Now more than ever fraternities and sororities should be actively sharing a positive story about our organizations with potential members. Phired Up is proud to provide these eight professionally produced videos for YOU to use starting immediately to promote fraternities and sororities.
THESE ARE ALL CREATED TO BE SHARED WITH PROSPECTIVE/POTENTIAL MEMBERS! And they are yours (fraternity/sorority leaders, volunteers, and professionals) to use for FREE.
See our recommendations below on the best way to use these videos. These are yours to share widely. Use these to connect with people who might be #ConsideringJoining! For example, you might use these…
Note: Always include an ask when you post/share these videos. Always ask people to express interest, sign-up, register, or complete a form that allows you to continue sharing information about fraternity/sorority life with them. These resources are meant to help you with inbound marketing.
SPECIAL REQUEST: We are seeking your help distributing THIS SURVEY to all graduating high school seniors. If you can share this survey with high school seniors/rising college first-year students, that would be a huge help. Here’s why! We’re trying to gain insight into how COVID-19 is shaping the perspective of this group of students related to fraternity/sorority life.
The video below is a short 32 second clip promoting the value and benefits of sorority life. Consider asking every member to post this on their social media, post this on your website, share it with incoming students/parents, and send it via text message/DM to a non-affiliated student. Along with it, share your personal story. Here’s an example.
My name is KC. I am proud to be a sorority woman. Before I joined, I wondered if my membership would be worth the dues I paid for my first semester. Then I started seeing myself grow, I got comfortable public speaking, learned how to work alongside others (especially learning to work with those I don’t see eye to eye with), got to manage a $5,000 event budget, and saw my test scores go up. I gained valuable life lessons but meeting some amazing friends to support me and build me up during it all was the cherry on top.
I hope you consider sorority. It changed my life, and I believe that when women gather together to do good, it changes the world. #ConsideringSorority#sororitylife #iamasororitywoman
P.S. If you want to express interest in sorority, click here. [LINK TO YOUR CAMPUS REGISTRATION]
The video below is a short 39 second clip promoting the value and benefits of fraternity life. Consider asking every member to post this on their social media, post this on your website, share it with incoming students/parents, and send it via text message/DM to a non-affiliated student. Along with it, share your personal story. Here’s an example.
My name is Alex. I am a proud member of a fraternity. Toward the end of my first year, I got tired of college just being about me. My grades, my relationships, my schedule. Nothing wrong with that but it stopped feeling fulfilling. Like it wasn’t enough. Fraternity gave me a way to change that. People to celebrate wins and fun times of college with. People to work on important service projects with. And of course, people to lift me up when I was down. College became about we instead of about me which has been amazing.
I hope you consider fraternity. It changed my life, and I believe that when men gather together to do good, it changes the world. #ConsideringFraternity #fraternitylife #iamafraternityman
P.S. If you want to express interest in fraternity, click here. [LINK TO YOUR CAMPUS REGISTRATION]
The video below is a short 46 second clip that teaches viewers that fraternities and sororities are more than just friendship clubs. Consider asking every member to post this on their social media, post this on your website, share it with incoming students/parents, and send it via text message/DM to a non-affiliated student. Along with it, share your personal story. Here’s an example.
My chapter is far more than a “friendship club.” If you’re considering fraternity or sorority life, you should know… Sisterhood and Brotherhood is far more than friendship; more than buddies or besties. Way more. It’s a shared cause. It’s a common purpose. It’s a commitment to helping each other live as our best self – every day. It’s trust. It’s a promise. It’s a lifelong vow to help me become all that I’m destined to be.
I joined fraternity/sorority life because I wanted to make a difference in my community, and I wanted to surround myself with people who would push me, challenge me, believe in me, and love me during college.
Are you interested in joining a fraternity or sorority? Sign up here . [LINK TO YOUR CAMPUS REGISTRATION]
This video is a short 48 second clip the starts to set the tone about the expectations of being a fraternity/sorority member. Consider asking every member to post this on their social media, post this on your website, share it with incoming students/parents, and send it via text message/DM to a non-affiliated student. Along with it, share YOUR expectations for what it means to be a fraternity/sorority member. Here’s an example.
When I joined my chapter, I understood very clearly that I was making the CHOICE to be a part of something bigger than myself. And when I made that choice, I proudly accepted the responsiblities of membership. As a member of my organization, you can expect that I will always…
We’re seeking leaders, doers, and creators. If you’re someone like that, please connect with us here. [LINK TO YOUR CAMPUS REGISTRATION]
This video features Hailey Mangrum, one of Phired Up’s educators and strategists. In this 2 minute and 21 second video, she explains the many different variations of fraternal organizations. This is a great video to help curious students (and parents) understand the variety of fraternity/sorority experiences that are available. We recommend pointing people the the page on your community’s website that describes your councils and chapters. Here’s an example.
Fraternities and sororities are not all alike. Whatever you might have seen on a movie, probably doesn’t represent the true sorority/fraternity experience. Our organizations are purpose-driven and values-based. They help students find meaning and support in a confusing and challenging college world. Our organizations are historical and have served as powerful forces for positive change on campuses and in society. Will you watch and share this video so that more people understand the truth about fraternities and sororites? Click here [link your campus website] to learn more about our chapters and let us know more about you so we can connect and teach you more about fraternity and sorority life!
Here’s a video with a quick story from a sorority woman (Haley Cahill-Teubert, one of Phired Up’s educators and strategists) about the VALUE of sorority. It’s a beautifully simple story told in just a minute and a half. This is a great video to post along with your personal REASON WHY IT’S WORTH IT (read this). It’s also a great video for either undergrads OR alumnae to share! Here’s an example.
