How A Fraternity is Saving a Life (and what that has to do with recruitment)

by Matt Mattson

When we teach recruitment, our message boils down to two powerful ideas: PEOPLE + PURPOSE.  I’ll explain more in a minute, but first a story…

About 10 days ago I was preparing to go to Kennesaw State University to deliver a Phired Up Dynamic Recruitment Workshop.  I was excited to present as I always am, but then I checked my E-mail that morning and noticed this story!  Wow!  Is that for real?  And I get to go there?  See the video below.


During a break in my program, I got to meet about 10 of the Delta Tau Delta men that made this happen. They explained to me that when faced with the question of “What do you want to do before you die?” as posed by MTV’s The Buried Life (cast members were visiting campus the next day), they thought… “Well, we’d save a life.”

See, just days ago their chapter brother Richard Bland had vulnerably shared with the men that he would need his second kidney transplant.  His kidney was failing and since he has a rare blood type he’d have to go on dialysis for a while.  The Delta Tau Delta chapter men, at about 11 p.m. that night, had the thought that maybe The Buried Life cast members would help them out when they visited the next day, so they started tweeting with the hashtag #SaveRichard.  Within a couple hours #SaveRichard was trending in Atlanta… then in the U.S… then the WORLD!  At 2 a.m. the chapter gets a call from The Buried Life to let them know that they’d feature them the next day.  By 10 a.m. the chapter (after staying up most of the night) had arranged a rally, had gathered the Greek community and other campus friends around the cause, and had created something of an overnight movement all to help #SaveRichard.

By the end of the next day, they had raised thousands of dollars, and over a dozen people VOLUNTEERED TO DONATE A KIDNEY, and had done something incredibly generous for their brother.

The power of organizations to rise up at moments of need or opportunity and do something important is inspiring.  This chapter chose to be bold and do something special.  What will you do when the moment arises?

We’ve shared a similar inspiring story before (see here) that always makes me think… organizations like fraternities and sororities have the capacity and opportunity at any moment to do special things, important things, life changing things, world changing things…  The question is will they choose to act and inspire others to follow them.  If they do, some of the best people on campus and in the community will likely become even more interested in joining with them to accomplish their powerful purpose.

People + Purpose.

PEOPLE:  Recruitment is a relationship business.  We spend a lot of time on this message.  Recruitment is primarily done through deep personal connection, trust, and individual people giving the gift of membership to other people.

PURPOSE:  Recruitment requires a purpose to recruit people into.  Inspire others by doing something special, and special people will want to be a part of it.  High quality people are attracted to high quality stuff.  If you have a compelling purpose, if you’re working together as an organization to do something important, then it is likely that people will be interested and inspired to join you.