Why do people join fraternities?

by Vince Fabra

Quick question… quick but heavy question… quick, heavy and important question…

Why do people join?

Why do people join anything – Fraternities, sororities, church groups, military, sports teams, email chains, cults?

There are so many ways to answer this question about people’s motivation to join organizations. However, I feel the best way to simply answer this question is to simply break down what an organization is – PEOPLE and PURPOSE. Joiners usually are signing up, clicking subscribe, pledging their loyalty because of one of these two things. PEOPLE and PURPOSE.

Here is another quick, heavy and important question…

Are our chapters recruiting with PEOPLE and PURPOSE?

Fraternity and sorority recruitment is most visible when we try to grab the attention of the potential joiners on our campuses. Banners in the student union, sidewalk chalk, A-Frame signs and makeshift bed sheet banners outside of a fraternity house window are just a few manifestations of fraternity and sorority marketing. Is that PEOPLE and PURPOSE?

Marketing is fine. However, marketing is only effective when it is highlighting PEOPLE and PURPOSE:

1.    Marketing should help you meet new PEOPLE.
2.    Marketing should clarify your PURPOSE to people you already know.

During my presentation training, I share the statement, “People join because of PEOPLE and PURPOSE” and everyone in the audience gives an agreeing nod. My guess is that most members of a values based organization would easily agree that PEOPLE and PURPOSE are the answers. But when I walk around college campuses, notice the common recruitment strategies and have conversations about recruitment, I don’t see much of PEOPLE and PURPOSE. We all agree that PEOPLE and PURPOSE is “where it’s at”, but we can be so easily distracted, spending our time/money/focus on everything but PEOPLE and PURPOSE.

My challenge to you – constantly challenge yourself and your organization to put PEOPLE and PURPOSE at the center of your recruitment efforts. If you are marketing your organization, having an information presentation, hosting a recruitment activity or event, or even participating in rush or formal recruitment, just ask yourself, “How does this reflect PEOPLE and PURPOSE?”

Power to the PEOPLE… and PURPOSE!