I love this story about sorority. My sorority experience was (and is) SO worth it! Sorority membership isn’t just beneficial during college. Getting ready for graduation, there were a ton of alumnae in different cities who were helpful in sharing my resume, recommending jobs to apply for, and connecting me with professionals in my industry they know. Plus, they were super excited to welcome me into their alumnae chapter and help me get settled in a new city. This sisterhood is for life. I never could have had something this powerful and positive in my life with any other college club or group. Sorority is like no other opportunity in college. If you’re interested in sorority, and you’re heading to _______ University, go here to let the women on campus know you’re interested.[LINK TO CAMPUS REGISTRATION]
This one minute and 25 second video features Hailey Mangrum, one of Phired Up’s educators and strategists giving practical tips to help anyone interested in joning a culturally-based fraternal organization. This is a fantastic video to share to help more students understand the process and nuances involved with seeking membership in culturally-based fraternal organization. Share this video along with practical tips and clear recommendations that make sense for your campus/organization. Here’s an example.
Our campus hosts an incredible group of fraternities and sororities that celebrate culture, heritage, inclusivity and individuality while focusing on uplifting each member toward their personal potential. To pursue membership in our MGC and NPHC organizations, you’ll want to be thoughtful, do your research, and be an intentional networker on campus. Just like any fraternal organization, those with a cultural background or focus are more than friendship clubs. These are purpose-driven organizations that strive to prepare their members for successful, fulfilling, and values-driven lives. Indicate your interest by clicking here. [LINK TO A CAMPUS REGISTRATION OR ORGANIZATIONAL INTEREST FORM]
This 2 minute and 14 second video features a story that celebrates the sacred and special moments of fraternity life, told by Phired Up’s President & co-Founder, Matt Mattson. This is a fantastic video to share to help more students understand the deeper parts of fraternity life. Share this video along with personal stories about how fraternity is more than what it looks like on its surface. Here’s an example.
Are you considering fraernity? Check out this video. Fraternity life is not what most think of. It’s not all fun, social stuff, and dudes just hanging out. My fraternity has experience gave me some of the most powerful personal development and truly meaningful moments of my college life so far. Intense chapter meetings, values exploration workshops, leadership retreats, and these moments of sacred brotherhood that I’m sure you can’t find in a dorm or in an academic club. Fraternity is special.
by Matt Farrell
The UC Davis IFC has been steadily declining over the last several years. Recruitment Kickoff used to be a crowded room, and last year the empty seats were hard not to notice. Even worse, there was no data to share exactly how rapidly the interest was declining.
After last year’s challenges, the IFC worked with Phired Up and TechniPhi to make some short and long term changes. Fast forward to earlier this year: Close to 200 men joined the UC Davis IFC through formal recruitment alone, and kickoff was over double last year’s attendance. Kickoff was an amazing event and I was lucky to get to be there!
My feedback call with IFC President Nick Elliott-Smith (a member of Sigma Chi) and Advisor Payton Gates (member of Chi Omega) provided a great way to share this growth story with other IFCs.
Creating A Growth Infrastructure
Nick: The reason I wanted to be President was to fix the stigma that IFC didn’t do much. We really wanted to 1) have analytics and 2) increase interest in the community. I wanted to set the precedent for boards to come that if we put in effort, we’ll have numbers to show it. I think CampusDirector helped a lot and helped our numbers go up this year, and more importantly we can measure it now so all the work we did this year will not go to waste.
Payton: A large concern coming into this year was how we can replace a third of our community about to graduate. We really had no structure in the recruitment process. I saw a need for more structure and tangible data and not just guesses of who is coming and joining.
One Clear Goal
Nick: Everything about our strategy focused on getting guys to Kickoff and using Phired Up to make the event better. We knew we could make it impactful together and not just a lecture. So it was all about just getting people there.
Why Did Marketing Go So Much Better this Year?
Nick: Well we didn’t table last year (laughs). Actually being a friend to people walking by first was our strategy. We knew that everyone else on the quad on our campus is shouting “join this, join that” so all we had to do was be different. It really was all about just being their friend before we met them. We got at least 50 guys by taking advantage of quality conversations with strangers on the Quad and stressing our excitement to have them come to kickoff.
Not Your Typical PNM Orientation
Nick: The Phired Up icebreaker conversations, I think those were great for getting the nervous energy out of the room at kickoff. Working together so IFC got to speak on our actual experience. I think it’s really cool to show what we’ve done and not just a list of facts. I had a lot of guys coming up to me afterwards and thanking me for sharing my story.
Payton: I thought the small group huddles with IFC and PNMs were impactful. This was one of the best things we planned with Phired Up; I could tell the PNMs were comfortable asking questions in the casual setting and they were so much more energetic talking to chapters afterwards than last year.
Nick: We could prepare a bit more to educate them about our community. We would probably take away one icebreaker to have more time for that.
Payton: Definitely adding more on CampusDirector. We want to make sure PNMs know how to log in, how to accept their bid, right from the beginning. We want to prepare the board a little more for the small group huddles. Certain personalities can be harder for people to keep conversation going.
New Manpower for the IFC
Nick: We always struggle to get freshmen right away with the academics here, and this year our chapter personally had much more success. I think we did a good job of debunking the stigmas at kickoff rather than ignoring them like we did in the past, and that led to better conversations. I really think it carried over. PNMs didn’t feel as much of a need to put on the facade with us.
Payton: Based on all the meetings I’ve had with Presidents since then, I’d echo all of that. Our new members feel more confidence.
What To Build Next?
Nick: We definitely like the idea of IFC ambassadors, I think that would also help with tabling. It was a huge success for us but we know if we get more guys out to do it, it will be good for their resume and our numbers.
Payton: We like the idea of marketing towards our emerging leaders. Our main focus during recruitment is getting to more people to join the IFC community but we also think it could be used to market what IFC does internally to existing emerging leaders in the community. This could help our partnership with Phired Up come alive for more people at UC Davis.
Phired Up & TechniPhi are excited to announce that Phired Up Fridays are back in May! These completely free Phired Up education sessions have been so incredibly well received that the company is bringing them back!
