An effective Alumni and Volunteer Corporation (AVC) structure allows for optimal operations in support of a chapter and its alumni. The AVC officer structure below outlines clearly defined roles that align with fraternity services, programs and resources. Download a PDF of the organizational chart.
AVCs that are pursuing a fundraising campaign for housing or scholarships will need to recruit additional volunteers to support those efforts. Learn more about volunteer needs for capital campaigns.
The structure of an AVC is not defined in the Fraternity’s Grand Chapter Bylaws. While roles, responsibilities and structure may vary from what is outlined above, the AVC must ensure that volunteers are able to manage the responsibilities of mentoring undergraduates, cultivating alumni, managing assets and maintaining the health of the corporation.
Volunteers who fill roles on the AVC also take on responsibilities as officers, directors, or volunteers for the corporation. The following is a recommendation of how volunteer roles on the AVC can be organized as it relates to the structure of the corporation:
AVC officers are elected either by directors or as defined in the AVC’s local bylaws. They oversee the day-to-day affairs of the corporation. At a minimum, the president, secretary and treasurer of the AVC serve as officers.
AVC directors are elected at an annual meeting by members of the corporation. There are typically five to eight directors who manage the business of the corporation between annual meetings.
AVC volunteers are members of the corporation or outside individuals who support Sigma Phi Epsilon without a corporate role as an officer or director.
Note that alumni and others can hold rights as members of the AVC without being actively engaged as volunteers. Additionally, volunteers can support a chapter without being a member of the AVC.
Below is how typical AVC positions fit into those three categories. Click on each position title for more information about the role:
| AVC Volunteer Role
|| AVC Corporate Responsibility
|AVC president||AVC officer|
|AVC treasurer||AVC officer|
|AVC vice president of relations||AVC officer or director|
|AVC vice president of housing||AVC officer or director|
|AVC secretary||AVC officer|
|Chapter counselor||Non voting AVC volunteer|
|Recruitment mentor||Non voting AVC volunteer|
|Faculty fellow||AVC officer, director or volunteer|
|Balanced Man steward||Non voting AVC volunteer|
Note: The chapter counselor and balanced man steward are appointed by the district governor. At a minimum, he or she serves as a "non-voting" director of the AVC.
Governance and corporate responsibility
An AVC is structured as an independent, not-for-profit corporation in the state where the chapter is located. Maintaining the health of the corporation is vital to the long term success of the AVC. It will ensure stability and reduce risk. When minded properly, it allows volunteers to spend their valuable time supporting the undergraduate chapter and alumni base.
The following AVC officers are responsible for the health of the corporation:
- AVC President
- AVC Treasurer
- AVC Secretary
As a corporation, an AVC has financial and legal obligations to a number of groups:
- The members of the corporation (alumni of the chapter and others as defined by its bylaws)
- The state in which it is incorporated
- The Internal Revenue Service
- Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and its Grand Chapter
Alumni and other members of the corporation place their confidence in the officers and directors to protect their interests as they relate to Sigma Phi Epsilon. This includes proper financial management, making appropriate investments to support the chapter, and safeguarding the AVCs assets to ensure they exist for future generations of Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers. To do this, the AVC must meet the requirements of the IRS and state agencies to maintain standing as a not-for-profit corporation in their state.
The AVC may also have obligations to local banks, the university or SigEp National Housing as a lender. Meeting these obligations requires a focus on the health of the corporation.
AVCs that excel at maintaining the health of their corporation do the following:
- Maintain status as a not-for-profit entity with the appropriate state agency.
- Maintain 501(c)7 status with the IRS by completing an initial application and filing an annual Form 990.
- Maintain corporate bylaws that align with Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Grand Chapter Bylaws.
- Ensure that officers and directors of the corporation are elected in a manner consistent with the AVC’s bylaws. (View sample AVC bylaws.)
- Understand general liability and Directors' and Officers' insurance coverage.
- Maintain a bank account and financial books separate from the undergraduate chapter with no pooled funds.
- Complete an annual audit of undergraduate and AVC finances.
- Hold monthly meetings either in person or by conference call.
- Hold an annual business meeting for the election of officers and directors.
- Set short- and long-term goals for the corporation.
- Outline and evaluate a strategic plan on an annual basis.
- Keep a copy of current AVC bylaws and articles of incorporation on file with Sigma Phi Epsilon Headquarters.
Many of these practices are easily completed with the right resources and people. AVCs should seek an attorney or tax professional to help satisfy the basic requirements of a not-for-profit corporation. AVCs that fail to maintain a healthy corporation place unnecessary complexity and hassle on their volunteers, or risk placing the AVC in financial or legal trouble.