The Panhellenic Association at the University of Maryland College Park recognizes the Circle of Sisterhood as its official philanthropy and this year the association wrote a letter of intent to raise the money to fund a school build!
While the University of Maryland (UMD) has been involved with CofS for over four years now, this past year the association increased the community’s awareness of the foundation through various innovative efforts.
In October, the association held its first “Circle of Sisterhood Week” where events included a “Half the Sky” screening, “Letters in the Library” and a banner and an Instagram competition. “Letters in the Library” is when sorority women wear their Greek letters in the library to promote a positive image for sorority women. The association concluded the week with Ginny Carroll speaking to the community. In regards to fundraising, previously UMD’s fundraising efforts were small scale and included penny wars at Homecoming and Greek Week. This past year the community held percentage nights at restaurants and hosted a Kendra Scott Trunk Show. In addition, each sorority was responsible for raising $1,000.
This year, Maryland plans to sky rocket the community’s awareness and supersede all previous fundraising initiatives!
“My goal for Circle of Sisterhood is not simply to force each chapter to be responsible for raising x amount of money,” says Mattie Roesler, Vice President of Membership Development for Maryland Panhellenic. “But to provide a means by which to allow chapters to work together towards a common fundraising goal.”
Roesler says she wants to work with the Interfraternity Council to fundraise. “To have the support of the gentlemen in our community would be amazing for the Panhellenic women and it could also open up global conversations about men supporting the empowerment of women, not just women empowering other women,” Roesler says.
She also says the community will include the non-Greek community in its fundraising events to educate the entire Maryland campus about CofS’ mission. One of the fundraisers is a kickboxing event during finals week where donations are encouraged. The association will host another “Circle of Sisterhood Week” this fall.
To help inform each chapter about CofS, each sorority has a CofS representative who attends meetings with Roesler to discuss women’s education issues, fundraising goals and how to better inform the entire Maryland community.
UMD’s strong social media presence helps spread the Circle of Sisterhood mission in a strategic way. They created a Circle of Sisterhood – University of Maryland page, where they shares quotes, articles and statistics about education, the “Girl Effect” video, graphics that show the breakdown of where the money goes to when donated, and promotes its fundraising events. A social media campaign that launched last year was “CofS Inspiring Leader of the Week” which is when a chapter’s CofS shares why education is important to her. The organization will continue its social media presence by having a “What Education Means” initiative. Roesler says each chapter will share what education means to its members by taking a group photo holding a poster with their statement.
“To us it’s a great way to boost PR for each chapter. But more importantly it lets the community know that we do not take education for granted, that we are strong empowered women who want to help those who do not have our opportunities; that is truly the goal of Circle of Sisterhood at UMD,” Roesler says.
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