No registration is necessary, but to indicate interest and get more information, please complete this form: https://tinyurl.com/
Still free. Still competely open to all students, volunteers, and professionals. Still focused on the growth-related needs that are facing fraternities and sororities in this unique moment.
During this Coronavirus/COVID-19 “social distancing” period, Phired Up knows that fraternity/sorority members will continue to desire engaging education about how to grow their organizations. This is one small way we can help members, volunteers, and fraternity/sorority professionals do something that feels normal and productive.
“Even if you’re not physically at college, now is still the time to make plans for marketing and recruitment,” said Matt Mattson, Phired Up’s co-founder and President in the initial announcement. “Not to mention the importance of learning smart ways to engage your brothers and sisters digitally.” Mattson reinforced the importance of this initiative as it was extended, “We have to act now to prepare for a fall that will be very different than what we’re used to. It is important that we have our people, plans, and preparation in place to help students find fraternities and sororities in the upcoming school year.”
COMPLETE THIS FORM to indicate interest, and Phired Up will send information leading up to the live sessions: https://tinyurl.com/
Tips for participating: A desktop or laptop works best. Mobile devices might require app download (follow prompts to “JOIN A MEETING” when you click the login link). You might need the “MEETING CODE.” We recommend logging in 10-15 minutes prior to the start. Max 1,000 participants.
May 8, 2020
Pros Who Grow: Campus-Based Professionals Leading Innovative Growth. There are innovators among us. There are change makers. There are campus-based fraternity/sorority professionals who are leading creatively even in challenging moments. Let’s hear the voices of the heroes (yes, we said it) on the ground. Let’s celebrate campus-based professionals who are driving innovation and who are working hard to figure out the answers to difficult questions related to fraternity/sorority growth on a daily basis. This session will feature just a selection of the many innovative pros out there right now. We welcome others to join to listen to the challenges being faced by campus-based professionals right now, and to engage in a dialogue about solutions that make sense for this moment. Hosted by - May 8, 1:00pm Eastern Daylight Time | Link To Recording
Pros Who Grow: HQ Professionals Leading Innovative Growth. Who are the professional recruiters in our industry right now that are setting the tone? How are headquarters responding to the challenges of this difficult moment when it comes to marketing, recruitment, expansion, and extension? How are inter/national organizations adapting to the challenges of COVID-19? This session will feature a selection of special guest representing inter/national headquarters. These are the pros that grow. These are the best of the best. Let’s engage in a discussion about fraterntiy/sorority growth with this incredible team. - May 8, 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time | Link To Recording
May 15, 2020
Asking For a Friend: How Are You Adapting For Growth After COVID-19? Phired Up will host a panel of undergraduate students to explore how they are adapting, innovating, and leading their organizations to GROW through the COVID-19 crisis. These students will share authentic real-life experiences that they’re learning from, trying, succeeding with, and struggling with. We know there are a lot of students (and volunteers/professionals) out there who want to know what chapters are doing to adapt for growth in this unique moment. So, we’ll ask these student leaders, “How are you adaptiong for growth right now? (asking for a friend)” - May 15, 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time | Link To Recording
May 22, 2020
A 48 Hour Growth Challenge: How 4 Students Worked to Grow Their Chapter in The Last Two Days. In the 48 hours leading up tot this Phired Up Friday session, we challenged four undergraduate sorority/fraternity members to execute 7 tasks that would help their chapter grow. It was a race. One of these four student leaders won the competition. We’ll reveal the challenge, the results, and the stories of these real undergraduate fraternity/sorority leaders as they work to grow their chapter in this unique time. - May 22, 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time | Link To Recording
May 29, 2020
Empty Beds. Recruitment in Fall 2020: A Special Conversation Involving Housing Corporations
Empty beds is a problem! Filling the house is on your mind. It has to be. We were already battling enrollment declines, rising costs of higher education and insurance premiums, negative media, and changing needs of GenZ students. Then, COVID-19 happened. Join us to hear what House Corporations across the country are doing to get ahead of recruitment and grow in this environment. Learn how they’re “scenario planning,” supporting virtual recruitment, influencing council decisions, and how your chapter can maximize membership that values living-in during uncertain times. Spoiler Alert: You can’t do the same thing you did in 2019! Come with questions. The membership growth experts at Phired Up will field attendee questions as well. - May 29th, 1:00pm Eastern Daylight Time | Participation Link: https://www.anymeeting.com/772-776-490 | Meeting Code: 772-776-490 | Hosted by Josh Orendi
FRIDAY, MARCH 20TH
“See The Word ‘RECRUITMENT’ Through Fresh Eyes”
Fraternity & Sorority Growth Fundamentals
by Matt Mattson
(COMPLETED | FREE RECORDING AND BLOG)
“Recruitment is CANCELLED! Now What?”
Digital Recruitment Principles (Just In Case)
by Josh Orendi & Hailey Mangrum
(COMPLETED | FREE RECORDING AND BLOG)
FRIDAY, MARCH 27TH
“Is Fraternity/Sorority Really WORTH IT?”
Membership Engagement Principles In A Virtual World
by Dr. Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre
(COMPLETED | Free Recording)
“GO GREEK! Is Not A Marketing Strategy!”
Marketing Principles for Fraternities and Sororities
(COMPLETED | Free Recording)
Phired Up Human Support (Like Tech Support, but for Humans)
(COMPLETED | Free Recording) Includes the inidivudal sessions listed below.
The Future of Fraternities and Sororities
by Matt Mattson with special guest Ryan O’Rourke from AFLV
(COMPLETED | Free Recording)
Phired Up Human Support (Like Tech Support, but for Humans)… Technology Edition
by Erin Chatten, Hailey Mangrum, and Matt Farrell
(COMPLETED | Free Recording)
by Josh Orendi
“Put us to work! We’re ready.” Aaron Varnue, said on a call last week. He’s a junior business major and chapter president of Acacia Fraternity at Purdue University. Aaron’s chapter isn’t alone. Fraternities and sororities are ready right now to help their schools with student enrollment and retention.
