History

Alpha Chi Omega has always demonstrated a strong commitment to philanthropy. Giving to support high standards of learning, leadership, and service is as important today as it was when the Fraternity was founded in 1885.

Our commitment to philanthropy can be traced to 1911 when Alpha Chi Omega members adopted the MacDowell Colony as its first altruistic project. The MacDowell Colony was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1907 by Mrs. Edward MacDowell (Zeta Chapter, New England Conservatory of Music.) The Colony's mission today, as it was then, is to provide an environment in which creative artists are free to pursue their work without interruption.

As the various needs of society changed, so did Alpha Chi Omega's efforts. During World War I and II, members provided war relief to orphaned French children and set up day nurseries for working mothers married to servicemen. In 1947, the organization adopted the Easter Seals Society and other projects to provide assistance to those affected by cerebral palsy. Then at Alpha Chi Omega's 1992 National Convention, delegates voted to adopt the Support of Victims of Domestic Violence as a national altruistic project.

As a means to alleviate the financial burden placed upon the Fraternity to provide educational and philanthropic programming, the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation was established in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by merging several pre-existing philanthropic funds into a single-nonprofit entity.

Today, the Foundation is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees consisting of three National Council members, and nine additional members, including the Chair of the Foundation. In addition to the Board of Trustees, the work of the Foundation is supported by numerous volunteers and a staff of four.