Is Your Chapter Ready for the Future?

Is your chapter ready for the future? Is it prepared to not only survive, but thrive in a new era of campus leadership?

Here are 15 questions your chapter should consider if you expect to be relevant in 2020 and beyond:

  1. Branding determines who the chapter is and what it represents. Does your website, social media, recruitment materials and chapter house reflect the brand you want to promote? Is your brand enabling you to recruit members focused on academics, campus and chapter involvement, career preparation and networking, leadership development, service, and lifetime commitment to your chapter, fraternity/sorority and university?
  2. Does your chapter membership reflect what you want those outside your chapter to know you are? Consider diversity, economics, inclusion, and excellence in academics, campus and chapter involvement, career preparation and network, leadership, respect of others, philanthropy and service, etc.
  3. Has your undergraduate chapter, advisory board, and housing corporation board completed a strategic plan that focuses on the next 1-5 years? Do you know what to embrace and what to discard, or at least place less emphasison? Do you know what your chapter’s vision is, as well as your top 5-7 goals? If not, there is no time like the presentto develop a plan.
  4. Is your chapter providing enough value to retain its undergraduate membership, to recruit new members, and to keep alumni/ae engaged for a lifetime? How are you re-recruiting your current alumni/ae and undergraduate members?
  5. Does your chapter have an effective strategic partnership with campus partners such as academic support units, Admissions & Recruitment, Alumni Association, campus police, campus Involvement/engagement units, Career Office, Dean of Students, diversity & inclusion, facilities, Foundation, Fraternity & Sorority Programs, health & wellness, Parent Association, President, and fellowfraternities/sororities?
  6. Does the chapter have an effective alumni/ae, campus, community, and parent relations program? Are theyfocused on records, communications, in-person and virtual events, recognition, fundraising, and ensuring all your members learn the value of this? Does the chapter’s budget reflect that it is committed to it?
  7. Is there an alternative plan for alumni/ae and parent events like Homecoming Weekend, Parent Weekend, Founders Day, etc.? Do you know how the chapter might conduct events in a safe spacing type or way, or even a virtual way?
  8. Are there consultants, volunteers, and staff in place to provide the support the members need to succeed? This should involve: Advisory Board with an advisor for each officer to ensure an effective chapter operations plan; Housing Corporation Board that focuses on facility management, fundraising, kitchen operations, financial management, and legal/risk management; Educational Foundation that ensures educational programming and scholarships are in place; Career Coach and Mentors; House Director; Facility/Property Manager; Accountant; and a Health & Wellness Director.
  9. Is a COVID-19 plan in place for your members return to the campus? Something like this: Is the chapter going to be part of the solution in keeping the campus open or is it going to be one of the reasons it shuts down?
  10. Does the chapter have a virtual strategy for recruitment; onboarding new members; 4-year academic, career and leadership development; soft skills development; communications with alumni/ae, parents and undergraduates; volunteerism; staffing; service; and keeping alumni/ae engaged for a lifetime?
  11. Are there 1 on 1 relationships being built between undergraduates and alumni/ae? This means alumni/ae mentors with an ongoing mentoring relationship with one or more undergraduate members.
  12. Has your chapter considered focusing its philanthropy and service to the campus community? College campuses, now more than ever, are full of students with needs in food insecurity, scholarships, etc.
  13. Has the chapter determined in-person and virtual ways to celebrate the successes of its members, including with graduation ceremonies?
  14. Has the chapter re-developed its budget, taking into account the changes it is facing for the next six to eighteen months?
  15. Does the chapter’s alumni/ae, parents, undergraduates, headquarters and Fraternity & Sorority Programs Office know your plan? How is the chapter planning to communicate this and how will it remain consistent in its message?

No time since the Vietnam War years has the college Fraternity and Sorority system been challenged more to become relevant, to improve its operations, and become sustainable entities. Active undergraduate memberships are facing attrition challenges, health and societal issues, and finding employment is becoming increasingly more difficult. By creating chapter relevance, we’re fostering purpose, identity, skills development, leadership, and career readiness of our undergraduate members.

If Fraternity Management Group can be of any help as you look to the future, please contact Matt Noble at email link or 520-990-3250.