Colleges across the country fear that enrolled students won’t show up on campus this fall. This is the COVID-19 effect. Over 40% of parents report that they are either uncertain or would not send their child to school for the fall semester in a remote-learning environment, according to an April 10-14 survey conducted by Tyton Partners.
Meanwhile, a survey by OneClass reports that 75% of college students moved to virtual classrooms don’t think they’re receiving a quality learning experience. Students are not getting the experience they paid tens of thousands of dollars to receive. That has a lot of people asking if they will all come back in fall 2020.
Now add in skyrocketing costs of higher education, on campus safety risks, a lot of uncertainty, and the fact that college enrollment has declined every year for 8 years in a row. That could be a recipe for an admissions disaster this fall. Colleges could lose 20% of students this fall according to Inside Higher Education.
Could an unlikely hero emerge?
Enter fraternities and sororities. “We are social organizations. This is what we do. Our organizations exist to provide peer-to-peer support and mentorship. To create deep connections and belonging. Brotherhood. Sisterhood. To serve our communities and alma mater. We see the enrollment and retention problem. It’s our problem, too. We want to help!” the Purdue junior continued.
He’s not alone.
Approximately 900,000 undergraduates and about 9,000,0000 living alumni are members of fraternities and sororities on over 800 campuses in the United States. (For a size perspective, that’s more people than the total population of New Jersey) Or roughly 10% to 15% of students on the average college campus. Mobilizing social fraternal organizations is a powerful idea that should be taken seriously.
Fraternity and sorority membership contributes to a students’ sense of community and belonging on campus, which provides a greater sense of attachment to a university. Research shows that much of the stress of first-year students stems from loneliness. Fraternities and sororities provide connection, friendship and a strong support system.
Gallup research found that fraternity and sorority members possess a stronger sense of well being, are more likely to receive emotional support as an undergraduate, and demonstrate more alumni attachment to their alma mater than non-Greek students. One study found first-to-second year retention rates among sorority members at 93%, compared to 82% for non-members. Similar studies show fraternity members are 20% more likely to graduate.
Simply put, fraternity and sorority is good for enrollment, retention, community building, and student success. Fraternity and sorority members want to engage with each other and non-Greek students — especially incoming freshmen and transfer students.
Let me share a story.
Last week, my daughter fell off her bike. I raced inside to the medicine cabinet. Panicked. I knocked over every box and bottle looking for bandages. URG!!! Where are they!?? My wife walked up behind me, calmly reached over my shoulder, and pulled a box of Band-Aids from the shelf in front of me that had been there all along. Doh! “I love you. I got this,” she said to me.
Fraternities and sororities are the Band-Aids. Not a fix for everything, of course, but a fix that will make incoming students feel better right now. An authentic, scalable, peer-to-peer solution is literally sitting on the shelf of hundreds of colleges, but school administrators may be looking right past the Band-Aids during this moment of panic (which I totally understand).
Being overlooked isn’t new. Fraternities and sororities have been shunned, demonized, and underfunded on many campuses. (Overlooked sounds nicer) What many don’t realize is that membership numbers are at all time highs for most fraternities and sororities. Read that again. Student demand for the experience is at record highs.
Why? How? That’s not what the media is reporting. Well…
Fraternity and sorority members are campus leaders not raging alcoholics as the movies might lead you to believe. They lead their communities in service hours, academic achievement, and philanthropy dollars raised. They aren’t sex-obsessed, entitiled hazers as popular media outlets often describe them. They’re diverse, often first-gen students, who are eager to make connections, find leadership opportunities, and create friendships for a lifetime. In my experience, fraternal organizations demonstrate more loyalty to their alma mater than any other group of students.
Oh, and these students are exceptional at leveraging social/digital media to build and maintain relationships. They’re innovative and wildly creative. They’re problem solvers!
So imagine if those students wanted to mobilize and help during this crisis! Spoiler alert. They do. And at least one school has been smart enough to take them up on the offer.
On a conference call this month with a National Fraternity I heard a powerful story from Dr. Charlotte Emerson, Director of Student Development and Recruitment for the University of Florida’s College Of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). “We are concerned many students will choose to stay closer to home as a result of COVID-19, as a college we wanted to be certain admitted students felt connected, wanted, and feel the pride we have for the University of Florida. We solicited the help of fraternity, sorority and other campus leaders to personally contact over 2000 admitted CALS students.” Specifically the college used peer-to-peer phone calls and text messages to communicate with admitted students using a script initially, and ending the call or text with an offer to answer questions and connect the student to a CALS academic advisor on campus.
Remember, many of the incoming freshmen are completing a senior year of high school that was ripped away from them. No prom. No spring sports. No spring break. No walk across the stage. No graduation party. No senior night. No good-bye hugs or yearbook signatures from friends. No closure. Instead, they’ve had months of quarantining with their parents and piecemealed e-learning.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Imagine getting a personal phone call to ask, “how are you?” A sophomore, junior, or senior FaceTiming you to say that they’re excited to meet you and welcome you to campus. A DM saying everything is going to be ok. A sincere message of reassurance, optimism, and someone you can call if you have questions. That’s what caring in a time of crisis looks like. That’s community.
That’s fraternity done right.
But, that example is more the exception than the norm right now. Chapters and campus Councils say they’re being met with resistance, ignored, or unable to get through the red tape of the school. A senior from a Missouri state school sounded exasperated when he told me, “We’ve offered to help and asked to team up with the school a bunch of times. We asked to partner with Orientation and Res Life. We fundraised with the alumni to offer scholarships to help incoming students, but we can’t even get the school to help us with a list of incoming students to give the money away. We’re trying! I swear. But, so far, we’ve been ignored or told no. I don’t get it.”
Certainly every school is unique. And, every fraternity and sorority community is unique. And relationships can be complex. What is not unique is that fall enrollment is a priority concern for every school, every fraternity, and every sorority. What is not complex is that we all need to chip in and work together.
