“I needed help. I was overwhelmed.”
That’s how Patrick succinctly explains why he first reached out to BELAY.
As an Acacia brother as an undergrad, Patrick has now worked for the headquarters in a few different capacities for the past 17 years.
Its headquarters typically staffs 6-9 people responsible for the educational programs they host for their undergraduate members and the educational resources they provide on how to operate the chapter to work with members on becoming effective leaders.
“We’re a small staff [for] about 1,700 undergraduates and about 25,000 living alumni,” Patrick explains. “So there are lots of things coming at me from all directions all the time.
“We deal with the whole spectrum of being a membership association – insurance legal, financials, public relations. So overall, we’re tasked with operating the organization, supporting our members, advocating for our members, and educating our members.
“There was lots of little detailed work that I [wanted] done, but maybe only I knew how to do it. And didn’t really have anybody to delegate to because the rest of the staff had full plates – and that was just really dampening my optimism and enthusiasm.
“I was living out of my email inbox and scheduling meetings, [and it] seemed to take up all my time and drain me of the energy to do higher-level thinking and [casting] vision. It got to a point where I was having trouble making progress on some things that were important.”
In a word, Patrick and his staff were busy.
So Patrick decided to look into getting help – but the universe had other plans.
“My initial outreach was leading up to the pandemic,” he shares. “So in February of last year, I teed this idea up to our board and made a case for it. But then when the pandemic hit, and we had lots of financial uncertainty about what resources we would have.
“And then once we got into fall, our membership levels stayed really pretty strong and our financial position was good.”
It was finally time to get help.