ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS



Alumni associations have enjoyed a steady growth in recent years. Alumni associations may be organized as a chapter-based or local alumni association. A chapter-based alumni association is one that restricts membership to alumni of a particular chapter, whereas a local area alumni association is open to all Alpha Phi Omega, regardless of chapter affiliation, who live in the geographical area. You should be your chapter’s primary liaison with any alumni association in your area. If there isn’t such an association, you might want to consider starting one. For further information, there is a guide available called "How to Start an Alumni Association." The guide can be ordered by contacting the National Office at (816) 373-8667 or by downloading it from the Fraternity Web site at //http://www.apo.org.//

An alumni association should not duplicate the activities of the chapter. Its purpose should be to provide support for the chapter and the fraternity. Some areas of involvement might include:
  • Promotion of the Fraternity
  • Connection to other service organizations
  • Extension/reactivation of a chapter
  • Assistance at a sectional or regional conference
  • Fellowship activities
  • Sponsorship of a career day/interview skills seminar
  • Seminars for the active chapter
  • Financial assistance to the chapter and fraternity
  • Alumni gatherings at regional or national conferences.
This list will grow as the association and its members develop activities around their own interests and strengths.

1. What is an alumni association?
Alumni associations are organized groups of alumni members officially recognized as such by Alpha Phi Omega. A definition was developed by the National Board of Directors in 1993, and reads as follows:
An “officially recognized local alumni association” is a group of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity alumni organized for the purpose of furthering the aims and goals of the Fraternity and the mission of the National Alumni Association. The mission and purpose of the alumni program of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity shall be to encourage support of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity; to service, inform, and involve alumni of the Fraternity so as to foster interaction and friendship among Alpha Phi Omega members of all ages; and to promote civic and professional service by Alpha Phi Omega alumni.

2. What is the difference between an alumni association and an alumni organization?
There is no difference. Some associations, particularly those with a geographic focus rather than chapter emphasis, call themselves "alumni organizations." Both titles are acceptable.

3. What is the purpose of the alumni association?
From the National Bylaws (Article XII Section 2 Clause 2):
The purpose of local alumni associations shall be to promote the principles of Alpha Phi Omega among alumni members and the entire fraternity through such activities as the local alumni associations may deem desirable.

4. How is an alumni association formed?
When a group of at least five interested Alpha Phi Omega alumni decide they would like to create a more “formal" organization and submit the completed paperwork, provided on the Fraternity Web site and in the "How to Start an Alumni Association Handbook," an alumni association is formed. Generally interest begins with a few brothers who hold initial meetings to gauge interest. Invitations and participation should be broadly encouraged. Go to the Fraternity Web site (http://www.apo.org) and download the brochure "How to Start an Alumni Association Handbook" for more suggestions, guidelines and support.

5. How many brothers are needed to form an alumni association?
A minimum of five recognized brothers is required for the initial startup of an association and for biennial renewal thereafter. However, the size of the active group will determine what type of projects and events the association will be able to undertake. There is no maximum number.

6. Who can be a member of an APO alumni association?
From the National Bylaws (Article XII Section 2 Clause 3):
Membership in an Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association shall be granted only to persons who are duly registered in the National Office as former active, advisory, or honorary Members of a Chapter. Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Associations shall not grant any form of Membership
(a) that does not comply with the above standards or
(b) to any Member expelled from the Fraternity under Article III, Section 2 (11).


7. How is an alumni association organized?
Alumni members may organize themselves in several ways but will fall into one of two categories:
A. Chapter-based associations are comprised of alumni from a specific chapter; and must be open to all alumni of that chapter
B. Local associations pull in members from a given geographic area.

8. How is an alumni association identified?
Alumni associations select their own name during the formation stages. Geographic association names may include name of a city or locality in which the group exists (i.e. Baltimore Area Alumni Association or Eastern Missouri Alumni Association).
The use of Greek letters is reserved for use by college chapters. As a result, only associations consisting of brothers from a single chapter would have Greek letters in their names (i.e. Theta Alpha Alumni Association). Some alumni associations choose to use the name of their institution in their name (i.e. Clemson University APO Alumni Society). Use of an institution name also should comply with the regulations of that institution.

9. How can alumni be found?
For recruiting purposes, there are several methods to seek out alumni. Some methods may only be effective for both types of alumni associations, some for one or the other.
A. Mailing lists based on factors such as state, zip code, home chapter, etc., which are generated by the National Office
B. Announcements at various Fraternity functions, such as banquets and conferences
C. Hosting an alumni reception, collecting information and gauging interest
D. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc.
E. Word-of-mouth. Tell the affected alumni relations officer(s) that an association is being formed so they will tell recent graduates and graduating seniors about the opportunity
F. Mailing lists provided by the campus alumni relations office
G. Fraternity listservs
H. Campus reunions

10. How can an alumni association obtain the lists of alumni?
An agent of the alumni association should:
A. Click here to submit the list request form: Multiple criteria can be selected for the purposes of recruiting from specific areas. Written requests are also accepted. There is no charge for the first alumni list request made each year by either chapters or associations; subsequent calendar-year requests are $5.
B. Contact the alumni relations officer at local chapters for their list of alumni in the area.