I hope this article reaches every college President, Dean of Students, Office of Admissions, Orientation Department, Res Life program, and First Year Experience team. I hope it sparks a conversation about engaging fraternity and sorority now.
Put fraternity and sorority members to work. They are on your team. Use their skills. All they need is permission and a little guidance. Encourage them. Help them to reach out to incoming students. Then, step aside and watch them shine.
Think of me as your caring partner, reaching over your shoulder in a time of panic, showing you the Band-Aid box that’s been right in front of you all along. “I love you. You got this.”
The storm called COVID-19 is raging right now, and while the impact it is taking on real humans, real families, and real lives is far more important than anything you’ll read on this blog… it’s also taking a major toll on on fraternity and sorority. You might not be able to feel it yet, but it’s serious. Please do the following 10 things as soon as possible!
Be aware of the severity of this situation. Fraternity and sorority membership will be significantly impacted by COVID-19. We will lose members. We will have a harder time attracting and securing new members this fall. We absolutely must act now. Read more here.
Reprioritize. When you took over your position you might not have had GROWTH at the top of your priority list. It should be there now. Consider re-arranging your leadership to make sure your top talent is engaged with marketing, recruitment, intake, new member education, and retention. This is an all-hands on deck situation. Gather your workhorses and get to work. You might need to move some of your priorities down the list and make sure you double, triple, and maybe quadruple your efforts and resources related to membership growth.
Identify a purpose to rally around. Survival, believe it or not, is a poor rally cry. No championship team every won because their team was energized around “not dying.” So, as a chapter leader right now is the time to pick something that your chapter will be about. What is the mission your chapter is on this year? What do you want to attract more people to help you accomplish? Be about something. Be specific. Your members will rally together around a cause they actually care about. They’ll work for a purpose, but they won’t work just because you ask them to. This purpose should also serve as your core marketing narrative. Write a paragraph about your vision and use it to communicate what your chapter is about to potential members and parents.
Quickly build/improve growth infrastructure. We’ll be very specific here. You need four basic things as the foundation from which you can build your recruitment plan. You need a way to keep your on-going recruitment efforts organized (because you do not want to depend on any “formal recruitment or intake” period to find out who’s interested in joining your chapter). You need a weekly meeting with your top workhorses (here’s the agenda). You need a schedule of summer and fall opportunities to engage with potential members (mostly digital, and some face-to-face stuff in the fall). And you need a written process/policy for selecting new members.
Record and create content. Videos. Refreshed website. Photos. Written pieces. More videos. Live FB/IG sessions. YOU NEED CONTENT. If you’re doing a lot of recruitment digitally, your only opportunity to connect with people is through… the internet. And you’ll need content to fill your social media feeds and your digital presence. Have each member record a 60 second video of “Why is fraternity/sorority worth it?” Ask the parents that love your chapter to record their own 2 minute videos that you can post on your website and social media (and send to any incoming prospects’ parents). Write FAQ’s, blogs, create a vlog, produce a video of old pictures. Ask alumni to create videos. Schedule live broadcasts, webinars, and more. You need a content team, and you need to activate them immediately.
Aim specific messages at parents. This summer and fall, parents will wonder… What is your chapter’s hygiene policy? How many hand washing/sanitizing stations do you have? What is your policy for if a member is sick? Can my child have a single room for safety’s sake? How strong is the wifi at your house? Are non-members allowed inside your facility? How often will members be checked for symptoms? There’s a good chance a) you don’t know these answers (ask alumni, HQ, and campus-based pros for help), and b) you definitely don’t have this information on your website yet. Take action.
Fill your funnel. You need access to non-affiliated students so you can start building relationships and trust with them. Ask for lists (from your campus and any other source you can think of). Ask again. Ask your council to provide immediate access to prospects who have indicated interest. Start doing prospecting and pipelining work (see info in point number 8 below). Your team of “workhorses’” first job is to add 50% more names to your list than you had last year. Open this document of “60 Tactics for Meeting Non-Affiliated Students,” and consider that the following could all be done digitally (with slight adaptations): Recruitment Scholarship, Sorority/Fraternity Referrals, Mind Joggers, Partnering with Select Organizations, Non-Greek Surveys, Ask The Rest to Find The Best, Professor and Class Referrals, Alumni Referrals, No-Bid List/Past Recruitment Lists, On-Line Referrals, Resource Center, Chunking, Scouting, Parent Solicitations, Referrals from High Schools, Presentations to Student Organizations, Niche Targeted Marketing, Top 20 Lunches & Coffees, Crossword Puzzle Help, High School Pipelines, Positive Absurdity, Organize Study Groups, Advocacy, Make it Easy To Sign Up, Text For…Something,.
Actively (but not with SPAM) start digital recruitment now. You’ll find detailed recommendations here. This is the most important one! If you haven’t read that resource yet, please do so now. Here’s another important point… Your members need to be prepared. They need quick training on how to effectively grow your chapter. WE HAVE TRAINING THEY CAN ACCESS RIGHT NOW!
Fill social media daily. Do anything you can think of to increase your followers to include non-members (start by following #classof2024 folks). Then post daily. Get active in your IG story. Connect with folks on reddit. Aim parent-oriented messages at Facebook. Buy ads aimed at your target demo. Post, post, post. Engage, engage, engage. Go beyond anything close to what you’ve done in the past. Be authentic and real. Now is the time to dive deeply into giving your chapter a powerful social media presence.
Plan for multiple fall scenarios. What if recruitment is cancelled? What if school is all on-line in the fall, but organizations can operate fully (just fully digitally)? What if everything is back to “normal,” but the incoming students definitely are not what you’re normally used to? That digital recruitment resource outlines 4 scenarios. Your chapter’s leadership should have a plan for all four.
This isn’t fair. You did not sign up for this. But here you are. Leading your chapter. Ready to be the hero whether you want to or not. This is your moment. This is your chance to create the future. We’re here to help.
