The Key to Planned Giving? Get Started.

This post is courtesy of Iowa Gamma Jenn Plagman-Galvin and Pi Beta Phi Foundation.


Iowa Gamma Jenn Plagman-Galvin and her husband added Pi Beta Phi Foundation to their will when their oldest daughter Annie was just one-year-old. She is pictured here (right) at Iowa Gamma’s 2015 Homecoming with her daughters, Lillie and Annie, and her pledge class sister Jen Foley Dugan-Burns with her two daughters, Molly and Lauren.

I’ve learned that one of the big myths around planned giving is that you need to have a lot of resources (assets, money) to make a planned gift. That is just not true! This myth (and a general lack of education around planned giving) keeps many people from designating a legacy gift. A planned gift doesn’t have to be huge. It doesn’t have to be thousands or millions. It can be small. You just have to get started.

And the best part? A planned gift benefits people and causes for which you care deeply.

After my husband and I had our first child, we decided to put together a will. We were young professionals just starting our family, and we had many financial priorities to juggle. However, our attorney asked us this question: “What organizations and people shaped you to be the individuals you are today?”

For me the answer was simple: Pi Beta Phi.

My husband and I both had great experiences in our fraternal organizations (he’s a Pi Kappa Phi). We both also served as consultants and credit many of our leadership abilities and lifelong friends to Pi Beta Phi and Pi Kappa Phi.

As a collegian, I remember seeing the joy (and often relief) when a sister received a scholarship from Pi Phi. I was thoroughly impressed that my organization valued education so much, they supported it financially. In addition to the leadership development and service opportunities, it really clicked for me early on how invested Pi Beta Phi is in its members. Then, after graduation, I had an amazing opportunity to work with our collegians as a consultant. It was just another example of Pi Phi’s commitment to strengthening and supporting sisters.

So when my husband and I were considering what organizations to support through our will, I knew I wanted to invest back into Pi Beta Phi so that other sisters could have the same (or even better!) experience as me.

Planned giving can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Talk to your employer about your options, sit down with your family and discuss … just get started! You can start by asking yourself: What organizations and people shaped me to be the person I am today?

Every November, Pi Beta Phi Foundation celebrates Marianne Reid Wild Society Month to provide education around planned giving and honor sisters and friends who have made legacy gifts to the Foundation. For planned giving resources and to learn about making a planned gift to ensure the future of our sisterhood, visit this page.

Stories from the Road with LDC Katey

This post is courtesy of South Dakota Alpha Katey Ulrich, Leadership Development Consultant.


Five Ways to De-stress Before Finals

I LOVE being busy. If I have down time, I feel like I am missing something, or like I could be doing something much more productive with my time. However, it is hard to be busy all the time without burning yourself out. While being on the road, I have found that my down time can be best spent doing something that relaxes me. Here are a few of my favorite ways to de-stress:

Yoga/Meditation: Yoga and meditation intimidate many people, but these practices can be extremely helpful in eliminating stress, even in small doses! Meditation can be done anywhere, so it is easy to do in our day-to-day lives, or while you are studying in the library. Simply closing your eyes, relaxing your body and focusing on breathing can be a quick way to help you relax. If you enjoy yoga or the physical act of meditation, get involved in a class! If you do not have the time to do that, there are apps like “Sworkit” that have quick yoga exercises to do when you have time in your day.

Disconnect: A lot of our distractions and stressors now exist in the palm of our hand. Take time out of your day to go without your phone/computer/the other 10 Apple products you own to relax. Have a conversation without scrolling through Instagram at the same time. Write a letter to a friend. Go for a bike ride. Just take a break from technology!

Go for a short walk: Although I do not necessarily enjoy outdoor activities, I always feel so much better after going for a walk in the fresh air! It doesn’t take a 5 mile run to make de-stress. Take a short study break and go for a quick walk around campus or around your favorite park.

Watch a movie: I love to relax watching an old favorite movie. I wouldn’t consider “Inception” the best movie to relax to, but who doesn’t love singing along to old Disney movies, or crying to your favorite Nicholas Sparks movie? Regardless, pop some popcorn, put in a favorite movie and relax!

Find what works for YOU!: Everyone relaxes in different ways, so find what is most relaxing to you — and give yourself time to do that. Whether it’s reading, exercising or watching the next episode in your Netflix series, make time every day to enjoy that activity. It allows you to be your best self when leading a busy life!

I’ve quickly learned the importance of taking time for yourself when you have a hectic schedule. It is hard to stay positive and happy with yourself if you are constantly stressed out. You deserve to take time for yourself every day, and allow yourself to rejuvenate, so you can be the best version of yourself — even throughout finals week!



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