11. What kinds of activities are recommended?
Each alumni association should select its activities based on the time and interest of its members.
Examples of possible activities include:
Social Functions: camp outs, vacation trips, canoe trips, picnics, happy hours, bowling leagues, and attending sporting events (tailgating)
Service Projects: trash cleanups, creating nature trails, local food pantries projects, walkathons, charity fundraisers, youth events
Leadership activities: sponsoring career days, instructing a Merit Badge University class, (when asked) mentoring chapter officers and committees

12. What officers are suggested for a local alumni association?
The number and composition of officers in an association is completely flexible. Typical positions include president, vice president (social, service, recruitment focused), secretary, and treasurer. In general, alumni associations do not require as many officers as chapters since they usually meet less often and have fewer functions. If you would like, a line of succession can be established; these procedures should be included in the association bylaws.

13. How often should we meet?
The plan of operations and the nature of the group will determine the frequency of meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings may be semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly, but all meetings should have a purpose. Formal meetings are necessary to formulate and participate in programs; to respond to requests from chapters or sectional chairs; and to determine areas of participation in community activities as involved citizens.

14. Is a constitution necessary?
No, a constitution is not necessary, but bylaws are. The bylaws are the governing document for the association. Whether the association is geographic or chapter-based, the association must have bylaws as broad or limited as desired. There are no specific requirements for the contents of these bylaws however, they will probably include:
  • Requirements of membership
  • Identification of leaders
  • Selection of leaders
  • Establishment of treasury

Since each association needs to be approved by the Alumni Relations and Internal Volunteer Development Program Director, each should have some formal rules by which it governs its program. The bylaws should set forth its name, purpose, association officers and committees, and operation of the general program. A set of sample bylaws is included in Appendix C of "How to Start an Alumni Association Handbook."

15. How can an alumni association be recognized by the national office?
In order to use the name “Alpha Phi Omega,” or the Fraternity symbols, your alumni association must be recognized by the National Fraternity. This requires the completion of a few organizational tasks that can be performed by the interested group members shortly after establishing the association and holding initial activities. Both chapter- and geographic-based associations need to complete the same forms and requirements to be recognized.
To gain official recognition, an association must complete and submit the following:
  • Completed Alumni Association Application
  • Roster of Members
  • Association Bylaws
  • $25.00 Recognition Fee
  • Copy of National Risk Management Policy Signed by Association Leader
  • IRS Form
  • *990-N (Placeholder: wording will come from the National Office)

The application serves to establish contact information for the association and list its officers and members. This must be completed in order to gain recognition for that year, through December 31. Biennially, the packet must be resubmitted to the National Office before January 15 to maintain recognition.
All components of the application should be mailed to:

Alpha Phi Omega
14901 East 42nd Street South
Independence, MO 64055-7347

Once received by the National Office, application materials are reviewed by the National Office staff and the Alumni Relations and Internal Volunteer Development Program Director. Recognition usually occurs within a couple of weeks. However, associations should not wait for formal approval in order to commence activities. Associations can choose to have a few activities prior to submitting an application in order to grow membership. Once established, however, it is necessary to be officially recognized in order to use the name “Alpha Phi Omega” or any Fraternity symbols.

16. Do alumni pay dues?
There is no national requirement that requires alumni to pay dues, as alumni or association members; however, some alumni associations choose to collect dues from their members.

17. How do the alumni associations support their activities?
It is the responsibility of each association to make this determination. Some collect dues to cover events, whereas others may choose to charge for participating in specific events. The decision is solely up to the members of the association.

18. Can alumni associations receive tax-exempt status?
Yes. Each alumni association is a 501(c)(3) under the umbrella of Alpha Phi Omega. Upon recognition, the president (leader) of the association will receive paperwork from the Fraternity accountant explaining this process. Specific questions regarding this should be sent via e-mail to accountant@apo.org. This text should be provided, in full, by either the National Executive Director or his/her designee.

19. Does Alpha Phi Omega carry liability insurance on alumni associations or their individual members?
Yes. This text should be provided, in full, by either the National Executive Director or his/her designee.

20. What is a regional alumni council?
The regional alumni council is a group consisting of representatives from each of the recognized alumni associations and alumni members-at-large from within the region. The members-at-large are appointed by the regional alumni representatives to represent the interests of those alumni not affiliated with a recognized alumni association within the region. The primary purpose of the council is to represent the interests of the alumni within the region by exchanging ideas and selecting representation for the National Convention.

21. How does an association participate in the regional alumni council?
Each recognized alumni association within the region shall have a member on the regional council. The members of the council shall act on any business that might come before the council as their alumni associations should desire.

22. Do the alumni have voting rights at the National Convention?
Yes, one alumni vote per region is authorized through the regional alumni council.