By Matt Mattson
I was talking with a sorority leader at Baldwin Wallace University the other day and she gave me this idea. I was asking, “Are there any ways in which fraternities and sororities set false expectations about membership during the recruitment process?”
She said, brilliantly, “Every chapter always says, ‘Make of it what you want’ or ‘You get out of it what you put into it,’ and that probably gives our most disengaged members permission to be disengaged!”
Let’s stop saying that stuff. Let’s start being really honest about our expectations of membership. (I actually think we’ll end up attracting MORE people because we make our organizations sound significant, and not like some optional club that isn’t a big deal).
Here’s another quote I love.
“What they experience in recruitment teaches them more about how to be a fraternity/sorority member than any other experience. It sets their default.” ~Matt Mattson
That’s right! I quoted myself.
It’s true. What someone experiences in the way they are recruited, teaches them about sorority/fraternity.
Recruit them with integrity; they will expect integrity from your chapter.
Recruit them without making membership a big deal; it won’t be.
Recruit them by bashing other chapters; they’ll treat everyone disrespectfully.
Recruit them with alcohol/drugs; they will expect to only have to party.
Recruit them with frills; they will not expect to be empowered.
Recruit them casually; they will treat your chapter casually.
Recruit them to join; they’ll follow along and not create.
Recruit them with professionalism; they’ll expect to contribute and to work.
Recruit them with soul; they’ll expect meaning from their experience.
Recruit them to create; they’ll build alongside you.
Lately the Phired Up education and strategy team has been aggressively recommending a relatively new strategy for fraternity/sorority growth. It’s not overly complicated. It’s not technological. There are no complex methodologies or difficult formulas to memorize. And it’s a concept that has been used by the corporate, non-profit, and activists world for a long time.
Does your campus have a “Fraternity/Sorority Street Team?”
You might not be calling it that, but we’re seeing a bunch of campuses start to use it. Let’s describe this “street team” concept in its most simple terms.
What is a Fraternity/Sorority Street Team?
Imagine a small group of high performing fraternity/sorority members you can trust. Maybe 10, 20… probably no more than 30. These students could be from across councils, or just for one council. They might be made up of groups like “recruitment counselors,” “rush mentors,” etc. (or not). Put simply… they are a group of workhorses who are gathered together to work for the benefit of the fraternity/sorority community. They have 3 jobs. Their success can be measured by a) Did they increase registration/interest shown for joining? b) How many points of contact with non-affiliated students did they create? c) Did people stay in the joining/recruitment process through to the end?
The Three Jobs of The Fraternity/Sorority Street Team
A Fraternity/Sorority Street Team member’s most important job is to get as many non-affiliated students as possible to indicate interest in fraternity/sorority life (by filling out a form, or by formally registering for recruitment). Remember, you can’t recruit who you don’t know. So every time we get a non-affiliated student to provide their name, contact information, and some data about them (as early as possible!), then chapters have a chance to start building relationships with them and start learning about them. AND the community has a chance to start promoting the larger idea of sorority/fraternity life as well as setting the expectations for what it means to be a fraternity/sorority member.
“Tell The Story”
The second job of the Fraternity/Sorority Street Team is to be the “face” of the community. They work to create a positive first impression through personal contact with non-affiliated students as often as possible. Whenever they have the chance, they’ll tell their personal story that reflects the core marketing narrative of the community (Don’t have a core marketing narrative? We can help). The best way to combat negative stereotypes – in fact the only way that works – is to share personal stories. The Fraternity/Sorority Street Team should share their personal version of the core marketing narrative as often as possible.
“Guide Prospects Through Joining”
The third job of Fraternity/Sorority Street Team is to serve as an unbiased guide, mentor, and “big sister/brother before they get a real big sister/brother” for potential members during their joining process. Hosting recruitment orientations, being present at major promotional events, mentoring and coaching small groups of prospective members, and communicating with potential members throughout their joining process to offer unbiased guidance and care for the important decision they will make when joining their fraternity/sorority of choice. Plenty of communities have some variation of a “recruitment counselor,” and this is that… not every community’s joining structure/policies have space for this third task, but every community will benefit from the first two tasks. [This role is sometimes excluded on particular campuses where the structure of joining doesn't allow for it.]
What are some examples of how a “Street Team” does these 3 jobs?
What’s the point? Why does a “Street Team” matter?
What would I get out of being on a “Street Team”?
How A Member Benefits. Think about the first person you connected with in your sorority/fraternity and how big of a part they played in everything good that’s happened to you since. You get to be that person for countless others. In addition, think about your future career. Think about the role that meeting and advancing relationships will play in your happiness, finances, and overall success. This is an opportunity to refine these skills on a broad scale. It all connects.
How Your Chapter Benefits. First, there will be more people showing interest in all fraternities and sororities, including yours. That’s a big deal. Second, your members who serve on the street team will be in tune with the needs, concerns, hesitations, desires, and vibe of prospective members.
How Your Council Benefits. This drives interest/demand in the “product” your member organizations are selling. There is no better way to gain respect as a council than to provide value to your stakeholders. A council should never “recruit” for a chapter, but they can organize initiatives like this to help chapters have a chance to succeed. Plus, this team can serve as a valuable leadership pipeline giving younger members an opportunity to shine on a bigger stage than their chapter alone.
by Matt Farrell
Phired Up/TechniPhi is sharing stories of growth professionals across the industry.
If you are a brother of Phi Gamma Delta, or recruiter anywhere, you will learn a lot from this story.
Jake Lueck is Phi Gamma Delta’s Director of Expansion. Jake is a great friend, amazing recruiter, and will have a primary role in guiding FIJI through these challenging times.
Jake Lueck is Phi Gamma Delta’s Director of Expansion
Matt: It’s obvious to everyone who meets you that you love growth. Tell us where that passion comes from.
