensics experience.
That dream has continued for almost a century, and now it is time to ensure that the forensic activity, and especially Pi Kappa Delta can continue to deliver the promise to new generations of students.
You can help achieve that goal by making a financial contribution to the Second Century Campaign. Your donation will be a meaningful act which will help insure that the personal and professional benefits you received through forensics and your membership in Pi Kappa Delta will continue to help prepare students for the global challenges of a new millennium.
Let me take a moment to update you on the recent progress of Pi Kappa Delta in maintaining our history and tradition while extending its vision and the vital role your gift will make in extending those endeavors.
You might remember PKD as sponsoring conventions and tournaments, and encouraging students to progress through various degrees and orders. Be assured - - PKD still does those things. They provide an important link back to the common experience of more than 80,000 people who have been members. Promoting a sound, comprehensive and ethically based forensic activity remains our primary mission.
But the times also require more - -
- more attention to buttressing all forensics programs and competitive forms at a time when resources are scarce and forensics programs are threatened;
- more support for forensics educators to help them meet the challenges of balancing forensics coaching with college and high school teaching and the demands of life
- more active support for all levels of forensics: high school, community college, four-year college and international activities.
- easing the participation and membership costs of existing PKD member schools so they can make their scarce financial and human resources stretch.
- These are among the activities that your gifts will help support.
I am writing today to ask for your financial support of Pi Kappa Delta. I am starting with you, a supporter, friend and colleague who knows about PKD and its constant search for financial stability. You are aware of the challenges of an honorary too long dependent upon modest membership dues and tournament proceeds. You have participated in many efforts to balance the need to raise revenue with the equally important value of not pricing PKD participation out of the reach of the broad range of schools and students who make up our organization. Pi Kappa Delta runs efficiently with a continuous wary eye on the bottom line, while constantly trying to do the important work of fulfilling the vision that John Shields, E. R. Nichols and the other students began a century ago.
We see a definite opportunity in the coming century: service to the entire forensics community. We have adopted on-going strategic planning mechanisms to identify and pursue leadership opportunities, to work in partnership with other forensics organizations. Our strategic planning activities intend to transform Pi Kappa Delta into a leadership position in capacity-building within the forensics community. These initiatives include:
- broader support for faculty and undergraduate research and scholarship activities;
- creation of undergraduate service opportunities;
- expanded capabilities for program development and support;
- development of institutional advocacy and public relations abilities;
- enrichment of alumni engagement activities; and,
- vastly expanded resources to provide direct support to new or threatened programs, and to facilitate the resurrection of programs that have been discontinued.
When fully implemented, these initiatives will reverse the steady erosion of forensics programs that has taken place during the past thirty years and will restore a sense of community strength and vitality that has not been witnessed since the 1960’s.
To address these opportunities, the PKD National Council authorized a series of fundraising and development activities (The Second Century Campaign) and I am happy to report that we are making strong progress.
During the past four years, we have collected more than $13,000 in individual gifts, compared with a total of just over $4,000 for the previous seven years. We recorded our first estate gift pledge – inflation-indexed in the amount of $100,000 -- three years ago. This year, for the first time ever, Pi Kappa Delta will produce an annual report and a NASB-certified financial audit – both prerequisites for attracting anticipated corporate sponsorship revenue during the following fiscal year.
The Council continues to work hard to reduce unnecessary expenditures, and wherever possible, to offset investments with additional gift revenues rather than fee increases. Our annual operating expenses of just under $30,000 are more than ten-thousand dollars less than our expenses during fiscal year 1999, and continue to trend flat. Our expenses during convention years are similarly flat, with 2008 expenses of just over $58,000 compared to more than $61,000 during 2000. (In one measure of our fiscal austerity, if our annual rate of expenditures during the year 2000 had risen at a 3% rate of inflation, we would have spent an additional $14,000 during 2008.)
You might be asking yourself, Why Pi Kappa Delta? To put it bluntly, Pi Kappa Delta is the only organization capable of accomplishing the sort of visionary transformation of the forensics community that we seek. While each of the other national forensics organizations have individual strengths, Pi Kappa Delta stands alone in its ability to function as a capacity-building leader. As a membership organization with paid staff, PKD has a vast, yet under-utilized resource base of more than 80,000 alumni. Our commitment to our current members and existing chapters remains strong and, even in the midst of an extraordinary economic downturn. Pi Kappa Delta has continued to attract new members and chapters. Pi Kappa Delta’s history, and its 2013 centennial anniversary represent additional sources of institutional strength. Finally, our position as a comprehensive forensics organization as well as our strong relationship with the NFL uniquely position us to undertake the sort of broad transformative activities our strategic plan envisions.
You might also ask, Why me? Why now? Two years ago, Pi Kappa Delta received an eight-year, $5,000 annual matching challenge. Based on our fundraising success thus far, that challenge has been extended for an additional two years, so that each year for the next decade, annual gift donations will be matched up to a total of $5,000 per year. This is obviously not the entire answer – but it is an important start. And the task of building a strong forensic community is as important now as it has ever been.
National Council members have pledged approximately $3,000 annually towards the matching challenge, and I am writing to urge you to join us in meeting the remainder. If you’ve ever wished that there was an organization that:
- could provide support for the creation of new forensics programs on campuses across the country,
- could organize thousands of alumni to lobby on behalf of threatened programs,
- could provide scholarships for undergraduates or professional development support for educators,
- could spearhead the collection of benchmark data for outcome assessment and program development,
- could create new domestic and international service, research and competitive opportunities, or
- could create a permanent standing endowment that would perpetually support the practice of the art of persuasion beautiful and just, then I ask that you join me now.
Your gift, in any amount, will help us to reach our goals, but your pledge of $120.00 per year for the next ten years will be especially helpful. (That’s just $10.00 per month!). I know that you have many demands for your charitable giving, but I ask you to consider making Pi Kappa Delta one of your areas of charitable support. Leveraging many modest gifts will go a long way towards laying the groundwork for corporate and foundation giving, as well as making an important difference in the educational experience of current - - and future - - generations of forensics competitors.
To contribute, please return the enclosed pledge card along with your check. Gifts may also be made through a secure credit card transaction. As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, all contributions to Pi Kappa Delta are tax-deductible, and you will receive a tax receipt letter recognizing your gift.
I am very optimistic about the future of Pi Kappa Delta and deeply grateful for your time and consideration. I would be delighted to discuss this campaign further or to answer any questions you might have about Pi Kappa Delta. Together, we can make the dreams of the Second Century Campaign a reality!
Phillip Voight, Ph.D
Past President, Pi Kappa Delta