by Vince Fabra
Let’s begin with a question – What is the first step to recruiting a new member?
Here is the answer – Getting their name and contact info onto your Names List!
(If you’re wondering, “What’s a Names List?” check out www.ChapterBuilder.com.)
This may look like just an ordinary blog, but this top 10 list might be the most important blog post you’ll ever read for your chapter.
These are the 10 Best Ways to Grow A Fraternity Names List. Since “You can’t recruit who you don’t know,” this list is VITAL! Most fraternity chapters fail at recruitment because they don’t expand their network of relationships. They just hope that guys will find them. These are the 10 best tactics we’ve gathered and taught fraternities over the last 13 years. Good luck this semester!
1. Recruitment Scholarship
(Best time to try – Beginning of each semester)
Every year, hundreds of fraternity chapters waste thousands of dollars by hosting BIG events. These events eat up a BIG amount of their time and budget while yielding limited results. The smartest chapters in the country set aside a few hundred dollars and create a recruitment scholarship. This recruitment scholarship attracts hundreds more leads than any BIG event, and the quality of student is much higher. If you want to add high quality prospects to your names list, then hold off on that BIG event, and implement a recruitment scholarship.
2. Sorority Referrals
(Best time to try – Right after sorority recruitment)
Undergraduate sorority women are typically some of the most involved and connected students on a college campus. Their network extends far outside the “Greek Bubble.” Simply, they know a lot of men who are both affiliated and unaffiliated with fraternities. Ask the sorority presidents on your campus if two or three members from your chapter can stop by their next meeting. Ask the group the question, “What are the top qualities you want to see in the next generation of fraternity men?” After fielding responses, then ask “Who are the men that are on campus who possess those qualities and are not in a fraternity?” Do this with humility and gratitude, and you’ll walk out of that meeting with PLENTY of new leads.
3. “5 for 5″ Challenge
(Best time to try – During the “slow” recruitment seasons)
Our members consistently pass up the opportunity to interact with non-Greek men on campus. The 5 for 5 Challenge asks 5 members to meet 5 non-Greek men on campus for 5 consecutive weekdays. Unroll this challenge at a chapter meeting, and, if done correctly, your chapter will add dozens of names to your list.
4. Door Holding Campaign
(Best time to try – During the “slow” recruitment seasons)
This is one of the more creative ideas that we’ve seen. Think of the most trafficked buildings on campus – the library, the dining hall, the student union. Now picture one of your members, sharply dressed, holding the door open for people and saying “have a nice day.” A few paces inside the building stands another sharply dressed member. He asks, “Did you notice that gentleman that held the door open for you? We are trying to prove that chivalry is not dead, and this campus is full of gentlemen. (Hands an index card and pen) Who are the gentlemen that you know on this campus? We would like to interview them for a scholarship/award etc.” The Door Holding Campaign can be a great PR tool for your organization in addition to ADDING A BUNCH OF NAMES TO YOUR LIST.
5. Mind Joggers
(Best time to try – At the first meeting for your NEWEST new member class)
Of your entire membership, who is the most connected to undergraduate, non-greek men? YOUR NEWEST MEMBERS! The Mind Joggers activity does more than just give them a pen and a piece of paper and ask the simple question, “Who are some guys that you know?” Instead, while your new members are thinking of “who are the guys that they know,” you provide specific examples to help jog their mind. “Who are the guys that live in your residence hall? Who is the guy that you always see at the gym? Who is the most reliable person you know? Who are the three funniest guys that you know? Who came to school from your high school? etc.” Give your members 2 minutes to write down names without the Mind Joggers. Then put an additional two minutes on the clock, give them the specific examples, and watch how the names pile onto their list. In 4 minutes, you could add 100+ names.
6. Rule of 3-to-7
(Best time to try – At the beginning of each semester AND during the “slow” recruitment seasons)
There are barriers to joining fraternities at every campus in North America. Some chapters are challenged because of a commuter-heavy campus. Others have an overall lack of interest in Greek Life. The great equalizer…? Class! Maximize this daily commitment and ace both your class and recruitment. Show up 3-to-7 minutes early. Sit in the first 3-to-7 rows (where research says the best students sit). Develop 3-to-7 relationships in each class. (# of classes for a full-time student – 4. 4 x 3-to-7 = 12-to-28 new friends per member).
7. Partnering with Select Organizations
(Best time to try – Beginning of each semester AND near special events for certain organizations)
On every college campus, there are hundreds of student organizations. Smart chapters are creating partnerships with groups that have similar values. This partnership is mutually beneficial. The fraternity can provide resources like volunteers and connection to the Greek system, and the student organization is allowing the fraternity to be more visible and interact with the members inside the organization. Partner with service groups, academic societies, cultural associations, or cause-based organizations — match your values with their work for a perfect fit (and lots of qualified leads).
8. Info Tabling with a Hook
(Best time to try – Beginning of each semester AND during the “slow” recruitment seasons)
Each year, every campus hosts some variations of an “activities fair.” Student organizations set-up tables all in a row, pass out fliers, and have surface level conversations. Or, there is an opportunity for student orgs to set up tables in high traffic areas of campus. The goal of “tabling” should not be to pass out your information. It is to get their information. Create an experience that will encourage the person passing by to stop, engage with you and write down his/her name and the name of a few friends. Our favorite ideas, Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament – Predict the score to the big game – Raffles or drawings – “Write down your fav song lyric/movie quote” – surveys. Do more than just sit there with a clipboard/tablet and your fraternity memorabilia.
9. Sock Drive
(Best time to try – during the “slow” recruitment seasons).
The Sock Drive combines service and recruitment. After your chapter partners with the local homeless shelter, you go door-to-door in the residence halls. Your pitch, “Our organization is collecting socks (substitute toiletries or canned goods) to donate to the local homeless shelter. Would you be willing to help those in need with an old pair of socks?” If the person donates, ask if they would like to help even more, by inviting them to a service event your chapter is hosting at the homeless shelter. Be sure to exchange contact information in order to GROW YOUR NAMES LIST.
10. Move in/Move out Day
(Best time to try – Beginning AND end of each semester)
The concept of fraternities helping first-year students move into their residence halls is not new. However, there are more effective ways to do it than swarming the student and his/her family, handing a business card and carrying a few boxes. The best practice is to send teams of two over to the residence halls, begin your interaction with “Hi, what can I help you with?” and be sure to exchange contact information rather than just handing over a business card/flyer. Also, while move-in days are commonplace, move-out days are an untapped market. You could be the only chapter on your campus that helps first-year students move-out, building a relationship for the summer and the upcoming school year (Sophomores and juniors can also join fraternities).
Have questions about any of these? E-mail Vince@PhiredUp.com. Want more ideas? Download this.