Jake: As an undergrad at Kansas, I was passionate about bringing new guys in and what that could do for them. Looking back though I had no idea the real scope of that potential. After visiting Fijis across the country, starting chapters and building homes for people, it’s been transformative for me.
The reason I’m still doing this job goes back to the expansion of FIJI at the University of Texas San Antonio almost three years ago. It is a place where you really have to go out and get people, but that environment was awesome for us. As our group grew, my expansion partner Adam and I started noticing something. Guys are not just buying into FIJI, really they’re buying into Adam and I as people. That’s a really cool feeling. We were rallying people together, undergraduates, graduate brothers, staff to help build this vision.
I realized at that moment we were getting to build homes for people who really didn’t know what home was. They didn’t know where to go for anything. School, friends, their future. There is no limit on your impact in situations like that.
That’s what drives my passion.
Matt: We talk about starting new chapters all the time, but you had a year visiting all sorts of chapters big and small. What’s a recruitment moment that still stands out?
Jake: University of Florida. They had everything on paper. Great group of guys, so friendly, raised a ton of money for philanthropy, they just didn’t really have success meeting strangers. They were a lot smaller than they should have been and felt stuck. I remember after their chapter meeting, it was late…probably 9 or 10 pm. I asked guys to stay a little longer and run through recruitment.
About 15 guys stayed which was most of the chapter, and I put together an activity for them on the fly. Drills. 1 on 1 conversations, role-playing as PNMs, and getting them pumped the best I could.
They drilled it, we went to bed, and then I got to see the long-term results flow in from the road after the visit. The guys were excited. Two years ago and that’s stayed with me.
Matt: Recruitment Chairs reading this are starting to think “how can I use this for my career. To grow as a pro in anything.”
Jake: It’s all sales and marketing. How well can you sell an undergraduate, a faculty and staff member, a parent? You need to sell excellence, you need to sell safety. That entire process happens exclusively through building a trusting relationship. And a lot of that is formed through your marketing – who you reach, how you reach them.
They’re not rushing us, we’re going out and recruiting them. And that’s the case in the real world. Phired Up talks about the funnel so we can build a list, find out how to move people through, and then figure out who’s right to stay. Marketing to the right people is what starts our funnel.
Not every recruitment chairman will go into sales or marketing, but you’re gonna use these skills everywhere. Personal skills. Interviews. Working with a team.
I worked as a gas dock attendant over the summer and used these skills all the time.
Matt: We’re in an interesting time. How can we get ahead of the curve as we fight through it?
Jake: There’s a lot of what-ifs still. There’s so many unknowns. So let’s stop being afraid of problems and focus on solutions to solve these problems. Right now we need to create strategies that will help us in all these situations.
We need to identify as many quality prospects as we can and talk to them. You (the recruitment chairman) don’t have to talk to every single one. They can delegate to other brothers in the committee or chapter to help get through the long names list. The amount of relationships, then the companionship you build… that’s everything.
Most people are joining fraternities for friends. So many people are looking for friends right now. They’re lonely, they’re confused. We need to reach out to them.
There’s going to be a decline in enrollment too. We have to be prepared and have to start now.
Matt: Speaking of which, more HQs are starting to get involved with their groups’ growth. What would you say to a chapter that doesn’t think they need your help?
Jake: Our emphasis hasn’t been on the recruitment for big groups in the past because you haven’t needed it on paper.
We believe our chapters that don’t struggle with recruitment need to teach and lead courageously as much as they learn and adapt. Headquarters staff encourages those chapters to support others that are struggling with recruitment. We believe this gives those chapters some equity in the game and we, as headquarters, can show them how they can support. This has allowed us to bridge the gap with those chapters and see how they can still grow.
So we can help these chapters because we bring that strategy and that impact to our smaller groups. They need confidence and a plan, and that is something we can do together. HQ learns from our undergraduates every single day; we can’t do that if you’re not willing to teach.
And then the technology we’re offering. It’s so important. You keep everything organized, you keep it up to date, you contact people through it. That is why I love ChapterBuilder and its how we start all groups. Even if you are not using ChapterBuilder you need to understand the importance of technology to put everything in one place outside of a spreadsheet.
Matt: Last thing. There’s a brand new FIJI group – tell us about them.
Jake: We started FIJI from scratch at Seton Hall this spring and our team brought in over 60 guys from all over the place. Various student organizations, all years, we left no stone unturned. How we did it is what I want to focus on, because its all things whoever is reading this can do right now.
Messaging on social media, emailing faculty and staff with ideas for how to find members, texting through ChapterBuilder, calling each other to stay excited.
Everything we did foundationally was using our phone and computer.
So whoever is recruiting out there, we may think students are only worried about COVID-19 right now but that’s not true.
People are looking for friends, so let’s find those friends.
by Erin Chatten
Don’t you just love going to an appointment and filling out those “introductory” forms? Doesn’t it give you all the warm and fuzzies to check boxes, write your address, t-shirt size, and family history?
What?! It doesn’t?!
So then why do our registration, intake, and interest forms to gain membership into a fraternity or sorority look and sound just like those forms? We are so much more than that.
…all by asking better questions. It’s that easy.
About a year ago I wrote a blog that challenges this idea and following that, Phired Up staff presented at multiple fraternity/sorority conferences to understand what you considered to be better data that can lead to better members. Here’s what we learned…
Whether you use CampusDirector, ChapterBuilder, Google Forms, or the classic pen and paper, you can infuse better questions to learn more about a potential member and teach them about membership. These are typically short answer questions that allow a PNM to freely answer as they see fit and asks them to reflect upon themselves and why they are signing up for this lifetime experience.
When learning about the potential member, it’s important to not just understand who they are but to get a step deeper to understand why they are that way and who they aspire to be. Use your form to learn about…
1. Who they are and how they see themselves
Imagine if we knew more about the personality of an individual from their own words. This gives us an opportunity to understand how this individual shows up in social environments and gives us an idea of what members they would get along with. As a bonus, if your university uses a personality test such as Strengths Finder or Meyers-Brigg, you can use that in your form.
