Cameron Insider Winter Edition, 2012

Marketing Fraternity Builds More than Brands

By David Glaubach

Every year, students from across campus volunteer their time and talents for the betterment of our community. UNCW's student organizations have contributed more than 66,000 hours of service in the 2010-11 academic year. Because of the university's commitment to civic engagement, it has been named on the "Honor Roll with Distinction" by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

photo

Pi Sigma Epsilon members Danielle Clarke (l)
and Christina Siclari volunteer for Habitat for
Humanity.
UNCW/Laura Johnston

One organization dedicated to making a difference is the UNCW chapter (Delta Tau) of Pi Sigma Epsilon, a national fraternal organization for sales and marketing. Since the start of Delta Tau in 1991, the chapter has contributed thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations, including donating more than $10,000 in 2010 to non-profits in the Wilmington area. The award-winning chapter strives to better the community through fundraising and service activities and has been ranked among the top five chapters in the nation for the past five years.

"The goal of the chapter is to provide members with real experiences that will help them build professional skills in marketing, sales, research, event planning and leadership. However, the chapter also wants our members to develop an understanding of how to use their skills for the betterment of a community," said chapter's faculty advisor Katie Hartman. Because they experience how community service can have a positive impact on a community, members gain an appreciation for philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.

One of the goals of the chapter is to donate a portion of its proceeds from fundraising activities to non-profits. In November 2010, Delta Tau members collected donations from local businesses for an annual silent auction held at the Wilmington Convention Center. Donations included services, products and gift cards from a variety of local businesses. In return, Delta Tau provided the participating vendors with free marketing and advertising at the event. The auction raised $6,000. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Salvation Army's holiday toy drive.

Another goal of the chapter is to plan community service projects each year. During the 2010 fall semester, Delta Tau held its annual donation drive called UNCW GIVES. With the support of other student organizations, the chapter collected goods and monetary donations valued at more than $2,100 from UNCW students, faculty and staff. All proceeds and goods were donated to four area recipients: Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina, Sunburst Foundation of Wilmington, The Domestic Violence Shelter and Services and Good Shepherd.

Wilmington GIVES is a project centered on area residents donating goods or cash to the Wilmington Food Bank. In fall 2010, Delta Tau members decorated empty grocery bags donated by Harris Teeter and delivered them to local homes asking for food donations. Attached to each bag was a letter that included information about Pi Sigma Epsilon, the cause, business sponsors and dates of collection. In return for donations, residents were given coupons donated from local Wilmington businesses. The chapter collected more than 1,000 pounds of food and household items for the Wilmington Food Bank.

"The chapter selects charities and service projects through networking and suggestions. Sometimes a friend of the chapter or someone from an organization contacts a member to ask for help. Sometimes a member reads an article about an organization who is struggling. We can't always help, but we do what we can," said Hartman.

In addition to larger projects, the chapter also tries to help organizations in smaller ways. Members have provided free marketing research services to the Boys and Girls Home, donated books to the New Hanover County Library and organized UNCW campus clean-up events. The chapter also holds donation nights, which are meetings in which members donate a dollar to an organization in need. Some beneficiaries of donation nights have included Nourish NC, Children's Museum and Saint Thomas Preservation Hall.