Standard Advisor Accreditation, page 7

Volunteer Support Structure

Local Volunteer Expectations

The Volunteer Support Structure was developed to show the different layers that are available to you, as a volunteer, for support. Please do not hesitate to use all the resources in the chart as you work with the local chapter.

The Advisor - Chapter Relationship

In an attempt to better understand how advisor and chapter relationships can be enhanced, the Fraternity created a task force to study the issue. As part of their research, they evaluated many of the most successful advisor - chapter partnerships. They found that almost all of those relationships shared the following common characteristics:

The advisor and the chapter are genuinely dedicated to the Fraternity's Vision, Mission and Creed; they both are committed to meeting and exceeding the Fraternity's policies and expectations.

The advisor is, ideally, a graduate with a few years of separation from his student involvement; he is a professional and community leader; he is a mature mentor for the chapter. The chapter doesn't expect the advisor to act like a student member; the members treat him with respect.

The advisor is accessible and has contact with the chapter leaders at least weekly; he is willing to reach out and partner with the Fraternity's regional president and professional staff; and he attends the annual Leadership Summit. The chapter respects the limited amount of time available from the advisor; the chapter leaders assist in the development and support of an advisory board.

Advisor - Chapter Communication Expectations

In order to effectively support the chapter, both the chapter and the advisory board should set a communication schedule with each other. The highest performing chapters and advisory boards have the following communication model:

  • Bi-weekly communication between advisors and undergraduate officers
  • Monthly AAB recaps in the form of an e-mail, conference call, in-person meeting, Skype, etc.
  • Transition and goal setting retreats
  • At least one advisor at at-least one chapter meeting per month (ideally two per month)

All told, these expectations for advisors should not require more than 3-5 hours per month of each advisor. However, frequent communication will maintain the relationship built between advisor and officer and showing up to a chapter meeting will ensure that the chapter will have the appropriate advice and counsel.

The below chart overviews responsibilities, time commitments, and skills for each advisor position.

Volunteer Accreditation Graphic

Local Volunteer Support Structure

The Local Volunteer Support Structure is used to show the relationship between the three alumni entities and the chapter. As shown below, the three entities revolve around the chapter and work seamlessly together. When all three alumni groups are working together, the chapter will benefit to a higher degree than when all three groups are working separately.

Advisor Graphic

For chapters that have all three entities, it is recommended that parties have an annual or bi-annual meeting. At this meeting, the entities and chapters can talk about their goals, challenges, and ways they can work together moving forward. When breakdowns between these entities falter, they can often cause friction, frustration, and a lack of communication between the other parties.

The Stakeholder Forum

Another way to think about, and develop, structures for alumnus and student member cooperation is the Stakeholder Forum concept. A Stakeholder Forum is a group composed of chapter's stakeholders: the chapter president, the chapter advisor, the house corporation president, the alumni association president and the regional president (as a representative of the International Fraternity). A Forum may convene on a quarterly basis in order to facilitate communication and address mutual needs. The structure looks something like this:

  • Provide its members with brotherhood, social, personal development, leadership and service programs and opportunities - consistent with the Fraternity's vision, mission and creed.
  • Serve as a sounding board for the chapter, especially the executive council.
  • Provide brotherhood and social opportunities for area alumni.
  • Assist in recruiting and connecting area alumni volunteers; represent the interests of the International Fraternity.

Chapter Programming and Issues

The Sample Chapter Organization Chart provides an overview of most areas of chapter programming and standard structures (i.e. executive council composition and cabinet membership). This organizational chart is supported by the information and evaluative criteria included in the Chapter Leadership Model and Chapter Self-Assessment found under General Resources.

Chapter Self-Assessment

Reviewing these resources will provide most advisors and advisory boards with a good foundation of chapter programming information.

Pi Kappa Alpha Brand Marks

A downloadable file of official Pi Kappa Alpha brand marks and other marketing tools can be found here. Products bearing the Fraternity's names and marks may only be produced and sold by Fraternity licensed vendors. Any product bearing Fraternity and/or chapter names and marks should not depict or advocate noncompliance with Fraternity standards or policies and such use is unauthorized. Unauthorized uses violate federal and state trademark law and subject the user to compensatory and treble damages. Examples which do not comply are profanity, vulgarity, drinking, libel, slander or abuse of other people or animals, violence and criminal acts.

If you need help or have general questions, please email