Do all initiated members need to live in a Sorority facility?
Gamma Phi Beta Sorority policy is that all members live in a Sorority facility unless:
- The member is living at home with her parents/guardians
- University rules prohibit members from living in the facility
- Employment prevents a chapter member from living in the facility
- The facility is fully occupied
It's up to each chapter (not the HCB) to determine its preference for living in or out of the facility. This usually is based on campus norms of other sororities.
What if we don't have enough members who want to live in the Sorority facility?
Most chapters have some sort of merit point policy and members with the lowest merit points are required to live in if the Sorority facility isn't voluntarily filled.
Another way some HCBs handle low occupancy is to charge the chapter (from their dues money) for any unfilled space to meet facility financial needs. Generally the amount is divided among members who do not live in the facility to meet facility financial needs.
Every member should sign an agreement with the HCB first so that they understand living in the Sorority facility is one of their obligations of membership.
Can I see pictures of how other HCBs have decorated chapter rooms, study rooms, living rooms, etc.?
Yes! Photos are available on the Facility Additions and Renovations page.
Should we collect a local building fund even if we do not have a housing facility?
Yes! The local building fund fee is a one-time fee charged to all new members.
If there is no house or other living facility to support, the amount is relatively small, such as $25-50. The idea is to keep building this reserve in the event that a facility becomes available in the future; the university may decide to build a Greek village or a suitable property may come on the market.
If there isn't a chapter facility, the building fund account is kept separately from the chapter's operating account and is managed by the alumnae, usually the chapter advisor and financial advisor. The account is to be used only for facility-related expenses.
What is the International Building Fund?
Each new member pays an International Building Fund fee of $25. This amount is paid to International Headquarters as part of their first installment payment. The funds are then pooled to become part of the principal of the Loan Fund. This fund can be used to lend money to HCBs who are not otherwise able to obtain financing for a facility project.
What is a parlor fee?
All members of the Sorority share in the costs of maintaining a chapter facility, whether it is a chapter house, university-owned house, suite, dormitory or room. A fee, commonly called a parlor fee, is charged to members for the privilege of using these facilities and associated costs.
Our HCB has less than $25,000 in revenue. Do we still need to file a 990 tax return?
All groups are required to file regardless of receipts/income. Groups who generally have receipts below $25,000 will likely be able to file by e-postcard, requiring minimal information. It is up to each group to determine their reporting requirements. International Gamma Phi Beta does not have access to your group's financial records so we cannot make the filing determination or do the filing on your behalf.
Failure to report can result in significant fines and/or the revocation of the tax-exempt status of the group. Additionally, while Gamma Phi Beta generally does not have to pay federal taxes, we are not exempt from state sales taxes. Therefore, when you make purchases for your chapter and HCB, you have to pay state sales tax.
Tax reporting is due December 15.
We need to look into a sprinkler system for the chapter house; how do we start this process?
Sprinkler systems represent important investments in our members' safety. A great place to begin assessing the need and cost for a sprinkler system is through the resources of MJ Insurance. They have developed the Automatic Sprinkler Toolbox which walks an HCB through each step of the process. Find the resource here.
All facilities owned by the Sorority or by affiliated house corporations with live-in capability are required to be fitted with a fire sprinkler system by December 31, 2015.