The Ability Experience

The Ability Experience page imageThe Ability Experience, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1977 and remains the exclusive philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in our fraternity members and serving people with disabilities.

True leaders empower others — and learn through experience. As the only national fraternity to establish and maintain its own non-profit organization, we pride ourselves in taking the lead when we see a need and have set the fraternal standard for hands-on, service-based leadership training. Through The Ability Experience you are taught how to be an effective leader and work better as a team. And you learn that it really is far greater to give than receive.

Undergraduate chapters across the country have, and continue to establish, volunteer relationships with local facilities that serve people with disabilities, in conjunction with fundraising on campus and in their local communities for the programs of The Ability Experience. Members of Pi Kappa Phi have raised millions of dollars for the programs of The Ability Experience as well as donated millions of man hours to renovate facilities that serve people with disabilities across the country.

The history of The Ability Experience is not complete. New programs are on the horizon, there are more funds to be raised and there are millions of Americans to reach with our mission — and the message of how members of Pi Kappa Phi are bringing that mission to life every day.

For additional information about The Ability Experience and its programs, visit


Through programs of all kinds, participants display The Ability Experience’s four core values (abilities, teamwork, empathy and integrity) while serving others. Although the funds raised are invaluable, just as important is an increased awareness of the amazing things people with disabilities can do, as opposed to focusing on what they can’t.

Since 1988, over 1,500 men have participated in Journey of Hope, Gear Up Florida and Build America. Each year, those events combined raise over $600,000.

The Ability Experience believes in the abilities of all people. It is our goal to demonstrate to others the importance of seeing a person and their abilities before their disability.

The Ability Experience recognizes that together, everyone achieves more. All programs of The Ability Experience are team-oriented and the impact can be seen, not only in the people we support, but also in the leaders we continue to develop.

The Ability Experience encourages empathy, rather than sympathy. We teach individuals to engage in conversation with people with disabilities just as they would with a friend. People with disabilities want to be treated just like everyone else and are not looking for people to feel sorry for them.

The Ability Experience has a mission and realizes it is through honesty and responsibility of our work that we will continue to advance that mission. Our integrity and passion to our mission is what continually supports the development of leadership in the members of Pi Kappa Phi and improvements in the lives of people with disabilities.


To date, The Ability Experience has raised over $15 million to benefit people with disabilities and organizations dedicated to their service.

The spirit of The Ability Experience is carried on by volunteer relationships between chapters of Pi Kappa Phi and community organizations that help enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Establishing this relationship is a great way for chapters to give back to their community, learn more about the abilities of people with disabilities, and introduce new people to what Pi Kappa Phi is doing through The Ability Experience. Volunteer relationship activities include anything from bowling, holiday parties, lending a hand to fix things around their facilities, volunteering twice a month or more, or even being part of a buddy program with someone with a disability. The possibilities are endless and both the chapter members and people with disabilities always benefit from the experience.

Disability awareness is accomplished by chapters of Pi Kappa Phi through numerous empathy training events and by educating the public. By promoting an understanding of another person’s situation, feelings, thoughts and attitudes, The Ability Experience’s empathy training exercises simulate what it may be like to live with a disability. Individuals gain firsthand experience and a better perspective on some of the challenges that people with disabilities face in their lives every day. People with disabilities often have to do things a little differently, but they have jobs, play sports and join fraternities just like everyone else.

Pi Kappa Phi remains the only Greek organization to have developed and maintain its own national philanthropy. Creative fundraising events like bike-a-thons, scaffold sits and pageants have helped the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi collectively fundraise over $15 million in support of The Ability Experience’s programs. These funds are distributed across the country to benefit people with disabilities and provide more service opportunities for the men of Pi Kappa Phi. Undergraduate chapters continuously support The Ability Experience and are excellent advocates in spreading a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.


The Ability Experience directly impacts the lives of people with disabilities. Click the link above to learn more.


The Ability Experience can be found working here in Natchitoches. Click the link above to learn more.


A secure online way to support the service projects of The Ability Experience. Click the link above to learn more.