Questions to ask:
Describe your personality.
How would your friends describe your personality?
Where do you fall on the introversion/extroversion scale (0- Fully introverted 100- Fully extroverted)?
Describe your ideal social gathering.
A part of membership is the social building of friendships and brotherhood/sisterhood/siblinghood with other members and the community. Describe what you look for in a group of friends.
2. What they care about
Know about what matters to every individual who you recruit. Is it their family? A sport? Their academics? Video Gaming? Whatever it may be, everyone has at least one thing that matters to them. We don’t need to share these passions with our PNMs, but we can learn and bond over it. Not only will this create better conversations, but shows the PNM a level of care and encouragement that is a foundational part of our memberships.
Questions to ask:
Describe what you are most passionate about.
What matters the most to you in life?
Describe how you spend your time outside of school.
A part of membership is having an impact on causes and philanthropies to improve this world. Are there any causes that are particularly important to you? Describe them.
3. Where they are going
Not every individual has their entire life planned out when they are starting to show interest in membership. That’s okay. What we do want to know is what they are currently striving for. This could be a career goal, a fitness goal, or self-growth. Whatever it is, we know membership grows us as individuals. We need to know where they see themselves going to help them see how membership helps them move toward that goal.
Questions to ask:
What goals do you currently have for yourself?
Describe your current career aspirations and why you selected it. (if you are undecided, tell us about what you’re currently exploring and why)
A benefit of membership is the opportunity for continual development in and beyond your undergraduate years. How do you hope membership develops you for your future?
4. Why Us?
The motivations behind a decision tell us a lot about that individual and their intentions. It is important that we understand the motivation or desire behind their interest in membership to either align expectations or describe how we deliver on their hopes.
Questions to ask:
Describe what you hope to receive from your membership?
Describe why you are interested in joining?
What do you expect membership to be like?
Membership is more than a four-year undergraduate experience, it is a lifetime commitment. How do you see yourself benefiting from this type of membership?
5. Why College?
Just as it is important to learn motivations for membership interest, it’s important to understand the decision of your institution as well. Was it because it was close to home or offered scholarships? This information can guide our conversations and help us understand the individual. This also gives us an opportunity to learn about potential members as a student to help them focus on their academic success.
Questions to ask:
Describe why you choose to attend this university over anywhere else?
What do you hope to achieve in your undergraduate years?
Describe your main focuses as a student.
A part of membership is holding members to academic expectations and supporting academic growth. Describe how you plan to balance your academics with social life on campus.
Did you notice how some questions had statements before them? That’s because these questions can hold a dual purpose. Not only do we learn about the potential members but we also get to take a moment to teach and align expectations of what membership is like. Use it as an opportunity to tell the potential member about what’s important to your organization or community and have them reflect on how that part of membership can or is currently showing up in their life.
My challenge for you is this. Pick Two. Pick two questions from the list above that your community or organization would benefit from learning and add it to your registration, intake, or interest form. Make sure you can share the responses with members and improve your conversations by improving the questions you ask. To learn how to add these questions to CampusDirector contact us email@example.com and to have a conversation about teaching and using these questions in a chapter setting, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Matt Farrell
As the landscape of colleges and society as a whole continues to rapidly change, so are fraternities’ approaches to recruitment. Delta Kappa Epsilon is using this time to provide growth technology to all of its chapters.
We talked to Craig Dick ( Director of Chapter Services) and Jack Morton (Chapter Consultant) to learn more about how Delta Kappa Epsilon HQ has gotten more hands-on.
This message is directly aimed at undergraduate members, although any recruiter can benefit!
Why You Should Care About Growth
Craig: Think about why you joined. To know people, to interact with people. Community.
Think about how much you’ve turned to these guys in the last couple weeks to socialize: FaceTime, phone calls, anything. That whole community is because you joined our Fraternity. Think about what these times would be like without it. There’s so many people out there that don’t have what we have.
We need to share that feeling of connection with other people. Don’t even worry about whether they want to join. There are so many people craving the community we have right now. We owe it to ourselves to reach out, to give back.
Jack: There’s a whole bunch of crazy stuff in the world going on. I totally get why growth could be overlooked, but it can and will come back to bite us.
If you get ahead of the game with growth then you’re set up to win in every other area. Technology allows us to do it in ways we couldn’t have in the past.
How is Recruitment Changing?
C: People are going to be more wary of larger scale human interactions. We’re going to have to rely more on small gatherings and strong 1 on 1 meetings to engage people.
The same questions we ask about high school won’t land as well, because of how it ended abruptly for people. They’re either going to talk about it differently or want to not talk about it at all and focus on starting new.
J: We need to gain exposure for ourselves in as many ways as possible. The only way to measure that is names in ChapterBuilder. We won’t be getting as much help on campus which is why the technology is so important. It also allows us to help you grow your list.
C: The easiest way to grow your list is going to be friends of friends. It’s how my brothers and I make friends, it’s how you build your network when you move to a new city. Pick up the phone, ask them to play video games, whatever starts a connection. We can log everything on ChapterBuilder and connect them to other brothers after.
Our Biggest Opportunities Ahead
C: Everyone is already thinking about the overly aggressive post-quarantine hugs, and the excitement coming out of this when it ends. This was already a communal experience and it’s only going to be stronger in the fall. Our future members, current high school seniors, will be starving for that community even more.
J: This is a time where nobody knows what to do. Older people don’t know what to do. Experts don’t know what to do.
So for you to be on the front lines – and put your extra foot out there – we appreciate that so much.
Most leaders don’t know what to say to their employees right now. And you’re gaining firsthand experience of getting your “small business” not only functioning through this, but to emerge from this even better.
That will stay with you. We salute you and praise you for your efforts.
Make sure your chapter is set up on chapterbuilder.com so you can add names through the help of HQ, your brothers, and all other referral sources.